It’s important for authors or recording artists to do their homework on any distributors they are approaching to sell their titles especially if they are first starting out. You can search the Internet for a list of the top book distributors. Although the challenging economic climate has eliminated many poorly run distributors it’s important to know who you are in business with before you sign any agreements. Not all distributors are the same.

Here are several tips to consider in the evaluation process:

* Check references by asking other artists about a specific distributor. Check blogs, websites and social marketing sites for the latest information. Poor reputations are hard to hide with today’s technologies.
* Find out what their payment terms are and be specific. Most distributors try to pay in 90 days and some will drag it on beyond that. Ask when their payment cycles begins and endz and try to negotiate a better deal.
* Ask about their return policy and who pays for freight for orders made or returns sent back. Also find out how and when returns are charged back.
* Find out and confirm their focus markets. If they specialize try and determine how much of that market they own. It’s also a good idea to find out who their top competitors are so you know who to call next.
* Ask if it’s possible to get a listing of all the industries they specialize in or sell to for both domestic and international clients. They might not provide a list of their clients but you certainly should know what markets or industries they concentrate on to determine who else you need to speak with to satisfy your marketing and distribution plan.
* Try and have at least two distributors for every market you choose to be in. Competition is a great thing.
* Don’t be afraid to walk away if your instincts tell you to. Bad deals cost you money!

Its not uncommon for new authors or recording artists to feel like they have no power or negotiation rights. I always had the attitude that I already was talking to them about best selling titles and tried to come from a confident position. The bottom line for most distributors is making money. Don’t be concerned with getting your title into every distributor. Its more important to get them with the “right” distributors.

Author's Bio: 

Rick Lite is the marketing and distribution brains behind Stress Free Kids. He has launched dozens of book and CD titles over the past 7 years. His marketing strategies have included creating partnerships with domestic and international distributors, online and catalog resellers, digital download distributors and many non for profit organizations that use titles for fund-raising events. Over the last 7 years, Rick has been responsible for selling over 100,000 units of book and CD titles through and has several titles “in-store” with Borders, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million.

He is available for a free phone consultation by calling (770) 321-4066 or emailing