One of the challenges of being a self-published author is that the national literary distribution system is (generally) off-limits to you. So you labor for months or years to create your book, you print it — and then, you’re forced to sell them one at a time, hoping to break through the noise on Amazon or travel bookstore-by-bookstore seeking consignment agreements.
Self-published authors face this headwind for three reasons.
First, because very many self-published titles are hyper-niche, they struggle to compete for space on physical retail shelves. As such, most distributors elect to avoid the entire class of self-published books as being too much work for too little revenue, in the aggregate.
Second, something like 70 percent of all new books entering the market are self-published nowadays. Between roughly 300,000 traditionally published books and 700,000 self-published books, the risk of including self-published authors in the distribution system is that wholesale bookbuyers will be overwhelmed, breaking the model for everyone. No one can keep up with 300,000 new titles a year — so jumping to 1 million new titles a year is mind-bogglingly complex.
Third, the quality of self-published work varies considerably, from manifestos generated in Microsoft Word to well-developed books of extraordinary insight and literary value. But because you have to see a book to know whether it’s awful or awfully great, there’s a layer of built-in friction between these authors and potential wholesale buyers. That’s why traditional publishing, with its editorial gatekeeping standards, is such an important consideration within the industry.
Lakeshore Literary Logistics is proud to offer print distribution services to emerging self-published talent. Our model curates the best of self-published work — books we believe that can sell in a physical bookstore. Our rates are favorable and we don’t overwhelm with unnecessary red tape.
Check out our Self-Published Authors page for program details and a get-started online form.