Association of Publishers for Special Sales


Frequently Asked Questions about APSS



What is APSS?

APSS is the only association in the world with a sole mission to help its members make large-quantity non-returnable sales to non-bookstore buyers. We are a paid-membership community of serious authors and publishers seeking to increase their incomes and grow their businesses. See our history at http://community.bookapss.org/page/what-is-apss


What are “special sales?”

The term special sales is commonly used to describe sales opportunities in places other than bookstores. More than half of all books sold annually are purchased here. Also referred to as non-bookstore (or non-traditional) marketing, it can be a profitable source of new revenue.


This opportunity is divided into two segments. One is the retail segment (discount stores, gift shops, supermarkets, airport stores, etc). The other segment is comprised of direct sales to non-retailers that use books as marketing tools to sell more of their products or help their employees, members or students. These include corporations, associations, schools and the military.


How can I benefit from special-sales marketing?

There are advantages to selling through retailers (including bookstores) and to non-retail buyers. You can sell your content in any format – ebooks, printed books, audio books or booklets. You can also sell it in many more places, including retailers, libraries, corporations, schools and associations. You can sell your books more profitably with less price discounting. And in non-retail segments, book sales are sold on a non-returnable basis and you are generally paid more quickly.


Why should I join APSS?

APSS was created to help you discover new and better ways to increase your revenue and profits by selling your books in large, non-returnable quantities. Here are some of the services and discounts you will get with your APSS membership:


Discounts on …                                                        Marketing programs…

  • Printing through LSI (up to 50% off)            Bookstore distribution
  • Shipping (Save up to 70%)   Distribution to non-retail buyers
  • Ingram Spark                           Supplier recommendations
  • Baker & Taylor’s services   Mastermind groups
  • Automated contacting potential buyers   A monthly special-sales newsletter
  • Staffed trade show exhibits   PW Select – online and print
  • Bowker products and services               Lists of buyers for your books
  • A subscription to Publishers Weekly   One-on-one coaching
  • Website development   Free monthly webinars
  • Ebook conversion                           Step-by-step instructions
  • Foreword Reviews ·  Local chapter meetings



What are the fees for joining APSS?

Full Membership ($89 per year, or $60 if a member of an APSS chapter or a partner organization, or for additional employees at the same member company): Serious authors and book publishers seeking advice, information, savings and services to help them build a publishing business through the profitable sale of their content to non-bookstore buyers.


Chapter Membership: $60 if you join an APSS local chapter or are a member of an APSS (see lists at  www.bookapss.org) or a Partner organization (see a list at  http://pro.bookapss.org/partner-organizations ). This is not in addition to the Full Membership, but instead of. APSS members now have access to face-to-face meetings in cities around the U.S. and Canada. Get all the benefits of a national association plus local meetings and personal networking. If there is no APSS chapter near you, contact BrianJud@bookapss.org to start one


APSS-Canada membership details may be found at http://www.bookapss-canada.org/to-join.html


Renewal  $60 Thank you for your previous membership and we welcome you back. Please take advantage of all the new advice, information, savings and services to help you build your publishing business and book sales


Associate membership ($250 per year): a supplier or consultant to the publishing industry who offers services that meet the needs of APSS members (for example, printers, editors, book designers, marketing consultants, publicists, distributors, etc.).

How do I join APSS?

Please visit http://pro.bookapss.org/join-application to join APSS today


Why should I join a local APSS chapter?

Here are the top reasons to join your local APSS chapter:


  • Receive all the benefits of APSS membership, but have local face-to-face contact with your peers
  • Discover how to avoid mistakes that others have made
  • Learn creative ways to increase your sales, revenue and profits from book sales
  • Find out how to sell books in all forms: printed books, ebooks, audio books, booklets
  • Hear expert speakers present information of vital interest to all authors and publishers
  • Receive discounts on products and services that can save you thousands of dollars
  • Network with successful authors and publishers to discover what they did right
  • Get help on selling the rights to your book (TV, movie, serial and foreign rights)
  • Learn how to establish or expand the distribution of your books worldwide
  • Hear the pros tell you how to negotiate large-quantity sales
  • Exhibit your book at international, national, regional and local book events
  • Discover where and how to find prospective non-bookstore buyers
  • See how to make successful presentations
  • Get a discount on attending our annual, national Book Selling University near you
  • Become successful more quickly

Where are APSS local chapters?

We have local chapters in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Connecticut, Grand Rapids, Nashville, Nebraska, New Jersey, Phoenix, Santa Fe, Sarasota, Southeast Texas and two in Southern California. Two international chapters are open in Canada and Nigeria. More will be coming over the next few months. If you are interested in starting an APSS chapter near you, please let Brian Jud know at BrianJud@bookapss.org

Does APSS have a monthly newsletter?

