Far and Wide ... Or Not
To illustrate how distribution affects production and printing, one of our clients self-distributes his book to customers who come to him for his services. Because he personally handles most of his distribution and his books are relatively small, it is ideal for him to keep his stock at his business. Distribution consists of the printer delivering boxes of books to the author's business and him handing them out one at a time. He has no real need for an ISBN or pricing barcode, but includes them on his book to give it a look of professionalism and value, enhancing the impression created when he hands it out. Of course, the book can also easily be sold (at retail bookstores, for instance) since it is already properly labeled.
Another client sells his books directly by mail order, on his web site, and to local independent bookstores. He also sells to remote bookstores through a wholesale distributor, so an ISBN is required. For the mail and web site sales, he deals with packaging, labels, postage, invoicing, credit card acceptance, and mail or UPS charges, depending on quantity. For the local sales, he delivers the books himself (invoicing, boxes, time, gas, and parking charges can all apply).
If you will offer your book on Amazon.com, you have a different set of requirements. An ISBN is required but a UPC (Universal Product Code) is not. Many bookstores require an EAN (European Article Number) instead of a UPC, and in 2007 the ISBN was supplanted by the EAN (also called ISBN-13), although both continue to be used. For each of these codes, there are standard locations where they are to be included, some within the book and some on the cover. In special circumstances, such as a book commissioned by a client, you may need to include a product or item number.
RealityIsBooks titles are available for distribution worldwide through partners working with our printing and distribution source, Ingram Content Group. Distribution is also made through Espresso Book Machine installations worldwide. There is no additional cost to the author to include a book in the EBM catalog or through other distributors in Canada and Mexico, South America, Africa, England and Europe, India and Asia, and Australia. The same book produced for the American market needs only to be designated as included. Practically speaking, books written in English require a customer who speaks English, so functional distribution is primarily to English-speaking countries and those with some English-speaking population. Books sold outside the United States are priced in Canadian dollars, British pounds, Euros, and Australian dollars for those markets. In other locations local retailers determine selling prices. Please contact us with any questions.