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Distribution to stores
Distribution to stores

The facts on distribution — what it is and what's possible for your book.

Ash Davies avatar
Written by Ash Davies
Updated over a week ago

Distribution is the process that puts your book in reach of bookstores, libraries, and readers. In essence, it creates a listing for your book with Ingram, so it is always virtually in-stock and ready to be purchased by online and bricks-and-mortar stores.

Distribution basics

Here are the basic steps.

Tablo prepares and sets up your book

  • We set up your book with our distribution partner, Ingram.

  • Next, Ingram sends information about your book out to the 39,000 bookstores, online retailers, libraries, and schools that make up its global network.

Your book is available to order

  • Online retailers create your book page.

  • Physical bookstores are able to see that your book is available and ready to order.

Placing orders

  • Retailers place orders for print copies.

  • Ordered books are printed on demand and shipped to retailers to store or sell to their customers.

How much can I earn?

Your royalty depends on a few factors, such as your list price, book size and book binding method. Here are some examples of common book types and prices.


Paperback, 6x9 in, 200 pages, black text, 50lb cream

List Price

Royalty $

Royalty %


US $1.78



US $2.38



US $2.98



US $3.58



Paperback 8.5x8.5 in, 24 pages, premium color, 70lb white

Retail Price

Royalty $

Royalty %


US $1.53



US $2.13



US $2.73



US $3.33



US $1.53


Distribution questions

How does print-on-demand work for a bookstore?

Print-on-demand distribution means your book is always virtually in-stock. A bookstore can see in their inventory system that your book is available to order. After ordering, the books are printed and shipped from the closest print facility.

Can you speed up distribution?

No, there isn't a way that distribution can be sped up. How quickly an online bookstore updates their listings is ultimately controlled by the store.

Why have some some retailers listed my book before others?

Your book will not appear available on all sites at the same time. Some bookstores receive information before others, or process the information more quickly.

Amazon will list your book in the US first before their other sites. But the sites are all linked. So Amazon UK or Amazon Australia may show in the days after your release that orders are coming from the US only. This will not last.

Why is my cover image not displayed with my book?

Stores also update book listings in stages, rather than all at once. You might find your book listed, but without a cover for now. There isn't a way for Tablo to speed up this activity. It's all very normal, and a feature of a complex industry with many suppliers, distributors and store partners.

Why is a retailer displaying an "out of stock" message?

This can happen. Each store has their own way of telling if a book is available to order, and a different way of describing availability status on their website.

Your book is printed on-demand, so it is always available to be ordered — even if a store shows "unavailable" or "out of stock". These messages are temporary. That's because our distributor is constantly updating its partners with current information about titles, so that they can update their listing and show your book as "in stock".

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