Distribution Services


Legacy Isle Publishing offers an optional Distribution Services upgrade, which gives clients access to the 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 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?

Each client receives a Publicity Kit 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
  • Your title made available via Amazon.com; your book will show as “sold by Amazon,” “shipped by Amazon,” and is eligible for Prime shipping (clients may opt out of Amazon distribution at their discretion; the terms and conditions of Amazon sales availability are subject to change without notice)
  • 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 ISBN (International Standard Book Number) registered to Legacy Isle Publishing as the publisher of record
  • Warehousing for up to 1,000 copies of your book (additional copies will incur an additional storage fee)

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.
  • 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 print or e-book sale on a 70/30 split in favor of the client. Net revenue 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 May 31 and November 30).
  • 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.
  • Legacy Isle will work with the client to determine an appropriate print quantity to hold aside for distribution, based on the nature of the book and potential for sales. 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.

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. While some bookstores and other retailers will work with individual self-published authors, others won’t, even if the author offers consignment (returnable) terms. Logistically, it’s a lot of extra work to maintain another vendor that only offers one product. “Big box” stores and major chain stores almost never purchase directly from authors.

If you wanted to handle distribution on your own, you would need to warehouse your own inventory and provide books to the seller upon demand. You would also need to procure your own ISBN and, at your option, set up your own online retail site.

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, although we cannot guarantee that individual stores will choose to bring in your book.

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 need 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.