Introduction

The building of this list grew out of our how to start a bookshop article. The structure of the industry is very different in different markets. In Australasia shops tend to deal with individual publishers and distributors whereas in the UK and North America most books are supplied via large centralised wholesalers.

The aim here is to provide a good starting point for new stores and except for very niche stores this is likely to be wholesalers and the major publishers and distributors. This is by no means an exhaustive list, it is a work in progress and we aim to extend it as information comes in.

It helps to understand some industry terminology (which is often mixed and misused). To start, you have the publisher (think of them as manufacturers), publishers also often have sub brands called imprints, for example Penguin and Puffin which is a children's imprint. It is a little like Toyota and Corolla. As well as producing the books publishers market and sell them. You open accounts with publishers and negotiate deals with them.

After this you have distributors who handle warehousing and the logistics, you send orders to them. They also handle the finances i.e. you pay them not the publisher. United in Australia is an example of a distributor.

After this you have agencies, agencies are generally publishers also (but not always). They represent and sell books for other publishers, based in different markets or smaller publishers who do not have the scale to employ their own sales force.

Finally you have wholesalers like Ingram and Gardners who combine the warehousing and logistics services of the distributors and the sales services of the publishers into one service. The word ‘supplier’ is often used in the industry, it is a generic coverall that can mean all or one of the above. (Welcome to the book industry.)

Australia & NZ

Australia Flag New Zealand Flag

Distributors


Specialist Publishers

  • Children's
    Scholastic, Hardie Grant,
  • Educational & Reference
    John Wiley, Pearson Education
  • Travel
    Lonely Planet, DK

Associations and Buying Groups

North America

USA flag

Suppliers

  • Ingram
    Ingram is the main wholesaler in North America and will work with owners to create an initial inventory. 
  • Bookazine (mostly east coast distributor)
  • Independent Publishers Group
  • Penguin Random House

Associations and Buying Groups

  • American Booksellers Association - bookweb.org
    Phone: 800-637-0037
    Email: info@bookweb.org
    Annual Sub: $199
    Region: United States
    Member Benefits
  • Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) - sibaweb.com
    Phone: 803-994-9530 -
    Annual Sub: $125 p/store)
    Region: Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and Mississippi. 
    Member Benefits
  • Northern Independent Booksellers Alliance (NAIBA) -naiba.com
    Phone 516.333.0681
    Annual Subscription: $100 ($50 for prospective bookstore owners)\
    Region: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, northern Virginia, and West Virginia.
    Member Benefits (Note the NAIBA & SIBA run a join annual conference New Voices New Rooms (NVNR)
  • Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association (MPIBA) - mountainsplains.org
    Phone: 800.752.0249
    Annual Sub: $50 - $200
    Region: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.
    Member Benefits

Canada

Associations and Buying Groups

UK and Ireland

United Kingdom Flag

Suppliers

  • Gardners

Associations and Buying Groups


Europe

Netherlands

Associations and Buying Groups


South America

Brazil

Associations and Buying Groups


Asia

Singapore

Associations and Buying Groups


Thailand

Associations and Buying Groups


India

Associations and Buying Groups


Taiwan

Associations and Buying Groups