Is Your Book Ready for Distribution?


1106 Design

June 10, 2013

 By Amy Collins, owner, New Shelves Distribution

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_dropcap]B[/fusion_dropcap]ook Distributors and Fulfillment Service companies have to be selective about the books that they represent.  Book Publisher Sales Representation groups will only take the best of the best in their catalogs.

Because of this, here is a checklist that will help you determine if your book is ready for distribution and sales activities.  We offer this list as an educational tool.

If you find that your book meets all or most of these criteria, you can expect that your book will have a better than average chance of success.  Your book will have a better chance of being picked up by a high-quality distributor rather than be left with the “bottom-feeder” who take on every book and promise the world without delivering.

Feel free to use this checklist on your own or contact us about our publishing and book consulting.

  •  Did you sign your publishing house name up at and buy your own ISBN’s?
  •  Did you choose a unique publisher name that is not connected in any way with the author’s name or the name of the book being published?
  •  Was your interior professionally designed with proper margins, headers, and pages?
  •  Was your cover designed by someone with book industry experience?
  •  Does your cover and interior look as though it was published by an experienced publisher (Random House, Harper Collins, etc…)?
  •  If you want your book in bookstores, have you priced your book based on what books on the bookstore shelves in your category are retailing for?
  • If you are not aiming for bookstores, have you done your research and priced/packaged your book for the market you are aiming for?
  • Does your book have a price-specific EAN barcode?
  • Is your copyright page set up to industry standards (ISBN and publisher listed, country where printed listed, etc…) and have a Cataloging in Publication block created by a professional service provider?
  • Was your book professionally line edited, content edited and copy edited?
  • Was your book professionally proofread after the layout and design was completed?
  • If the book includes illustrations and photos, were they professionally created and are they at 300 dpi?
  • Do you have a fully executable marketing and press plan to support your book’s launch?
  • Do you have a 12-month marketing and awareness plan for AFTER your book’s launch?

Sales reps will focus on selling your book to retailers and wholesalers.  They will do this by using relationships and expertise to present your book in its best light. Your book needs to be well designed, well written, well packaged, well priced and well positioned just to get a CHANCE to MAYBE be on a bookstore shelf.  The sales rep then has to convince the buyer that of all the books that made it past the first hurdles, your book will sell the most and be the best.

The one tool they cannot live without is a strong marketing and press plan. Your marketing and press successes are the best (and often only) way to convince the buyers that your book deserves a chance. Sales reps have to prove that the book presented will have a growing demand.

Sales Reps will often go to extremes to get your book on the shelves, but it is up to the publisher and author to create the demand that sells the book OFF the shelves. It is up to the publisher and author to execute a complete and thorough marketing and press campaign.  Getting books INTO the stores and catalogs is Rep’s job, but they will only be successful if you can show why the book deserves to be there and then show that the book is being bought and sought after.

Amy Collins has over 25 years’ experience selling and marketing books. In 2006 Amy created a book sales company which quickly turned into New Shelves Distribution, ( the fastest-growing book distribution company in North America. Amy and her team are committed to being of service and sharing their book and sales experience. She can be reached at



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