Lining up distributors for your title may sound simple and straightforward enough but the truth is it can be difficult for an independent publisher with only one title to get a distributor interested.
During pre-production for my latest title, Divine Complement, I went through the necessary steps to introduce my title to several distributors. New Leaf Distributing was one that was especially well suited for the genre. So after submitting their forms, my media kit and a detailed marketing plan, I assumed my book was a shoe-in. Six months after submitting, I received a letter stating my title was rejected on the basis of one or two reasons: 1. The market for the topic was undersold; or 2. There were too many competing titles.
I felt like the Titanic had just sunk and with it my hopes of seeing my title on independent bookstore shelves. I cried, got mad, chanted and prayed. Nothing changed. I decided to do what my daughter, who as a teenager was relentless in her pursuit of the answer “Yes”, had taught me. I armed myself with “second chance” optimism and a solid argument. I wrote the following letter:
I am writing in hopes that you will reconsider your decision and distribute my most recent title, Divine Complement. Your form rejection letter stating that my category is either over-published or under-bought at present, is regrettable. I am a recognized author, My last title, Ariadne’s Book of Dreams, Warner Books, sold over 15,000 copies and I am expecting far more sales on this new title because of the popularity of the topic. I just received a wonderful endorsement from John Demartini one of the authors featured in “The Secret” He wrote:
"Divine Complement is more than just an inspiration to read. It is a truly comprehensive exploration of and spiritual journey through everything concerning soul mates and their relationships. It brings ancient wisdom and modern understanding together and weaves them into a whole experience of sacred love and fulfillment."
I am aggressively marketing Divine Complement, with media exposure and have scheduled book signings and events with a variety of independent booksellers, such as East West Bookstore in Mountain View, Ca. I have also just signed a contract with I Village (NBC Universal) for a feature on the topic and with millions of visitors on their love/relationship site pages my book will have immediate exposure to the mainstream. I also have had feature articles published in New Age Journal and Spirituality and Religion to promote the book. To read a recent article go to: http://newageinfo.com/myth-Jesus-Magdalene.htm
Based on the interviews of over 200 soulmate couples as well as historical and mythological research, there is no other book on the topic of soulmates on the shelves that is so thoroughly researched The book not only appeals to those looking for a soulmate (20 million visitors on online dating sites), but also to those seeking more credible research on the topic of Jesus and Mary Magdalene..
I hope you will reconsider.
Within a week I received a very apologetic email from New Leaf, stating that my title had not been reviewed properly and to re-submit the book. Within another week I had received a congratulations letter along with their standard New Vendor contract and within another week I had their first order for books.
What this experience taught me is to never take “no” as the final answer.