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Sales, marketing and distribution

Selling in the book trade is a highly competitive business. So many books are now being published that you have next to no chance of getting a book accepted in the trade unless you promote it professionally.

While the ISBN number and website listing we arrange for your book will make it available to anyone who wants to order it, it does not mean that bookshops will stock it. They will normally only buy in books in numbers if they are professionally “sold-in” (by a sales representative) and have clear commercial appeal.

All books we produce are given an ISBN and barcode to allow them to be identified and ordered worldwide. We add a page about your book to our website, and it will be listed on the major bookselling websites – Amazon, Waterstones, WH Smith and, in the USA, Barnes & Noble. To achieve this we provide full bibliographic data management of your book. This includes supplying your book’s metadata using the industry standard data system Onix and regularly updating that information. Through this system we supply your data to Nielsen, Gardners, Bertrams, Amazon and many others.

Our sales team
We are one of the very few UK self-publishing companies which can offer authors a full retail trade distribution and sales representation service, with a team of dedicated, professional and recognised sales reps to promote your book to the head office buyers of high-street bookshop chains to encourage them to order copies for stock.

Marketing your book to the retail trade is the best way to help it to sell outside your circle of family and friends. Without this, the retailers are unlikely to agree to stock it or buy copies except to meet individual orders.

If we feel your book has potential for commercial sales, we will offer an appropriate range of services to help you achieve this. Some of these may be chargeable (for example, PR/publicity services).

If we believe your book has commercial potential we will add the book to our monthly list of titles, which our sales team present to head office buyers of the major book retailers. This means we will have to print a minimum stock quantity of between 50 and 500 books and there is a charge for this.

We print a single-sheet promotional flyer (a book trade Advanced Information or AI sheet) about each of our marketed books, to introduce the books to the trade. Our sales team will present the AI sheet to wholesalers, library suppliers, chain-store book buyers and specialist outlets as well as local and online bookshops. We’ll send you copies for your own use if you wish.

Your book will go on sale as soon as we have finished producing it, but if we think the book could generate national media interest, we may advise you to delay the publication date for a short while. This will enable us to give long-lead-time media (trade publications and monthly magazines which work 4–6 months ahead) sufficient advance information to publicise your book in a timely way to make the most of its publicity potential.

If we make your book available for sale via our sales representation team, delaying the official publication date will enable us to make the most of sales and publicity opportunities.  The trade plans many months ahead. You will therefore need to allow time for it to make an impact in the market – typically around six to nine months.

Our book publicist
We can bring in our very experienced book PR specialist, Elly Donovan PR, to mount a media campaign to promote your book. She handles short and long-lead campaigns for both non-fiction and fiction titles, working with authors and publishers to ensure maximum coverage across print, broadcast and web media.

This service may include:

Preparing press material to engage press interest.

Distributing the material to key media contacts, offering a copy for review, with interviews and extracts.

Liaison with journalists to set up interviews.

Compiling long and short-lead mailing review lists and submitting books as appropriate.

Maintaining links with a range of media to follow up and consolidate all leads, sending the
author regular reports and copies of coverage.

Arranging for placement of features written by the author to promote a book.

Where appropriate, organising author events such as signings and lectures.

Our publicist can offer you a range of publicity options (a menu of PR campaign packages at
different prices). These will take account of your own budget, but will be at additional cost to the fees you
pay to Memoirs Publishing for the production of you book. Elly’s PR campaign budgets start at around
£350 and rise to £2000, depending on what is required and on the expected potential media interest for
your book.

While securing media coverage is extremely competitive and there are no guarantees of what coverage
will be generated, Elly is extremely experienced and has a track record of delivering national and niche
media coverage. She also has great contacts with many of the most influential journalists and producers.

To get the best possible media coverage for you, Elly is happy to discuss options with you to take account
of your available budget. If you would like to contact her directly, please ask us for her details.

A word about sales
While some  books sell hundreds or even thousands of copies, such numbers are usually only achieved for titles which have strong commercial appeal and are supported by additional investment in marketing. Most books sell only a handful of copies. Accordingly we do not advise authors to invest in publishing a book on the assumption that it will achieve a substantial return. The good news is that royalty rates are much higher with self-publishing than with most trade publishing deals, so you will make a worthwhile profit on each copy sold – BUT please remember that the higher cost of producing and distributing long books (see FAQs) can severely affect royalties.

We will support marketed books by arranging distribution so that they are available to order in the marketplace. When book retailers take one of our titles for stock they are likely to need an immediate and ongoing supply of large numbers of books (usually several hundred), so we bring in a professional trade distribution company to handle this aspect of the sales chain efficiently. Our distributor is Orca Book Services (see below) who work closely with our sales team to ensure the whole sales and distribution process is handled as efficiently as possible.

Trade enquiries - Who to contact

For all UK trade orders contact our distributors: Orca Book Services Ltd, 160 Milton Park,
Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX14 4SD
Tel: +44 (0)1235 465500

For all trade sales queries our representatives are: D J Segrue Ltd, First Floor, 9 Church Road, Stanmore, Middlesex HA7 4AR
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8420 6548

For general and international enquiries: Memoirs Publishing Ltd, 1A, The Wool Market, Dyer Street,
Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 2PR
Tel: +44 (0) 1285 640485


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