STAGE 4A: Distribution Lecture 7 Publishing Principles and PracticeACP 2079
This Week’s Lecture is… • Based on a reading of the set text, Self-Publishing Made Simple by Euan Mitchell, pages 105-125.
Legal Deposit Before distributing books to the general public there is a simple but important step a publisher must take or be fined: Legal Deposit This involves sending a copy to both: • The National Library of Australia • Your State or Territory Library.
The Launch The launch is an event designed to publicise the release of a new title. • Large publishers will usually try to attract the media to a launch during normal business hours • Small publishers will usually try to attract friends and family of the author/s to a launch after hours (weeknights and weekends).
Before the Launch • The publisher distributes copies of the title to as many stores as possible before the publishing date (“pub date”). • These orders are known as “subs” (subscriptions) or “sell-ins”. • A publisher who does not have copies of a book on the shelves of most bookstores by the “pub date” will not last long in the job.
Traditional Distribution Stages • Introduce the title to stores via a sales representative (drives to the stores) • An order is placed with the distributor which may or may not be the publisher (see agencies on p.122) • The distributor:- picks,- packs, and- posts the book/s (including an invoice) • The distributor chases any unpaid invoices • The distributor returns a percentage to the publisher
GST $1 Retailer $4 Distributor $2.50 Publisher $3.50 Percentage Split of Revenue A reminder of the percentage that a distributor takesfrom an $11 book
Sale-or-Return vs Firm Sales • Bookstores generally stock books on a sale-or-return basis, i.e. if a book doesn’t sell within a certain time, then the store can return it for a refund. • Sometimes a store will buy books on a ‘firm order’ basis, but will ask for a higher discount such as 50%.
Direct Selling • Some publishers sell their books direct to customers via the internet, for example:http://www.lonelyplanet.com.au/ • But most big publishers are not yet prepared to upset their relationship with existing distributors, for example:http://www.penguin.com.au
Internet Distributors • Some internet distributors stock books as simply one more commodity they sell over the internet, for example:http://www.amazon.com • Some internet distribution is done by bookstores themselves, for example:http://www.angusrobertson.com.au
The Future of Distribution Recent challenges to the publishing industry: • Competition from other forms of entertainment and avenues of information • Competition from overseas bookstores such as Borders • Introduction of GST for books • Internet sales of books • Print on demand • E-books. <End>