Online retail now dominates bookselling. In 2019 70% of Crystal Peake’s sales were online, 20% of that in traditional bookstores, 10% to non-bookstores, the remainder to Amazon.

Which retailers will offer my book?

We sell the print and ebook editions of your book on Amazon, your ebook on Apple, Google Play and Kobo, and your printed book on Books etc, Wordery, The Book Depository and on all key online retailers. You may see aggressive discounting between retailers on Amazon marketplace as these online retailers fight for market share.

We also make your book available online through traditional chain booksellers Barnes & Noble, Folletts, Blackwells and many other retailers through intermediaries such as Overdrive. We support smaller local independent booksellers by offering your title through sales channels on Indiebound in US and Hive in UK. These appear in the links on your book webpage. Your book’s page will be made ‘live’ on the website approximately six months ahead of publication date, once we have edited the descriptive copy and compiled the AI/tipsheet, and prepared the metadata to distribute to the trade and Sales teams.

What will help readers buy my book online?

Readers will find and buy your book if they

Some of these features will be in the book itself, some reach retail sites through our new title data feed to the trade, others you will be able to add through your author pages such as Amazon Author Central. The information you give us on your book pages helps get your book noticed online. This metadata is distributed far and wide throughout the distribution network. Once this has been sent it is very difficult, almost impossible, to retrieve or change. We can access source databases such as Nielsen Bookdata and Bowker and the bigger online retailers, but we will never reach every retailer. At every stage both before and after publication, we can use any marketing and publicity that you are doing to encourage retailers to order books. Please keep adding Marketing Activities.

How easily will customers be able to order my printed book?

The metadata information about the different formats of your book goes to the trade in the month after text and cover files are finished. We always schedule a publication date of the last Friday in the month, although we set the release date earlier so as not to hinder sales. We release books to the trade as soon as they reach the warehouses four to six weeks before publication. If stock is ordered earlier than six weeks into our US warehouse, they advance the publication date which can complicate things. We aim to deliver stock so as not to alter pub date.

These days retail stock control is highly automated, shipping is fast, and books in the distribution chain aim to match reader demand. This means many retailers can keep low stocks and order books from distributors non returnable. Initially big retailers often buy a single print copy from the distributor to switch on systems and seed their hub warehouse. This works well for bigger retailers buying direct from our distributors. However some wholesalers hold large stocks ready to supply these big retailers faster than their competitors. This has meant high returns, which you may see as negative sales on your Financials page.

The number of copies the retailer shows as being in stock is not significant. Big retailers like Amazon pick up several times a week from the distributor.

You shouldn’t be alarmed if your book is listed as Temporarily Out of Stock on your regional Amazon; this only refers to Amazon’s own stock. In the meantime your book will likely still be available for customers to purchase through Amazon but from other sellers, such as Book Depository and Blackwell’s, by clicking ‘New’ beneath the large Paperback buy-button and choosing from the subsequent list of sellers.

If you don’t see your printed book available correctly on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, Hive, Indiebound or your preferred retail site, post a query with title and publication date, and we will follow up. This is especially important around publication day and before any major publicity. These sites restrict authors from accessing and making changes to the descriptive copy for their books, we can do this for you.

We have been alerted to a bug in the system for Amazon UK in which the pre-order buy button disappears from the listing of some titles approximately one month before publication. This is caused by a fault within Amazon’s system. It is an issue we have raised several times with Amazon and, unfortunately, neither we nor they can can predict or prevent it from happening. Our Sales co-ordinator checks Amazon UK pre-order listings for every title around a month before publication, and if necessary submits a complaint to Amazon support, who immediately reinstate the pre-order button for any affected titles. We hope it won’t happen for your book, but if you notice this problem has occured, alert us. Pre-orders made before the button disappears are not affected.

If you receive a new review of special note, you can add it to the Editorial Reviews on the, etc. To do this you need an Amazon Author Central.

How easily will customers be able to order my ebook?

On most ebook sites your ebook will be available to pre-order one month before publication and can be downloaded and read from publication day onwards.

If you don’t see your ebook available correctly on Amazon, Google, Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Hive, Indiebound or your preferred retail site, post a query with title and publication date and we will follow up. As for printed books, the availability of your ebook is especially important around publication day and before any major publicity.


