For small publishers and the individual authors out there that are working hard to market a title or two (or 20); basic business functions can add unwanted stress. If you are an individual author, say you get your book printed and at the very least it is a moderate success. Suddenly hundreds of orders for your book start pouring in and you can barely keep up with the demand, let alone efficiently fulfill orders. Larger outfits that handle multiple titles may not need the extra administrative work that comes along with fulfilling multiple orders. This is where order fulfillment services can help.
# 1: You won’t have to reinvent the wheel.
Businesses that perform fulfillment services already know what they are doing. With a little information, they can quickly and accurately send your books to your customers with little intervention on your part. This makes your customers happy and you less stressed out. It also makes for good business because when you can serve customers in a seamless fashion, they will refer others and come back themselves to buy more books.
# 2: You can still park your car in your garage.
We have seen it dozens of times when individual authors print a few hundred books or more and plan to store them in a storage unit or in their own garage. When a semi-truck loaded with books shows up at their doorstep, they quickly realize they made a mistake. Fulfillment companies often provide storage for books so that you don’t have to find a personal place of your own to put them. Benefits include professional warehousing services, insurance against loss and you can still park your car in your garage.
# 3: Inventory can be managed appropriately.
When you utilize a fulfillment company, they will often keep track of inventory and send out notification when they need more product from you. When fulfilling orders on your own this accounting must be managed by you. This may be fine unless you have another job, a family, or a life in general. Businesses that provide fulfillment typically have sophisticated software and dedicated employees to manage inventory. These features are way better than keeping track of inventory on sticky notes or filing invoices in the backseat of your car.
# 4: The Mysteries of Shipping can remain as such.
Shipping can be one of the most confusing aspects of selling your books. In fact, it is confusing no matter what you are shipping. Choosing the right carriers, figuring out rates based on the type of packaging you use, where it is going and how heavy it is can drive you crazy. High shipping charges can start to eat into your margins pretty fast if you are not careful. Companies that provide fulfillment services command far better rates because they are shipping products in large volumes.
# 5: Your sanity will remain intact.
Writing and/or marketing titles is difficult and time consuming enough without the added hassles of administrative tasks related to order fulfillment. If you can find a company to perform the tasks of fielding and filling orders for you, it will save you a lot of time and headaches. Less stress means better creative thinking. Better creative thinking means you can write and/or market more books!
Edwards Brothers Malloy features book fulfillment services that feature all of the benefits named above. You can take advantage of these services whether you have your books printed with us or not. You can find out more about these services here. What other kinds of things would make your job as a content creator or publisher easier to manage?