For any author—and publisher—navigating the sea of digital-book retailers is no easy feat. Amazon, iBookstore, and Barnes & Noble are the well-known giants, together accounting for an estimated 95% of the ebook market. But what about those other e-retailers making a splash: Kobo, Samsung, Sony, Google Play, and Baker & Taylor? Below we dive into these emerging markets:
Occasionally an author will see a listing for her book on a website she's had no previous contact with. Of course, the immediate question is, "Why are they selling my book? I never engaged with them to do so."
Chances are, they're not really selling it. When an author registers an ISBN with Bowker, that information goes into Bowker's Books in Print database. Many booksellers license BIP, and list the entire contents of it on their websites. They probably haven't made vendor agreements with many of the publishers in Books in Print. They're not stocking the books in their warehouses. If they receive enough orders for the book, they'll track down the publisher and arrange a vendor agreement.
As a publisher, the bookstore is actually your customer. And of course you want to give your customer good service.
Customers respond well when they are treated well. They buy more of your product. So it's very much in your interest to treat booksellers the way they want to be treated, even if it means a little extra work and thought; bookstores are the portal to your readers.
Some general rules of thumb: