Self-Publishing Book Distribution is NOT the Same

If you think the book distribution network available through all the different self-publishing companies is the same, think again! Most of them offer varying levels of “global reach” and some even offer different degrees of distribution within their own companies.

What is a “distribution network?”

A distribution network is a way of describing the way all books are sourced, warehoused, distributed, and sold. They use “metadata” to define the distribution record for each book. So, if you want your book available at more places around the world, you need to make sure your metadata is as good as it can be.

Okay… what is “metadata?”

Simply put, metadata is what publishers provide to distributors and retailers about books for the purposes of informative distribution. Unbeknownst to most authors, there is a great divide between the metadata provided by the various self-publishers. Some self-publishing companies provide distributors like Ingram the bare minimum while others provide the whole enchilada. The better and more thorough the metadata, the better and more thorough the distribution. Distributors (such as Ingram) and retailers (like Amazon and Barnes & Noble) have additional “fields” for additional book details that help to classify, catalog, and categorize books in a more effective manner. By the same token, search engines perform more accurately when more metadata is distributed about books. The end result? Better search results, more accurate search results, and by that logic, “higher” search results in the results. In a nutshell: better and easier “findability” for your book. I.e., a greater potential for greater sales.

Want a real-world example?

Let’s use to compare the distribution network for two comparable novels, one published by Amazon and one published by Outskirts Press. You can confirm these facts yourself by visiting Book Finder, or use to compare the distribution network of any of the publishers you are considering.

Example # 1 Published by Amazon

Title: Chances
Author: Regina Bishop
ISBSN-13: 9798218187880
Paperback Pages: 205
Distribution Network:

Note: The above screen shot is taken directly from for full transparency. Please click on the image to enlarge it to full viewing size.

Example #2 Published by Outskirts Press

Title: David’s Sling
Author: Andrew Ceroni
ISBSN-13: 9781977253330
Paperback Pages: 318
Distribution Network:

Note: The above screen shot is taken directly from for full transparency. Please click on the image (and then use the magnifying glass) to enlarge it to full viewing size. It was too long to fit, otherwise.

As you can see, all self-publishing companies are not created equal. Have you written a book that you’d like to publish and sell globally?

Connect with a Publishing Consultant today to learn how Outskirts Press can help YOU publish YOUR masterpiece:

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