Print Sales and Distribution FAQs

If you have questions about our print book sales and distribution services, start here! If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, contact us.

What is the typical duration of your sales and distribution contracts?

The duration of each sales and distribution contract varies, but typically our contracts are in effect for periods of at least two (2) years.

Who are Bookmasters’ major trading partners for book sales?

Bookmasters sells to all major wholesalers and retailers, including Amazon, Baker & Taylor, Ingram, Barnes & Noble, Follett, and Books-a-Million to name a few. We also sell to regional wholesalers and retailers. The academic, public, and school library markets are covered by the wholesalers. Additionally, we sell to independent bookstores and specialty markets.

Once I have a sales and distribution contract with Bookmasters, how will I be able to access sales, inventory, and other reports?

Through Bookmasters' online Account Management Site (AMS), we provide a suite of reports that cover all aspects of the flow of inventory and revenues. Once your contract is signed and our relationship officially begins, we will send you a login and password to access AMS.

When will you begin to sell my book to resellers?

Once your contract is signed and our relationship officially begins, Bookmasters will begin sending your metadata and presenting your titles to the publishing industry trade per the terms of your contract.

What can I do to generate sales?

You need to have a marketing plan. In this crowded marketplace, you must have a marketing plan when your title is presented to the national accounts, typically 6 to 8 months before publication date. You are competing with thousands of other titles, so retail buyers need to have a reason to invest inventory dollars in your title. In addition, consumers need to know your book exists and where to find it.

Initially when you begin working with Bookmasters or send us a new title for sales and distribution, Bookmasters just needs an outline of your marketing plan. In the weeks and months before publication as your plan is executed, the outline should develop into a mixed list of confirmed future events and past successes. As this list grows, you can delete minor listings and keep the best.

Most marketing plans balance paid advertising and free publicity; they don’t need to be elaborate or expensive. The goal is a plan that matches your book and reaches your intended audience. There is an abundance of professional help available if your budget allows. Whether you hire help or do this yourself, your plan needs to be affordable, do-able, and effective.

How do bookstores order their merchandise if they do not go to Bookmasters directly?

Most independent bookstores and many chains order their books directly from wholesalers such as Baker & Taylor or Ingram.

Can bookstores order my title directly from Bookmasters?

Yes. They can order from Bookmasters by doing the following:

1. Placing their order from one of our sales catalogs through the Bookmasters sales representative who calls on their store.

2. Emailing their orders to orders@bookmasters.com.

3. Calling in their orders to 419.281.5100 (select option 3).

Into which trade channels does Bookmasters sell?

Bookmasters sells to all major wholesalers and retailers, including Amazon, Baker & Taylor, Ingram, Barnes & Noble, Follett, and Books-a-Million to name a few. We also sell to regional wholesalers and retailers. The academic, public, and school library markets are covered by the wholesalers. Additionally, we sell to independent bookstores and specialty markets.

What is metadata?

Metadata is all of the info associated with a book. Good metadata is the first step in marketing a book. When you look at a book on amazon.com, the metadata has provided all information about the book: title, author, price, description, ISBN, and the BISAC codes (the category into which Amazon files it and the category the reader searches to find it). Bookmasters also needs good metadata to ensure your book is loaded into our system and sales can be tracked on your book.

When should I send stock to Bookmasters' warehouse?

Your book should be in our warehouse at least 30 days before its publication date. Failure to do so could result in cancelled orders and lost sales.

Is Bookmasters compliant with all major commercial shipping account requirements with companies like Amazon, Baker & Taylor, Ingram, Barnes & Noble, etc.?

Yes. We provide a full suite of fulfillment services and work diligently to remain current on requirements as they evolve.

How quickly are my orders shipped?

Orders are typically shipped within one to two business days.

Can my books be returned?

Yes, the vast majority of traditional booksellers have the ability to return books they have purchased. Our goal at Bookmasters is to sell responsibly, so we aim to strike a balance between getting books to wholesalers and retailers while minimizing returns. However, returns are a part of any publisher or author's life and are dependent on genre, season, promotions, etc.

How much stock should I send to Bookmasters' warehouse?

As the publisher or author, it is a publishing industry best practice to monitor your inventory and maintain your stock levels at all times. Through Bookmasters' online Account Management Site (AMS), we provide a suite of reports to make this as easy for you as possible. If you aren't sure how much inventory you should store at Bookmasters' warehouse, all you have to do is ask and we'll be happy to work with you to decide upon the inventory levels that make the most sense for your titles. When applicable, you should also ask us how you can take advantage of Bookmasters' print-on-demand (POD) program to minimize your printing and storage costs.

How will I be able to monitor my inventory levels at Bookmasters?

Through Bookmasters' online Account Management Site (AMS), we provide a suite of reports to help you manage your inventory. Once your contract is signed and our relationship officially begins, we will send you a login and password to access AMS.

If Bookmasters handles the collection of my sales, when do I get paid?

Typically, our publishers are paid the majority of their funds within seven days from the end of the month in which funds are collected. Depending on your contract, a portion of your sales may be held for a slightly longer period as a returns reserve.

How do I properly report for sales tax collected by Bookmasters?

For fulfillment and distribution accounts for which Bookmasters invoices and collects sales revenue on behalf of the publisher, Bookmasters will invoice, collect, and remit sales taxes to the appropriate tax authority for consumer sales delivered to Ohio, New York, and Connecticut only. Other states in which the publisher has nexus are the responsibility of the publisher. Publishers may request in writing that Bookmasters collect sales tax to states in which the publisher has nexus. In those cases, the sales taxes collected will be remitted to the publisher for proper reporting and remittance to the appropriate state tax authority.

Bookmasters strongly advises all publishers to obtain and retain tax exemption certificates for all of their non-taxable sales. Bookmasters is required to maintain tax exemption certificates for all publishers and will gladly help any publisher obtain certificates from their customers.

Can Bookmasters sell my title(s) outside of North America?

Yes. Bookmasters has programs and sales partners covering select markets outside of North America, including the United Kingdom.

Does Bookmasters present titles to special markets?

Yes. We have an in-house team that targets special markets, such as craft stores, gourmet food stores, museums, hospitals, gift shops, specialty retail chains, mail order catalogs, specialty wholesalers, online resellers, bulk sales for promotional use, and other genre-specific sales outlets.