Distribution FAQ & Policies

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Legacy Isle Publishing offers an optional Distribution Services upgrade for our Professional and Photo Legacy Packages* which gives clients access to the Hawai‘i retail book market. While the Distribution Services upgrade is a paid program, direct marketing services are not included—clients are responsible for their own publicity and marketing efforts—and there is no guarantee that particular retail locations will opt to carry a title.

The Distribution Services upgrade is for the client who desires retail visibility for a book and needs assistance in simplifying the process. The service is most productive for a client who has other means of selling large quantities of a book (for example, speaking engagements or bulk purchases by the client’s customers) but who also wants to optimize the chances of consumers finding the book on the local retail book market.

To get the most out of your Distribution Services upgrade, we recommend exploring your marketing plans and options with your Legacy Isle representative and making a realistic assessment of your potential sales market.

We do not accept clients for the Distribution Services upgrade who are not producing their books using Legacy Isle publishing services.

What does the Distribution Services upgrade include?

The Distribution Services upgrade is an add-on to our Professional Package (or Photo Legacy Package with Professional Upgrade). As part of the Professional Package each client receives a Publicity Package CD that includes our Book Marketing Guidelines and a professionally written press release tailored to your title; a 30-day Legacy Client Spotlight Feature placement on our website; and a listing on our Legacy Clients Bookshelf.

Additional services in the Distribution Services upgrade include:

  • An initial publicity blast by Legacy Isle Publishing introducing your new book to appropriate media.
  • Your title made available for Hawai‘i retail channel distribution, which may include local bookstores and "big box" stores at the distributor’s discretion.
  • Direct-to-consumer order and fulfillment services via the Legacy Isle online bookstore and phone order service. We will also accept “snail mail” orders for your book.
  • An additional 300 copies printed for the retail distribution market, inventory to be warehoused by Legacy Isle Publishing.
  • An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) registered to Legacy Isle Publishing as the publisher of record.

What’s not included?

  • Publicity and marketing services: Legacy Isle will issue an initial announcement to appropriate media contacts and book buyers regarding a title’s release. However, clients are then responsible for following up themselves with media outlets and pursuing additional publicity and marketing endeavors on their own.
  • Additional inventory: Our long experience in the Hawai‘i book trade has shown that 300 copies is an average number of books for an independent author to have available for normal retail market consumption during the launch period. If demand for a title exceeds inventory, you will be notified and will determine whether or not to print additional copies at that time.
  • Advertising and other paid retailer programs: Some retailers offer paid-placement programs to guarantee visibility in certain locations within their stores. Other retailers require an advertising placement before they will stock your title. Any such costs are the responsibility of the client. No such agreements will be entered into on your behalf without prior authorization.

What are the terms of the Distribution Services upgrade?

  • Legacy Isle Publishing and the client split the NET REVENUE per sale on a 50-50 basis. This is the amount Legacy Isle receives from the distributor after all discounts taken by the retailers and distributor. (Discounts to retailers and distributors may amount to as much as 65% off the retail price. Sales made via Legacy Isle’s direct-to-consumer channels typically net 60-100% of the retail price.) Payments will be issued twice annually (reporting period closings on March 31 and September 30, checks issued on or about April 30 and October 31).
  • Legacy Isle will work with the client to determine an appropriate retail list price for each title.
  • The Distribution Services upgrade is subject to a one-year term agreement. Legacy Isle agrees to distribute the client’s title for a full year or until there is no available stock, whichever comes first. Clients will be given the option to print more books should stock be depleted before the one-year term is completed.
  • Clients have the option of terminating the distribution contract at any time during the term and receiving all available books back. If the agreement is terminated by the client, payment for books sold will be rendered per the previously determined schedule, at which time the client will also receive back any books returned to inventory by retail accounts in the interim period. While Legacy Isle will endeavor to bring any unsold copies back into our inventory, such retailer returns cannot be guaranteed. Clients will receive their proper share of any sales for which Legacy Isle receives payment despite account termination, as long as the client provides a correct and current mailing address.
  • The printing of 300 copies solely for fulfilling retail demand is included in the Distribution Services upgrade price. These books will be warehoused by Legacy Isle Publishing and fulfilled per the terms outlined. These copies ultimately belong to the client; any unsold copies revert to the client at the conclusion of the one-year distribution agreement period.
  • An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) will be assigned to the client’s title. This ISBN is registered to Legacy Isle Publishing as the publisher of record. Distribution client titles must be released under the Legacy Isle Publishing imprint in order to ensure continuity in the distribution channel. If the client chooses to re-publish the title in the future, the same ISBN cannot be used. If the client signs on with a distributor other than Legacy Isle, that distributor may require that a new ISBN be affixed to the book and may charge accordingly.
  • Local bookstore and other retail outlet fulfillment will be handled by Legacy Isle’s agents in the marketplace. There are no additional charges to deliver books to a local retailer for sale.
  • Direct-to-consumer order fulfillment will also be handled by Legacy Isle’s agents. Orders may be placed via our online store, telephone or “snail mail.” We can assist you in creating forms, if necessary, for placing orders via the latter two channels. We reserve the right to charge postage and handling to the end consumer.
  • Clients may request that a title be presented to a retail outlet, but we cannot guarantee that it will be accepted for sale. Some retail outlets require that a minimum quantity of books be made available and/or participation in an advertising program in order to stock a book. Clients will be advised of any such requirements that may incur additional costs.

What about continental U.S. and/or Amazon.com distribution?

Legacy Isle Publishing offers the option to add mainland and/or Amazon.com distribution as ala carte items.

Selling your book to Amazon.com or mainland distributors incurs additional operational costs for shipping and distribution, and our distribution clients are assessed a fee to cover these costs. In the event that a client’s book receives no orders through these channels, a complete or partial refund will be applied to the client’s account.

