Book distribution remains one of my favorite topics. When I was working as a book distributor, I spoke to literally hundreds, if not thousands of publishers, many of them new or relatively new to the business. Almost all of them had misconceptions or misunderstandings about how the distribution business works. Distribution and book distributors of all types continue to play a critical role for publishers, especially if they want to reach the core retail book marketplace. Certainly, specialty publishers, with very focused programs continue to find better alternatives for reaching their markets. And online direct to consumer and other alternative distribution channels continue to grow.
But the distribution function remains critical, and over the next few weeks and months I will do more posts here about this subject and working with Publishers Lunch and Publishers Marketplace, will try to lay out a pretty comprehensive dataset and description of all of the distribution options available to publishers (and authors who publish), along with a running commentary and some predictions about the future of book distribution and retailing.