How do all the many books sold every year get to book retailers
and customers? Some very small publishers do it themselves. But
mainly the books are delivered to warehouses (straight from the
printer) and then sent on to the bookseller or other customers by
wholesalers or distributors. Warehouses can house millions of
books and the wholesale and distribution operations rely heavily on
good data and other systems.
What is the difference between distributors and wholesalers? A
wholesaler buys a book from a publisher and sells
it on to the customer. A distributor does not buy
the book from the publisher but for various charges provides
services including warehousing the book and supplying it to
Cambuslang-based BookSource is one of
the UK's fastest-growing distributors of books. It is responsible
for millions of books from Scottish and other publishers getting to
customers all over the world. BookSource is the trading arm of
Global publisher HarperCollins have a
huge warehouse in Bishopbriggs near Glasgow. They
distribute books from other publishers as well as their own
Other distributors used by Scottish publishers include Bookpoint, Central
Books, Grantham Book Services, Vinehouse
Distribution Ltd and Turpin Distribution.
There are two main Scottish wholesalers: Bookspeed in
Edinburgh and Lomond Books in Broxburn.
The largest book wholesaler in the UK is Gardners.