How to Submit Your Self-Published Book Directly for Sale to the Top Online Retailers

Retailers sell your book directly to the customer. According to industry reports, online book sales account for the majority of books sold in the U.S., and Amazon significantly dominates the market.

To generate revenue from book sales, retail outlets either:

  • Receive a discount off the suggested retail price of the book (known as the “wholesale price”) when they purchase the book from a distributor. This is the most common revenue model for brick-and-mortar bookstores. The expected discount is at least 50% (but usually more).

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  • Keep a percentage of the money received when a book is sold to a customer. This is the most common revenue model for online retailers.

Some retailers allow authors/publishers to distribute their books directly to the retail outlet without having to go through a distributor or aggregator. Here is how to distribute your book directly to five of the largest online book retailers: Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Google Play and Kobo (includes Walmart).

AMAZON: Direct distribute via: Amazon KDP (print books and eBooks) and ACX (audiobooks) Notes: Amazon also offers the free Kindle Create app to format eBooks.

APPLE BOOKS: Direct distribute via: iTunes Connect (eBooks and audiobooks) Notes: Requires use of an Apple computer/device and iTunes Producer app. Apple also offers the free iBooks Author app to format eBooks.

BARNES & NOBLE: Direct distribute via: Barnes & Noble Press (print books and eBooks - audiobooks via aggregator only)

GOOGLE PLAY: Direct distribute via: Google Play Books Partner (eBooks and audiobooks) Notes: Direct distribution intermittently closes to new publishers.

KOBO (includes Walmart): Direct distribute via: Kobo Writing Life (eBooks - audiobooks coming soon) Notes: Also publishes to Overdrive (online library)


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