As self-publishing continues to grow, it has become apparent that conventional publishers are losing one of our most important writers services: distribution through bookstores. For years, the very distributors’ publishers depended on by tapping into the self-publishing market are hedging their bets (and increasing their revenues). For instance, Ingram and BookBaby both offer distribution to chain authors and independent bookstores. And the Espresso Book Network is continuing to develop a new distribution option for libraries, bookshops, and others. Not to mention the obvious: ever more buyers actually choose to purchase Amazon’s print books and ebooks.
Alternative publishing is an important part of the business and probably here to stay. It is an essential corrective for authors who feel shut out of mainstream publishing, and it should be a wake-up call to publishers to think a little more creatively about what they are doing and expand the types of books they are publishing.
2. Because bookstores need authors just as much as authors need bookstores
Authors rely on certain functions that publishers and booksellers are performing if they are going to meet their potential readers. In addition, these facilities are essential for booking customers – all book customers – whether they buy print books or purchase e-books. Without the resources of publishers and bookstores it is doubtful that the books that consumers choose to read would be accessible in any fair way.
3. Because the author-bookstore relationship is essential
Although the system has its flaws, it has proven to be an extremely successful way for authors to find the audience for their books. And it is just as successful in presenting to readers to a large selection of quality books from which to choose.
4. Because self-publishing alone will not get your book to the masses
With incentives for book delivery, such as those offered by IngramSpark, self-published books provide the same incentives for delivery as traditionally published books do. This book distribution usually applies to all paper books and ebooks, and no matter what the type, it’s false that it won’t be published when you write a book yourself.
5. Because bookstores need authors as much as authors need bookstores
There are no bookstores with no books, and there aren’t many successful authors whose work isn’t affiliated with at least one major bookstore. The win-win situation for both parties pays to each of them.
6. To gain exposure
As you progress as a writer and gradually gain success through online bookstores, the exposure and reputation of your book as well as your writing prowess significantly increases.
7. To solidify a brand image in the writing community
By successfully marketing your releases to the intended market, consumers begin to form their own perceptions towards you and work as a brand- perceptions that you have the power to shape and influence.
8. For their own personal satisfaction
Many writers consider it a great achievement to release their work through online bookstores and at the same time make sales, gain traction, and become a legitimate player in the bookselling business. Too many authors in the writing world, this attainment is the epitome of self-fulfillment as an aspiring author and is a proud accomplishment to behold.