Useful information for writers, authors and independent book publishers.


What sells? Last year, nonfiction books outsold fiction by two to one. Nonfiction books sold $55 billion while fiction sold only $25 billion worldwide.

Your Marketing Plan. (Excerpt from A Simple Guide to Marketing Your Book by Mark Ortman) Planning is essential to the success of your book. With so many distribution and promotional options available to the author-publisher, a clearly written marketing plan is the best way to maximize your efforts. Your marketing plan is the compass for a productive book selling campaign and a requirement of many distribution channels. Components of your marketing plan are:

Free Exposure at Trade Shows. To have your book displayed for free at a trade show, simply ask. Phone all the catalog houses, wholesalers and distributors who stock your title and ask which trade shows they will be attending during the year. Determine which shows are a good subject fit, then ask them to include your book in their display.

Update Your Mailing List. Did you know that 22% of the US population moved last year? 40 million address changes are submitted to the Postal Service annually. Of theose, 16% are moves without a forwarding address. How are you keeping your mailing list current?

Poetry Gaining Popularity. According to figures just released by the Book Industry Study Group (, interest in poetry and drama has grown by over 33% since 1992. Whole no specific poet seems to be leading this change, the genre overall is enjoying a revival.

Where Books Sell. As indicated by the 2000 Consumer Research Study on book publishing, books are being sold at the following locations:

Book Wholesalers. Wholesalers stock, pick, pack, ship and collect, and then pay the publisher 90 days later on orders received for your book. For this service, they want a 55% discount off the list price. Most are "Demand Wholesalers" meaning they fufillorders for your book based on the demand that you create. In other words, wholesalers do not create a demand, they only satisfy a demand. When sales at the retail level are poor, returns are likely. Some publishers have difficulty securing a wholesaler. If submitting your title with a marketing plan, and yielding no results, all is not lost. Go out and create a demand. If enough people ask for your book, the wholesaler will be forced to stock your title. There are hundreds of wholesalers in the country, some national (Ingram and Baker & Taylor), some regional (Koen & Partners) and many who specialize in a niche market. If a wholesale channel rejects your title, call and ask why. The rejection may be based on a negotiable point. To find wholesaler's specialty, consult the American Book Trade Directory and Literary Market Place in the library.

Distribution for Small Publishers. Ingram and PMA (Publishers Marketing Association) announce a new program called Ingram Express for publishers with fewer than 10 titles. If participating small publishers meet four simple requirements, Ingrram will stock the title and add it to their inventory. For consideration, the title must have: An ISBN number on the back cover, the EAN barcode on the back cover, the title on the spine and the price clearly marked on the cover. For details, contact (615) 793-5555 ext7584 or check out Ingram's website at


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