Book Distribution Know-How


Without effective book distribution, every other step of your publishing process can go to waste. You can publish the perfect, great American novel, with flawless editing and attractive design.

Modern Book Distribution

You can put together a first-rate marketing campaign that reaches thousands of readers who are now clamoring to buy your book. But if it isn’t available for them, or is hard to find, all of these efforts will amount to nothing.

Until fairly recently, distribution represented the main obstacle that stopped self-publishers from getting their books to readers. The digital revolution in publishing pretty much turned this situation on its head. Now, more than half of all book sales, whether in ebook or print format, take place online. Self-published authors have the same access to this vast online book market as traditional publishers.

Ultimately, though, your goal is to make your book available as widely, and in as many formats, as possible. Getting your book into bookstores is still a bit more challenging than online retailers. Izzard’s book distribution services will help make your book available at up to 39,000 bookstores and beyond. But demand for your book needs to be created, or else your distribution efforts won’t bring results.

Making Metadata Work For You

It’s up to you to use the tools at your disposal, such as metadata, to help create this demand and make sure your book ends up in front of the right readers. This can include a range of items that serve different purposes, but all ultimately will help the right readers find your book. Our book distribution services are here to help.

You will need a short description for retailers. Aim for about 350 characters that will grab and hold the attention of readers. You’ll also want a longer description that can run up to 4000 characters.

Keywords will help your audience find your book either on Amazon or in a general internet search. Amazon uses internal keywords, while general SEO terms should be included in your book blurb and product description to be found on search engines like Google. They will also help bookstores classify your work.

BISAC categories are used to determine shelving in bookstores and categorization and marketing efforts. Choosing the right categories is important in getting your book in front of the right readers. Choose three, and look for codes that best reflect the content of your book. Think about which readers will be most intrigued by your book, and what categories they would seek out. Avoid general categories, like ‘fiction’, in favor of more specific.

ISBNs are a series of numbers used to identify your book for booksellers and readers. They are required for print books. If you only plan to sell your book digitally, however, you’ll need to look into the specific requirements of each site where you want to sell your book. For example, Amazon does not require an ISBN, but Apple does.

The key is to use all of this metadata to properly target the readers who will be most interested in reading your book. Missing the mark on this metadata can stop your intended audience from finding your book in the first place.


A foreword by a well-known author in your genre, or another writer whose name would be meaningful for the readers you want to reach, can make all the difference in the world. It can act as an extended endorsement, and simply having their name associated with your book can draw the right kind of attention. It may seem a long shot to get your first choice author to write your foreword, but you might be surprised to read the many stories of authors who have succeeded with exactly that. Remember, getting a foreword in your book is great publicity for them as well!

Other book distribution choices

Izzard’s book distribution services will help you with the range of other choices that fall under book distribution. This can include visual options such as the size and color of your pages, as well as pricing choices. Working with Izzard instead of a traditional publisher allows you to set your own price point. Pricing your book appropriately is essential, and our experts will help you take stock of all the factors to determine the right price.

As a rule of thumb, non-fiction normally retails for about $24.95 for a 325 page, paperback book, while a paperback fiction book of the same length would retail for around $16.95. Some fiction, such as historical fiction, tends to see a higher price point due to the added value of in-depth historical research. When it comes to ebooks, collaborative and self-published books tend to max out around $9.95. Izzard’s experts can offer some key tricks to help you get the most out of this step. For example – a price point of 2.99 can offer a 70 percent royalty instead of the 35 percent royalty from a 0.99 book.

The Power of a Distribution Network

Distribution is about making your book available and making sure it can be found by the right readers. There is plenty of overlap with marketing and PR, which helps to ensure there is demand in place for your distribution efforts to meet. Many fine points of distribution are not utilized properly by many self-publishers, so this is another chance to stand out from the rest.

In one example of how book distribution services can bring real results when Dr. Carol Swain mentioned Izzard’s The Naked Communist on Fox News, our distribution network was in place and ready to go. With this unexpected promotional catalyst, all we had to do was sit back and watch the sales roll in. If our distribution network had been unprepared, it would have been a waste of a massive opportunity.

Our book distribution services will help put a plan in place for your book so that all of your other publishing work, from writing and editing to design and marketing can make their impact to generate sales.

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