New Books Getting Listed on Amazon and Other Distribution Channels…How Does it Work?

Posted by Sherrie Wilkolaski
Published On Sep 27, 2014

by Sherrie Wilkolaski

Publishing a book is one of the most exciting things an author can experience.  After months and possibly years of investing the time to create their manuscript, it is understandable that one might be a bit anxious to see that first proof copy and hold a tangible book in their hands.  Then even more of a thrill is to see the book up on Amazon and available at That seems to make it feel so official.  Most authors want to know, how does this all happen?827925 73226140 resized 600Today I want to talk specifically about what an author can expect with their book distribution and Amazon listing process here at Infinity Publishing.  Let’s get started.

Publication date.

It is important to clarify what the publication date actually means and how an author should plan around this for their marketing and promotion.  First, the publication date is the date the book is officially available for purchase via Infinity’s online storefront at toll free at 877-BUY-BOOK. The author should plan their marketing and promotion 60 days out from the date the book is published via  It can take up to 30 days for the book to show up in all distribution channels, so you want to provide enough time. This is part of the publication process, so plan your marketing accordingly.

Infinity publishes new titles every Friday.

Once a week, you’ll see new titles being published by Infinity Publishing by going to our website  All new books are first published via our online storefront.  The book is immediately available for purchase.  The first order can take 1-2 weeks to ship out, from the date the order is placed, even though a proof copy has been previously ordered.  After the first order it can take 5-7 business days for a book order to ship from the date the order is placed.


Once a book has been published via Infinity’s online bookstore at, on the following Wednesday, the metadata for all new titles is electronically submitted to all distributors.  This means all information on every new title (i.e. book title, author name, book synopsis, author bio, page count, ISBN, book format, interior file and cover art) is sent out to all distribution partners, like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.  Once that information has been submitted it is up to the distributors to download the data we have provided.

Distributors download newly submitted titles on their own schedule.  Here is a quick look at what you can expect of Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


Amazon will show the book’s initial listing within a few days, so if the metadata is submitted on a Wednesday, an author can anticipate the book to show up early the following week. What the author will see is the book title, author name, book synopsis, author bio and book specs (i.e. page count, format, publisher name, etc.) 

NOTE:  The book cover will not be up at this point and the book will show as “out of stock”.  This is due to Amazon’s internal process and there is no way to rush this.  Authors should plan for this.

Cover image. The cover image should show up within about a week of the book being listed on Amazon.

Out of Stock Message.  The “out of stock” message should be removed by Amazon within 2-3 weeks from the initial display of the book on their site.  Again, this is part of Amazon’s own internal process.

Barnes and Noble. takes about 2-3 weeks before the book will show up in their online storefront. 

Barnes and Noble retail stores. The book will show up in the retail outlets database within 2-3 weeks.  At that juncture it allows the bookstores to see the book is available.  They will not automatically order copies of a book simply because it is in their database.  It is up to the author to approach their local retailers to promote their books and see if there is interest in having them carry the book locally. 

NOTE: Bookstores require that all books have a return policy and Infinity Publishing provides this for all of our titles.  It can take 30-60 days before this will show up in retailers systems.  The book data will show up well in advance of the return policy, again this is due to how retailers update their internal systems.  Authors should plan for this in advance of approaching bookstores directly.

Planning for the official book launch.

Authors should be planning ahead for their first book signing and book launch and look at events 60 days from the point in which their books are available on  Authors should be using this time to gather book reviews and work on their online platform, working on their blog and building excitement about the book via social media and lining up media interviews to create a buzz about the upcoming book.  Traditional publishers spend at least six months pre-promoting their titles, so this is not unusual. 

Ordering books.

We also recommend that authors order at least 100-150 copies for their first order.  Authors don’t realize how many books they will actually need, once they start promoting it and talking with family and friends. 

Preparing for your book launch is so very important and understanding how and when your book will be available is part of the planning process.

Best of luck to all of our newly published authors! 


Image courtesy of Cécile Graat.

The Author's 30 Day Guide to Book Promotion

Topics: book marketing, book publicity, book awards, sell more books, amazon, sherrie wilkolaski, distribution, barnes and noble

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