We offer BUY ONLINE buttons to established retailers on your webpage and earn affiliate fees. We don’t yet sell books direct to readers from our own website.

However we do sell your book on these retail sites:




Google is the world’s biggest search engine. Google sells ebooks and other entertainment media on its digital distribution platform and media store, Google Play, which offers over 5 million titles in 65 countries. In addition to downloading books from Google Play, users can upload up to 1,000 books to the cloud free of charge.

We offer your book for sale on Google Play through the Play Books Partner Centre via the INGRAM ebook Fusion program. Publishers selling their ebooks on Google Play are required to make the book available for a limited preview. This offers readers up to 20% of the manuscript and aims to mimic a reader browsing in a traditional bookstore.

Google Analytics: Find out if people are looking for your book on Google; how many, what they did, where they went. Use to track traffic to your own website.

Google Alert: The best way of finding all mentions of your book on the internet is to set up a Google alert with either your name or the name of the book. You then get alerted to any mentions. If you just want to search through blogs, look under “your name + blogs,” and that will bring up any mentions or reviews of your book that have been committed to a blog anywhere.

Google AdWords: we have tried this on a few books and seen a small rise on sales.


Apple is the world’s largest IT company by revenue and the world’s largest technology company by total assets. Its iBooks Store delivers ebooks to any Apple device such as an iPad, iPhone or iPod. Apple is fiercely competitive and bans any book which mentions Amazon or contains a link to Amazon. It also censors books strictly and takes down books containing adult content. After Amazon, Apple sells the most ebooks.


Yes, its name is an anagram. Newest of the big four online bookstores, Kobo was founded in 2009 and is owned by ecommerce company Rakuten. Kobo is based in Canada and offers more than 5 million eBooks and magazines in 77 languages to millions of users of the Kobo ereader device and app. Its platforms support popular e-book formats, including EPUB, EPUB3 and PDF. All our titles are available as ebooks on

The Book Depository

The Book Depository was founded in 2004 by an Amazon employee and sold back to Amazon in 2011. Since 2011 TBD sells only printed books, no ebooks, and specialises in reaching far flung customers in countries outside US and UK. It competes hard with home-grown internet retailers, Loot in South Africa and Booktopia in Australia. Although, any titles ordered by Australian customers from Amazon/TBD are being supplied from UK or US. The Book Depository never order from our Australian distributor Brumby.

Books etc

BOOKS etc online rose phoenix like from the ashes of Borders UK in 2010. Books etc is based in Hampshire, England and fights hard to bring print books to readers, mostly in UK, from their own website and other online marketplace platforms on Amazon, eBay and


Wordery is UK book wholesaler Bertrams’ online retail venture started in 2013. It offers readers 10 million titles, in print format only. It sells on platforms, eBay, Amazon Marketplace and offers free delivery to over 100 countries.


Booktopia is the largest Australian online book retailer, outselling even Amazon and The Book Depository in Australia. It is a 100% Australian-owned online-only retail store selling books, eBooks and DVDs. Based in Sydney, Australia it offers over 4 million books in print and ebook from local and international publishers to readers in Australia and New Zealand. Our distributor Brumby supply Booktopia.


Loot is South Africa’s independent online entertainment retailer. It sells over one million books and thousands of CDs, DVDs and games. Loot doesn’t sell ebooks yet.

Familiar chain bookstores also sell online

Barnes & Noble

The biggest book chain in the US is Barnes & Noble. They sell print books in store and online. They also sell ebooks or nook books for their Nook ereader and tablet.


The biggest book chain in Britain is Waterstones. They sell print books in the high street, on university campuses and online. When Amazon first started selling their kindle ereader in the UK Waterstones raised eyebrows by selling these ereaders in their stores. However, this partnership is now over and Waterstones stopped selling ebooks in 2016.


Printed books are rarely pirated. Piracy of ebooks is more common. Along with most publishers, we do not build digital rights management (DRM) into our ebooks because it would restrict their readability and distribution. Third party stores (e.g. Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble) add a layer of DRM that locks the book to a specific user account and device. If you do come across an instance of your manuscript being offered as a free download and you can find a contact email address on the offending site, post this and the URL link to your book on the contact form.