Becoming a published author and getting your book into stores is a difficult journey for any writer. But, if you write Christian books, there’s an added layer of difficulty. Most publishers and distributors only work with mainstream writers and may not see the market value. This is why you should focus on finding good Christian book distributors.
What are Christian Book Distributors
While publishers do the work of creating physical copies of books, they often hand-off the task of distributing to third-parties. It’s the distributors who send books to the wholesalers and bookstores. Christian-specific distributors will focus only on the Christian book market. Your book would end up on shelves in Christian bookstores and markets.
In effect, the publisher creates the book and gets the distributor to distribute them throughout the market. If any books are sold, authors will get their royalties. The books that aren’t sold are returned back to the publisher. This is how the typical publishing system works, but technology has changed the game.
There are Print-on-Demand services and digital copies that allow authors to bypass traditional publishing. Rather than printing a bunch of copies, POD allows a distributor to print a copy after an order has come in. That means the process has been streamlined to be cheaper and with less waste. The whole book selling process is leaving the shelves behind.
How Christian Book Distributors Help You As An Author
There are a lot of different ways that Christian book distributors can help you. Right now, the most popular method of selling books is through websites. You can download a digital copy straight to your tablet, phone, or reading device. Or, anyone who is surfing the web for Christian books can find it on a website.
Christian book distributors may not be as numerous, but there are plenty of options to choose from to distribute your book. Here are several Christian distributors and a little about what they do:
Anchor has been serving Christian bookstores since 1970. They’re the middle party between publishers and bookstores. A publisher would send your book to Anchor to distribute them. They don’t just work with Christian bookstores, but also sell all sorts of Christian book products on their website. From Bibles to church supplies, Anchor does it all.
ChristianBook.com formerly known as literally “Christian Book Distributors” is the Amazon of Christian stuff. They sell everything you can imagine, from decorations and Christmas ornaments to clothing, gifts, and games. They also sell books! In fact, ChristianBooks.com takes it to the next level by offering services to help get Christians authors in the limelight.
According to their website, many Christian agents and publishers are looking for Christian books. The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association is a group you can submit your proposal to. This is a smart way for ChristianBook.com to get more books sold through their website, including offering other services.
Amazon is the worldwide leader of book sales. Whatever the genre, they have it, including Christian books. They also have a massive market for their self-publishing services. You can self-publish your book as a digital download directly to Kindle, or go through CreateSpace for a paperback.
CreateSpace will allow you to upload your manuscript and they’ll distribute it on their website. You can set the price, but the marketing and cover design are on you. Selling your book will be just like POD, as they will print a copy as soon as someone purchases on Amazon. It’s a great way to get your book out there.
Barnes & Noble
B&N is just like Amazon, but they still have actual brick-and-mortar stores out there. While Borders and other physical booksellers have gone out of business, Barnes & Noble, along with the bookstore mystique, still exists. Also, like Amazon, they have their own device, called The Nook.
You can self-publish through their website and get your book available to download. For Christians looking for a way to get their work out there, this is yet another option for them.
Ingram Publishing is also known as Ingram Content Group. They don’t just distribute books but have the whole package to help Christian writers. According to their website, Ingram offers ‘complete publishing solutions’ designed for writers to get their work out there.
If you have a manuscript, they’ll print it any way you want. Hardcover, softcover, POD, and more. Do you want help with creating and distributing digital copies? They do that. How about marketing services to get your book out there? Yes, you’ll find that with Ingram. They’ll even help you keep track of merchandising, sales, stock status, and more.
Smashwords is an independent digital publishing and distribution company. Smashwords may not seem like one of your typical Christian book distributors but they single handedly hand a large amount of book distributions to the most important digital book marketplaces. They will take your manuscript and put it everywhere that accepts the digital format, from Amazon and Barnes & Noble to Sony and Apple. Digital is the future of books, so ensure your book is on that platform is essential.
Deciding Between Christian Book Distributors
Christian book distributors know the market and can do a better job at getting your book placed where it will sell the best. While these distributors to help get your book out there, they specialize in representing the genre as a whole. There is a market for your book, and a Christian distributor will help you through the process, from marketing to design. When deciding which distributor to use you should use the one that best matches your book format and genre.
Being a Christian author is rewarding work. There are millions of Christians out there who may need your content and will be appreciative to have it. To help others grow in Christ is a special feeling. The hard part is the writing. With technological advances, it’s easier than ever to get your book in front of as many eyes as possible.