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I am trying to find a good book distributor. I wrote two children's books that teach life lessons. I have them in about 30 stores in Michigan but I want to focus my time on schools. I had a wholesaler but that didn't work out. I have read a lot about Independant Publishers Group. Has anyone heard anything about their services? or any other book distributor? I have spoke with a few authors and they seem to have problems getting paid for their books by distributors. I have only been in this business a year and a half. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Hi, Dana Marie, you've raised an interesting topic and I can only comment on my situation. First, to price my mystery novel competitively meant that I'd lose money by hiring a distributor. With my first book I was prepared to do this because my book sold more copies through the chain (Chapters) than all the independents put together. Unfortunately, my distributor went bankrupt and I was out even more money.

This time, Chapters gave me the name of a distributor but these folks want $1,500 for a setup fee and 30% of my net profit. This would put me so far in the red that I'm better off selling to local stores on consignment. It's not a pretty picture for self-published writers, but if anyone has a better arrangement going for them, I'd love to hear about it.
Dear Dana Marie,

At our publishing house, we print and distribute through Lightning Source, a division of Ingram (the US' largest book distributor). For $12 per year per title, they carry our titles in their catalogue and help distriobute through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and you-name-it. Check out their site and see if what they have to offer might be of help.

Keep writing!
I have self printed with Authorhouse. They work with distributors like Baker & Taylor and others as part of their service. Every quarter I receive a royalty check for books sold by Authorhouse and from distributors who serviced businesses like Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Waldenbooks, etc.

How did you publish? Who do they network with? Does you book have an ISBN? Hope some of this information helps you.
Thanks for your response. I opened my own company to publish my books in 2007. I guess you would call me an independent publisher. Yes, my books do have an ISBN. I have sold a lot of books myself, and have them available in over 30 stores in Michigan.

I am still researching distributors. I would like one that specificallty deals with schools, libraries and teacher stores, if possible.

Thanks again!
This is not a very usual question because so many self-publishers are printed on Lightning Source, meaning they are automatically distributed by Ingram, pretty much the gold standard of bookstores. Often the whole trick is showing bookstores unused to self-publishers than they can get your book through Ingram.
Hi Dana,

I have been dealing exclusively with Baker & Taylor over the past four years and I have not had any problems, but I have read a lot of complaints (well, about pretty much everything) by self-published authors about B&T recently. It is alleged these authors are having trouble getting paid, but I take this as hearsay as they seem to complain about a lot of other things. That being said, B&T is the way to go for libraries, and presumably schools, but Ingram is pretty much the central front in book distribution. So you might want to get both of those going. After all, the worst thing is not getting your books out to readers at all. After that huge dilemma, actually getting paid is a distant (but important) second.

Thanks for reading. Hope this helps.
Hi Dana -

My distributor is Ingram (the largest distributor in the country I think?) I get a detailed report every three months that tracks my sales and compensation. Also, by being listed with Ingram my book is a P.O.D. book that makes it very appealing for sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.
self publishing can be a very exciting job and at the
same time tiring, but if you know who to deal with
it can really reach successfully. I deal with jakaylah
paperback book and so far as I know
things are smooth. It also how you go about selling
your own book. see if your distributor will get you
into local book readings with the library and book
signings, I hear they really help and also it helps
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I agree with Warren... LightningSouce is the best source to use for your small publishing endeavors. They are a fully qualified distributor, utilizing amazon for an immediate online retail source and they will distribute to any major book store chain, with options on returning books. Please check out their website and their video which explains their distribution, printing and packaging means.

Host, The Soul of Humanity, Internet Radio Show
"Drawing Stories...With Words"
We use Pathway Book Service in Gilsum, NH. This gets us into, Baker& Taylor and Ingram as well as direct to stores, libraries and consumers who are on their customer list. Their number is 1-800-345-6665. This is not a good choice for POD producers with low margins. If you do limited offset runs, then they can even find you a printer.
Right now it's The'r okay but I haven't seen any real results yet. It's cheap but you really have to work hard to get your books out there. They also have a really steep manufactoring cost. But what would really help might be just a web site to post your books at. It's not exactly distributing, but it's better than just letting your books site with around until you know what you want to do with them It's helped me alot. It's free and easy to make site at mines at But there's also lightening source. I have really meaning to check them out, I'm hearing a lot of good things about them.


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