The Amazon.com add-on requires the assessment of a quarterly flat fee. This fee is refundable if no orders are received from Amazon.com in a single quarter.

Any author can sign up directly with Amazon to become an Amazon Advantage vendor. Legacy Isle clients are welcome to take this route rather than opt for the Distribution Services upgrade or the Amazon.com add-on. We offer this add-on for those clients who are unable or unwilling to manage order fulfillment on their own.

The mainland bookstore distribution add-on requires both a non-refundable one-time fee and a quarterly flat fee that is refundable if no orders are received during that quarter.

Most local authors using Legacy Isle’s services will not require mainland bookstore distribution. However, this option does place your title with a major national distributor, allowing bookstores nationwide (including chains such as Barnes & Noble) the ability to easily order your book through their regular distribution channels. Consult with your job coordinator to see if this service is right for you.

Can I use Legacy Isle Publishing to handle ONLY Amazon distribution for me?

Sorry, no. Legacy Isle titles must be made available via our local distribution network. If you are not interested in a retail presence in Hawai‘i and only want Amazon.com distribution, we suggest you sign up for an Amazon Advantage account.

How does book distribution work, anyway?

A brief overview of retail book distribution:

  • The publisher and distributor inform key accounts of an upcoming book release; it is the publisher’s responsibility to make sure the distributor understands the key qualities of the book and to whom it might appeal (and therefore which accounts they should be certain to pitch).
  • Book buyers place orders with the distributor; stores with larger display areas and/or those who think the title has particular appeal to their customer base may order extra copies to fulfill anticipated demand or simply to facilitate creating attractive displays.
  • The distributor is responsible for day-to-day maintenance of accounts. The publisher keeps the distributor apprised of any major media coverage, author signings or other relevant items (related holidays/events, etc.) that may spur demand.
  • Retailers may, at any time, return unsold product for full credit. Most stores, publishers and distributors maintain long-term relationships with each other based on taking new books and returning what’s not selling. Books that are returned, if undamaged, go back out to other retailers.
  • The retailers pay the distributor for books sold, the distributor then pays the publisher and the publisher pays the author.

Why would signing up for the Distribution Services upgrade be necessary?

Could you do, on your own, everything that Legacy Isle offers in the Distribution Service upgrade? Yes and no. Most bookstores won’t work with individual self-published (or subsidy press) authors, even if the author offers consignment (returnable) terms. Logistically, it’s just too much extra work to maintain another vendor that only offers one product.

However, as a Legacy Isle Publishing client, you do have a good (though not guaranteed) chance of being accepted by our local distributor on your own. You would need to warehouse your own inventory and continue to provide books to the distributor upon demand. You would also need to procure your own ISBN and, at your option, set up your own online retail site. The distributor would notify bookstores about your book’s release, but it would still be your job to contact print, broadcast and online media for publicity purposes.

As a Distribution Service client, you’ll leave it to Legacy Isle to handle warehousing, direct-to-consumer fulfillment and initial media contact. In addition, acceptance of your title by our distributors is guaranteed.

Why do you require 300 copies for retail distribution? Shouldn’t it be more? Why can’t the 150 copies that came with my Professional Package purchase count toward the retail distribution copies?

Our print run allocation has been calculated to minimize client cost while maintaining enough inventory to ensure solid retail availability. Based on our years of experience and our track record with our local distributor, we have determined that 300 copies is an average number of copies an independent author needs to cover the initial order period. Because of book industry standard ordering and returns practices, a large percentage of initial-order returns are reallocated to new retail accounts, or to re-supply more popular points of sale. At the same time, a smaller print run would likely result in some retail accounts receiving short orders or no copies at all due to demand, and would also result in a less economical per-unit printing cost.

Incidentally, the 300-copy projection doesn’t allow for the possibility of a client’s title being picked up by a large retail chain such as Longs (CVS) or Costco. Such large orders are made less frequently and are presented to appropriate clients on an individual basis, as they usually require the printing of a significantly larger number of copies (approximately 1,000) and carry an increased risk of high returns.

Additional copies for retail distribution will be printed at the client’s discretion; we are happy to consult with you regarding any publicity and marketing plans you may have that could affect demand prior to finalizing your print run order.

One hundred fifty copies for personal use are included with the Professional Package. These copies may be added to the pool of books for retail sales but are not to be considered part of the 300-copy retail copy minimum. Pricing for the Professional Package and the Distribution Services upgrade is based on a total minimum printing of 450 copies per client.

What happens at the end of the distribution term?

At the end of the distribution term, Legacy Isle Publishing will review your book’s overall sales performance. If the title has been a strong retail performer, we may opt to renew your distribution agreement, in which case you may be required to order more copies to continue supplying the retail market.

If, after review of your title’s sales history, we determine that retail sales aren’t meeting acceptable levels, we will begin the process of closing out your account—returning unsold copies to you and advising retail accounts that your title has been declared out of print. Account closure may or may not coincide with a semi-annual Sales Reporting/Payment period. It may take up to two such periods to completely reconcile your account closure, due to lags in bookstore reporting and returns. During this time you will continue to receive payments for books sold. If retail accounts fail to return unsold product and continue to sell books, clients will receive their proper share of any sales for which Legacy Isle receives payment despite account closure, as long as the client provides a correct and current mailing address.

If, after termination of our distribution agreement, you wish to apply to our distributor to continue offering your book in the local retail market, you may do so at this time. Your new distributor may require that a new ISBN be affixed to the book and may charge accordingly. Future printings for which Legacy Isle does not handle distribution will require a new ISBN registered to the client.

*Requires Professional Upgrade for Photo Legacy Package clients. Return to Top