The term special sales is commonly used to describe sales opportunities outside of bookstores. Also referred to as non-bookstore (or non-traditional) marketing, it can be a profitable source of new revenue.
Your book is finished, and hopefully the orders are ready to start rolling in, but you aren't sure how the ordering process works. Well, there are two ways you can order your book yourself, either specifically for you or for your customers. And the third way your book can be ordered is by booksellers, retailers, and libraries directly from Ingram to sell on your behalf.
A highly important aspect of your book marketing plan is to determine how to price your book. Before you can do that, you should consider your publishing goal. Is it to make as much money as possible? Do you just want to reach as many readers as you can? You will have to take this big question seriously and think strategically about setting your price, but pricing is less overwhelming when you consider a few basics.
Thanks to Print-on-Demand (POD) technology, the costs associated with maintaining inventory for independent publishers have all but vanished. Because POD allows you to print anywhere from 1 to 10,000 copies of a particular title, depending on demand, independent publishers are off the hook when it comes to determining how much to invest in an initial print run. In fact, there are numerous benefits for indie publishers who incorporate POD into their publishing plans.
Historically, publishers grant booksellers the right to return overstocked copies of books. These books are considered “returnable”. Although, online retailers are less selective than brick and mortar stores in regards to whether a book is returnable, typically, brick and mortar stores will not order a book unless it is returnable, so IngramSpark supports standard industry conventions by allowing publishers to designate whether or not their titles can be returned.
While Chanticleer Reviews was exhibiting books vetted by our reviewers and writing competitions at several Independent Bookseller Association trade shows, I was able to observe (a marketing habit of mine) how professional booksellers buy books in action. Their traits were consistent with what they were seeking to fill their shelves. Also, I was able to ask the book buyers what they were looking for in particular to make their book buying decisions.
Authors unfamiliar with the book publishing industry can sometimes stumble on the path to publication by not understanding the definitions and roles of people in editing, production, distribution, and sales. By having clarity on the function and purpose of service companies and freelancers, authors can be smarter about hiring the right help.
Using Ingram’s distribution network makes your title available for order to over 39,000 bookstores, online retailers, libraries, and schools. Through our relationship, we send title data feeds and availability status of available titles to them. Each channel partner makes the decision whether to make a title available and how to display the availability of a title. We are pleased that most retailers, like Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Indigo, Books-A-Million, and hundreds of others, reflect an “In Stock / Available” status for your print-on-demand titles, which is an accurate representation of the immediate availability of your title.
Man, I love the idea of my book on the shelves of Wal-Mart and Costco. I love the vision I have of seeing eight copies of my book standing, cover face out, on the top shelf of the reference section in Barnes & Noble. What I don’t love thinking about is this: my book does not belong in any of these stores. I wish it were not so. I wish B&N, Wal-Mart, and Costco would sell my book and that it was the perfect fit for the customers who shop at these places, but it's not. The type of readers who want a book about the publishing industry (which is what I write about) are more likely shopping online and at conventions.
by Robin Cutler, Director of IngramSpark, originally posted on Bookworks
One of the most frequent questions I get from authors I meet at writing conferences is “How do I get my book into libraries?” So I recently posed this same question to my friend and Ingram colleague Joyce Skokut, Director of Library Collection Development who had just returned from the American Library Association (ALA) annual conference in Orlando. Joyce graciously met with the IngramSpark team to offer some insights and sage advice for indie authors in how best to get their book onto library shelves.