Blitzprint as my book publisher. Being located in Calgary, I felt that the shipping costs for my paperbacks would be lower than from some distant publisher. I also was attracted by their online store.
Though I did sell about 20 copies of When a Man Loves a Rabbit through the bookstore, I sold more than 200 books through rabbit-related e-mail lists and the alt.pets.rabbits newsgroup.
Encouraged by this success, I published Deliverance from Jericho, a memoir of my six-year-exile to a school for the blind in Vancouver, British Columbia. I don't remember any copies of that book selling through the online store.
When I received the sad news in 2008 that Blitzprint would soon close their online store and book distribution department, I felt upset and betrayed. Even so, I paid the shipping cost to receive the books that remained in their warehouse rather than have them recycled.
I recently visited Blitzprint's site to find out if they had re instituted their online shop. The following explanation amply explains why they discontinued their distribution operations. The web site said in part, "There was a time when Blitzprint did distribute books. But an analysis of our sales data revealed that 99 percent of listed titles sold less than one copy per month. The fact is that distribution does not sell books. The myth is that it does—a myth on which a great many vanity publishers are founded: Give them your money, they stock your book, and it becomes a best seller. Like we said, it’s a myth."
While an online bookstore presence is helpful, writers need to work hard and long to promote their work. It would be nice if we had the automatic sales we hoped for but it doesn't come easy. In fact, The Authors Show promotional instructions taught me that out of a thousand people receiving my book advertisement, only five would buy a copy. This sad-but-true statistic means that we have to blitz social media as well as remind every contact we have about our book. That's just the way it is.
To read the rest of the article regarding distribution and fulfillment, visit the Blitzprint page.
As for my books, Amazon and Barnes & Noble stock my newly published How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity memoir while Virtual Bookworm stocks the paperback version. My previous memoirs are available at the Bruce Atchison's books link.
Bruce Atchison is a freelance writer and author living in Radway, Alberta with his house rabbit, Deborah.