Lining up distribution early

A huge part of any self publishing effort – and from what I hear the one that makes most self publishing projects fall down – is distribution.

I don't know how easy it is to get on the books of a mainstream book distributor, but I intend to find out the only way I know how – write a story about them, give them free press and become their best friends.

I suggested it to my editor at Bookseller and Publisher and she liked the sound of it, but wanted to start by doing it with printers. That suited me fine, because it gave me the opportunity to forge a few relationships at book printers, which I certainly need.

Now, as of today, she's on the verge of agreeing to a similar thing for distributors, so my next step will be to interview them and then wrap up my contact with them by email and asking 'by the way, can I just ask you something for a project of my own…' The great thing about people you're interviewing for magazines is that they're twice as helpful as they are just when you say you have a project coming up.