Print Book Distribution in India: A Beginner’s Guide
Once you finish writing and editing your book, the next big step is to sell your book to the world’s reading audience. Book distribution is the crucial step for any self-published author that becomes the critical factor in determining the book’s success.
Self-publishing in India has become mainstream, and the list of authors and books becoming bestsellers is only on the rise. Today, distribution is a vital key that determines any author’s reach and success. Even if you write a path-breaking book without a proper distribution plan, it won’t get the recognition it deserves. So, self-published authors need to have an appropriate book distribution plan to reach the maximum number of potential readers.
In this article, we will look at the ways authors in India can successfully distribute print books.
Different Types of Book Distribution Options
The simple and straightforward definition of book distribution would be the process by which you can make print books and eBooks available on various platforms and outlets for the world to read. As far as eBook distribution is concerned, the availability is made possible by the online retail platforms or through eBook aggregators or by using both.
Even though eBooks have become increasingly popular, the majority of book sales still happen through print books. So, it is significant to know how to distribute your print books.
The different available options to distribute your print books include:
1. Offline Distribution
The physical book distribution is one of the ways new authors can find a readership. Let us not forget the positive aspects of offline book distribution with the advent of online avenues. You can always approach local bookshops to display your book. It can be an excellent way to start finding readership for your book. You can also sell the book to your family, friends, and colleagues. Remember not to give free copies to your social circle to ask since you need good sales for your book.
You can also do offline book distribution through events and speaking engagements. It works well if you have a non-fiction title. You can find events related to your book’s topic and find an avenue to sell it. For instance, if you have written a book on women entrepreneurship, you can look for conferences or speaking engagements related to women forums or business.
Finally, physical book distribution can also be done through institutions like companies, school libraries, etc. You can find such an arrangement and make your book sales there.
2. Online Distribution
Readers worldwide are buying books online, and it is only a minimum percentage of readers who prefer buying them through physical stores. It is a fact that the entire bookstore has moved online since people find it easier to find and buy the book sitting in their comfort zone.
Make sure you list your book online on various platforms since it gives your book more visibility and helps reach a maximum number of readers across the globe. One of the ways you can sell books online is through the author’s website. If you have a website, sell your books through it. The next best move is to approach a self-publishing company (like Pen2publishing) that will get your book globally distributed through multiple retail platforms.
Renowned authors’ books are sold like hotcakes. So, publishing companies are willing to invest that kind of money and resources in printing their books. It is not the same for self-published authors. If you are a new author, the best option you have is print-on-demand.
Print-on-demand is a massive game-changer in the self-publishing industry. As the name suggests, it is the printing technology that enables to print books when the demand arises. With advancements in digital printing technology, print-on-demand has become a convenient way for both publishers and authors.
Without spending an excessive amount of money, you can print your book when needed, unlike offset printing.
With offset printing, you need to print the books in bulk for cost-effective prices, and there was no option to print one copy alone. With print-on-demand, the author can print a stand-alone copy of their book.
How does Print-on-demand (POD) work?
The steps you need to take to have your books put in POD distribution:
- Your manuscript or book file needs to be saved in a print-ready format; that is, it has to be saved as a PDF and not a Word document. Make sure the book file is formatted and designed as per the specifications needed.
- Your book is listed on websites like Amazon, Flipkart, etc. When a reader places an order for your book, it gets notified to people associated with the book printing.
- The purchase order would specify the name of the book and the number of copies, it is then printed, and copies are sent out to the buyers.
The reader gets a freshly printed copy of your book through POD and not the copies stored in warehouses. Unlike the earlier printing process, where books are printed and wait for someone to buy, it happens the other way around. A buyer places the order, and then the book gets printed.
Advantages of POD
The various benefits of POD include the following:
- The option to print a single copy at a time. The author can order a single copy and have a look at how the book looks when printed.
- Each copy can be personalized. You can dedicate different copies to your social circle with different messages inside the book.
- It is easy to make corrections and revisions. For instance, if there is any significant change you want to incorporate, you can do that to the book file and later update it.
- The entire printing process is faster and cheaper compared to offset printing.
- There are no out-of-stock concerns here. The readers don’t have to feel frustrated seeing the message. Your book will be available for readers anytime when you avail of the print-on-demand option.
If you are self-publishing your book in India, print-on-demand is a better option to get your print books distributed to the reading world.