According to the annual survey of independent presses and self-publishers conducted by Publishers Marketing Association each year, distribution is the biggest single problem for this group of publishers.
Large established publishers have good distribution, and clout with the two largest national superstore chains, Barnes & Noble and Borders, as well as their mall store subsidiaries, Borders Express and B. Dalton. They also have long term close working relationships with the two big national wholesalers, Ingram and Baker & Taylor. They also have outlets through regional wholesalers such as Partners and Folletts, specialty wholesalers such as Royal and New Leaf, mass merchants such as Wal-Mart and Target, warehouse stores such as Costco and Sam's Club, and targeted outlets such as airport stores and rack jobbers.
Small presses and self-publishers, by comparison, rarely have access to a well-developed distribution network. The typical scenario is for a self-published author to wind up with 5,000 books in his or her garage, asking, "Now how do I sell them?" The answer, at that late stage of the publishing game, is that it's usually too late. Distribution must be arranged before a book goes to the printer.
The best most self-publishers can hope to do for
distribution is to find acceptance with one of a
handful of companies that distributes
self-published books. However, these companies are
recognized in the publishing industry for the niche
they and their publishers occupy, and their
offerings do not command the same respect as the
latest frontlist title from Random House or Simon
A self-publishing author avoids all these problems with the Author's Publishing Cooperative. APC has excellent national distribution through sales reps that present each author's books, to the highest professional standards, to the national accounts. Because of the consistently high standards of APC books, the national accounts sometimes purchase as large a quantity as a book from Random House, and sometimes more. For example, one title, The Candida Control Cookbook, was published by Penguin, who sold 4,000 copies. That same title, when re-packaged by Dawson Church, has gone through several printings and now has over 30,000 copies in print. Recently, Don't Be Nice, Be Real, another APC title, was selected for front table placement by Barnes & Noble, as was The EFT Manual and The Genie in Your Genes. A relationship with APC ensures thorough national distribution for your self-published book.
"New Authors have a dream and Dawson Church
makes that dream a reality. From editorial
advice, to copy editing, to typsetting, to cover
design, to print management, marketing
consultation, and a fabulous distribution deal,
Authors Publishing delivers that and much
more. Partnering with Dawson Church was one
of the best business decisions I've ever