What are book distributors

Glossary > Distributors

💬 Definition of book distributors:

Book distributors work with publishers and sell titles directly to retailers, bookstores, and libraries. 

Related questions about book distributors

What is the difference between a book distributor and a wholesaler?

A wholesaler buys a book from a publisher and supplies it to bookstores or libraries. A distributor does the same thing, but the difference is that they work directly with the publisher, so they do the distribution for a publisher. Since distributors work for the publishers, they also provide customer service, sales, marketing, warehousing, and shipping to get as many books as possible out to the marketplace.

Who is the largest book distributors?

Ingram Book Company is considered the largest book wholesale distributor in the world. It has print facilities and distribution centers globally, offering print books and reaching more than 39,000 stores.

What percentage does a book distributor take?

Each distributor has their own percentage system. Here’s a list with the major book distributors and the author royalty rates:

  • Amazon: up to 70%
  • Amazon Print: 50%
  • Audible: 25%
  • Ingram Global Distribution: 45%
  • Google Play Books: 70%
  • Google Play Audio: 50%
  • Apple Books: 70%
  • Apple Audiobooks: 45%
  • Barnes & Noble: 65%
  • China Print: 50%
  • Kobo: 70%
  • Kobo Audio: 45%
  • Findaway: 36-40%
  • Baker & Taylor: 50%

Why you need a book distributor as a self-publishing author 

In traditional publishing, the publishing house handles the distribution process. Self-published authors need to take care of that themselves. Besides pitching their books to local bookstores, they need a self-publishing platform that works with distributors to ensure their book reaches more people. If self-published authors don’t work with such a platform, they are limited to their network and local bookstores.

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