The Sales Informer is the APSS monthly newsletter with articles by people who have proven to be successful at special sales. Each issue contains tips for finding potential buyers, making sales presentations, negotiating large-quantity, profitable sales and much more. This is the only industry newsletter devoted to selling books to no-bookstore buyers. Paid APSS members have access to all Sales Informer newsletters published since 2013.


Can APSS help members get distribution to bookstores?

Midpoint Trade Books has agreed to provide distribution for approved APSS members to bookstores and other non-bookstore retailers across the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. Midpoint generally does not accept single-title publishers. However, in this program Midpoint will consider distribution of printed books and ebooks by APSS associated publishers, even if the member-publisher has only one title on their list.


Will APSS help it members distribute books to non-bookstore buyers?

We have access to a program to sell your book on a non-returnable, commission basis to buyers in corporations, associations, schools and government agencies. APSS can also submit your books to distributors to non-bookstore retailers such as airport store, discount stores, warehouse clubs and gift shops


Can APSS help its member obtain sales of foreign rights?

APSS directs its members to a foreign rights publishing consultancy that focuses on non-fiction titles in the genres of business, personal development, psychology/self-help, parenting, health, education and others.  Their role is to bridge the gap between their client base of North American publishers and authors to foreign publishers and agents with similar interests on a worldwide basis.  They accomplish this by offering APSS members a variety of “programs” in which they can participate in order to gain wide exposure of their titles for foreign rights licensing possibilities.


Do APSS members get discounts on promotional items such as coffee mugs and apparel?

If you want your book cover or marketing message on promotional items such as coffee mugs, pens, pads, bookmarks, key chains, shirts, umbrellas or any of hundreds of other promotional products, APSS can help. You can get free consulting about how you can use promotional items to lure new customers, boost sales, attract more people to your trade-show exhibit and have a fun giveaway for book signings and other store events.


What is an APSS Mastermind group and how can it help me?

You can expand your business and become more profitable by using the knowledge, creativity, energy and contacts of other people. This is accomplished through an APSS Mastermind, a group of people who interact to help each other solve business problems and increase business potential.


Each Mastermind Group is made up of a limited number of industry professionals who are serious about growing their business. Meeting at predetermined times and intervals, participants can interact to create a strategic advantages for themselves and their colleagues.


       An APSS Mastermind Group is…

  • A small interactive group of people who have experienced the trials and tribulations of successful book publishing – and are willing to share their lessons
  • An on-demand source of critical success attributes
  • A place to get the answers to questions that you have or didn’t know to ask
  • A group of people who want the accountability and inspiration that will take their businesses to a higher level
  • A community in which you can actively participate and get the benefit of differing perspectives to help you achieve your personal and business goals
  • The chance to get one-on-one instruction, input and feedback for your particular books and business – not just for those like yours
  • Your own personal board of directors. Collaborate with a small group of trusted peers to leverage their expertise and experience for the benefit of all


APSS Mastermind Group members may discuss topics important to them. It is intended that the subjects will be at a higher level than found in forums online. Participants could discuss business strategy, brand management, leadership and personnel issues, managing customer relationships as well as building volume and velocity of revenue. Your fellow Mastermind members will collaborate, innovate and motivate each other for their collective professional growth.


Is there a list of helpful marketing articles available by a variety of experts?

There are many articles written by industry experts available to paid APSS members. In addition, you can find many book-marketing articles by Brian Jud at http://tinyurl.com/85o9f3k


Is there a list of testimonials from members?

There are hundreds of quotations from happy APSS members. A different one is displayed on the APSS homepage every week.


Can APSS display my books at events locally, nationally and internationally?

APSS has an agreement with The Combined Book Exhibit® (CBE) to display APSS members’ book(s) at major state, regional, national and international shows for one discounted flat fee per show. CBE displays your book(s) with those of other authors and publishers at shows with heavy traffic. CBE also creates a catalog for each show it attends, and keeps a comprehensive database on its website with your contact information for an entire year. Here are examples of shows at which APSS members can get exposure without actually attending:



Havana Book Fair


London Book Fair New Title Showcase

Assoc of College and Research Libraries

Bologna Children’s Book Fair

American Library Association Annual

National Education Association

American Assoc of School Librarians

Guadalajara International Book Fair

American Library Assoc Midwinter

American Library Association Annual

Florida Library Association

Michigan Reading Association

Public Library Association

London Book Fair

Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival

Connecticut Library Association

BookExpo America

New Jersey Library Association

Beijing International Book Fair

New England Library Association

Frankfurt International Book Fair

New York Library Association

California Library Association

New York State Reading Association