Getting Past The ‘Bookstore Barrier': Freethy And Ingram Go Into Print

Image - iStockphoto: rustyjaw
Image – iStockphoto: rustyjaw

‘Without Giving Up Digital Rights To One Of The Big Five’

The best-of-the-bestselling Amazon Kindle Million Club independent authors today is announcing a partnership with one of the recognized giants in book distribution:

Ingram is providing a full-service sales and publishing team that will also be instrumental in selling, printing and distributing the books worldwide as they do for many publishers. Our aim is to get the books in bookstores and retail outlets around the world. I’m thrilled to be working with such an innovative company. Together, we hope to fill a void in the print market.

That’s the women’s fiction author Barbara Freethy telling me about her new arrangement with Ingram Publisher Services. Freethy sees the deal as a breakthrough for self-publishers, getting her past the mostly-digital realm of ebooks and into the global network of stores and other print-based channels in which Ingram traditionally operates.

As you know, I haven’t been able to get my digital titles into print without giving up digital rights to one of the Big Five publishers. But now through Ingram, I’ll be able to do just that. It’s a game-changer for bestselling digital authors who haven’t been able to make this happen until now.

The author Hugh Howey has congratulated Freethy on the partnership, writing, “She retains the rights. Ingram makes their wholesale fee. Barbara keeps the rest. Bookstores get more great content. Readers have access to one of today’s hottest selling authors. Everyone wins.” He goes on:

Kudos to Ingram for putting this together. This removes one of the last few barriers for self-published authors, and that’s print distribution to brick and mortar stores. For other bestselling self-published authors, it’ll mean another option other than selling off all rights to a work, since publishers have been loathe to sign more print-only deals. And it should help bookstores, who didn’t have access to some of the bestselling works around.

Barbara Freethy
Barbara Freethy

“Together, we are going to make history,” Freethy says in a prepared statement for Ingram, “bringing my indie best-selling digital books to the print world in a big way.”

And Freethy does have a few books to offer. (Are  you sitting down?)

One of the canniest of the “indie bestsellers” in reclaiming and reactivating her original traditionally published backlist, Freethy has built on that inventory to now count 40 titles to her name.

“I’ve sold more than 4.8 million ebooks in the last 3 years,” she tells me, “but have been unable to get back into print in a big way–until now.”

It’s that total of sales — making her nearly a five-time Kindle Million Club member — that prompted Amazon in August to name her the biggest Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) seller in the pantheon of self-published outliers, which includes indie icons Howey, CJ Lyons, Bella Andre, Tina Folsom, Jasinda Wilder, Stephanie bond, H.M. Ward, Liliana Hart, and several others. Additionally, Freethy is noted as the first author to have sold more than 1 million ebooks at Barnes & Noble.

Almost half of Freethy’s titles — 19, count ‘em, 19 — have become New York Times bestsellers. Summer Secrets reached the No. 1 spot.

I recall asking her during a live online-conference interview from her home in California late last year how she manages to write a word when she’s busy managing such a body of work. Answer: her daughter, Kristen Freethy has become chief of her mother’s sales operations. Freethy-the-younger directs a team of freelance specialists in keeping it all on track.

What you’re looking at is the nether reaches of the self-publishing sector’s dream: Freethy, Inc. is booming.

I always tease Freethy that her book covers inevitably have a body of water in them — a sea, a bay, a lagoon. She concedes it’s a theme for her. And? She can set those cover-art scenes anywhere she wants to now. This author is fully and completely calling the shots.

In her words to me:

My company sells more books and makes more money than many small publishing houses.

Read the full story at Thought Catalog

By Porter Ander­son | @Porter_Anderson

Writing on the Ether: Getting Past The ‘Bookstore Barrier’: Freethy And Ingram Go Into Print

Originally published by Thought Catalog at





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