If your book is about to be published, it will soon be available for sale through online retailers and congratulations are in order! While this is an exciting step, it can take a bit of time for your book to make its way into the world, so here’s what to expect while you wait.
It typically takes about 1 week to start seeing your book available for sale online, and it can take up to 6 weeks for your book listing to appear on all of the expected online retailers. Keep checking the Online Listings tab in Octavo for retail links to your book as they become available.
The following is a typical timeline for the steps involved in publishing your book:
- Within 1 week our distribution team will upload and approve your book’s files with the distributor(s).
- In 1–2 weeks your book will be published and available to online retailers to list, with eBooks and Enhanced Amazon paperbacks (if you have these channels in your package) being the first to show up for sale online. Third-party resellers typically start listing books on Amazon sites at this point as well, often at inflated prices. If you do not have the Enhanced Amazon service, please note the following about book listings on Amazon.ca:
- Amazon.ca picks up books listed on Ingram indirectly, via Amazon.com
- This means orders on amazon.ca are routed through Amazon’s warehouses with shipping times of up to 1-2 months, or the book may show as out of stock.
- If a third-party reseller is the first to list any given book, they will often remain as the default seller until the book is purchased at least once from Amazon (where it says ships and sold by Amazon).
- The book price will typically be the CAD equivalent of the USD price you set in Octavo, rather than the CAD price.
- In 1–3 weeks the print-book listings will appear on other retailer websites. Amazon.com/.au/.uk, barnesandnoble.com, bookdepository.com, and chapters.indigo.ca all typically list our titles on the shorter end of this timeframe. At this point you may notice that some retailer listings are incomplete, missing descriptions or cover images, which happens when retailer sites don’t pick up all of the metadata from the distributor.
- While it can look ugly to have a generic image in place of your beautiful book cover, and it can be frustrating for your author bio or book description to be missing, the retailers and distributors almost always get this worked out within 4 weeks, and unfortunately we are unable to speed up the process of getting their systems in sync.
- In 5-6 weeks, the distribution window will be complete, so you can expect to see your book listed on all of the expected retailers’ sites. If there are missing or incomplete listings, we will now be able to request a rebroadcast of the book’s metadata to hopefully fix the issue.
Note that, as with all products, it is ultimately each retailer’s decision whether or not to list any given book. For this reason, we can not guarantee your book will be sold by all retailers that have an account with Ingram. You can check the Online Listings tab on Octavo and direct readers to the retail links that have accurate pricing, complete metadata, and cover images etc.
With that said, as part of the support included in the Managed Distribution program, we will always be happy to investigate should you encounter any issues with your book’s listing on any of the expected retailers.
For more information on royalties, retailer availability and more, please see this article: The definitive guide to book distribution with Tellwell