Self-published authors take the lead in getting their book out into the world beyond just writing it! The hard work pays off when you become a self-published author. Now, there’s a lot to learn along the way. One question we hear a lot is ‘how does print and ebook distribution work?’

It can be difficult to imagine all of the steps involved in book distribution if you’ve never done it before. However, here at Palmetto Publishing, we have helped self-published authors working in all genres get their book into the world. Whether it’s a print distribution or ebook distribution there are a few items that you’ll need for both.

We offer a range of publishing services, all for set fees and the best part is we never take a cut of your royalties! With our help, your book distribution process can be seamless. From editingformattingdesign, and illustrations to printing and marketing we’re here to help you the entire way.

For example, we set our authors up with their own IngramSpark for print-on-demand and eBook distribution through Ingram who makes it available at all the major retailers.

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Is Book distribution the same as Print or eBook distribution?

Book distribution, particularly for self-published authors can seem complicated. However, book distribution simply encompasses listing your final product with book stores or retailers and making it available for people to purchase.

Book distribution differs slightly when it comes to print distribution or eBook distribution. Simply because print requires a physical item to be shipped. However, one thing is the same for both and that is when your book is distributed it means it’s available and listed. This does not cover any additional marketing, publicity, or additional materials to promote your book.

You need to format the interior of your book to fit the correct sizes for the print distribution of physical items. You’ll also need to have your book printed – luckily we have the highest quality printers in the United States and offer a fair price per copy.

You’ll also need details like an ISBN, title, cover, description, and proper book interior formatting. This means you need to format the interior book content for your audience. The specific needs depend on your book type, retailers with whom you are looking to do print distribution, and of course your preferences.

Note that both print distribution and eBook distribution require these elements in one way or another. There are only small differences between the two. Since of course, print distribution starts with a digital manuscript.

Ebook distribution

For eBook distribution, the formatting that you use will require more than one version. If you are planning on doing eBook distribution you’ll need to consider flowable and fixed format for eBook distribution.

These will of course need to be in an EPUB file format in order to work on the most popular platforms like Kindle, Nook, and iBook. Along with these common platforms Palmetto Publishing additionally offers Kobo from Rakuten. Ebook distribution is a complex, ever-evolving topic. Every year, new retailers open their gates, while existing ones close so it’s best to always research the most recent platforms on the market.

You’ll also need metadata to upload to all of the different platforms that you choose to distribute to. Finally, it’s good to remember that distribution doesn’t include promotion. Get started with your eBook distribution process with our eBook conversion formatting service and eBook distribution marketing to make sure your book is not only discoverable on these platforms, but also makes a splash!

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Gearing up for your launch: setting up pre-orders, metadata, and pricing

It’s one thing to know the distribution process and make the important decisions about print or eBook or both, but your primary goal when having your product in stores is to get it in front of as many customers as possible (and to get them to buy it). Online stores are basically search engines these days, with Amazon being the world’s third-largest, after Google and YouTube.

As an author, you need to set your book up in such a way that readers can easily find it when searching for their next read. And to do that, you need to have a reasonable understanding of metadata, the pre-ordering process, and pricing strategy.

Book Metadata: categories and keywords

When uploading your ebook to any of the publishing platforms above, you’ll be asked to select “categories” and “keywords” for your book. These will basically tell the store – retailer or online platform – where to feature your book, and which readers to show it to. For example on the Kindle Store, which is 100% algorithm-driven, they are absolutely vital.

Don’t be intimidated if you haven’t done your research on categories and keywords yet. At Palmetto Publishing we have done all that research and are up-to-date with how to best feature your book for distribution. Keep in mind that simply listing it for the correct audience is not the same as marketing it to a wider audience or promotion which we can also provide as well.

Setting up pre-orders

Pre-orders are a simple yet effective way to gain visibility in a store before you launch your book. You just need to have your title and metadata ready and you can make your book available for pre-order. The pre-order term can be up to a year in advance of your publication date, but 3 to 6 months is common with indie authors.

Of course, pre-orders need to be promoted consistently to build a platform before launch. After working with indie authors for over 30 years, we have a winning pre-order launch strategy to built excitement and sales for your book.

Distribute with Palmetto Publishing

From typeface, to cover art and marketing, Palmetto Publishing is a one-stop-shop to get your book printed to your exact specifications and into the hands of readers around the world.

We offer assistance with every step of the book lifecycle, and with your creative direction, our comprehensive publishing services will help you develop a finished product that you can be proud of. Let’s get started by filling out our easy contact form so we know where to get started with making your book a reality!