Getting books into readers' hands requires a distributor, who serves as the point person between authors, publishing houses and retail outlets. The type of business you run depends on your approach. A distributor may focus on discounting new titles from publishers, or selling a mixture of damaged, overstocked and out-of-print items. The growing popularity of online books also allows independent authors to function as their own distributor, if they desire.
Watch operating costs carefully, since the average wholesale distributor needs two to five years before he becomes profitable, "Entrepreneur" magazine states. Figure out how much you'll pay for necessities such as Internet connection fees, fax machines, phones and personal computers. Also, unless you only work from home, you'll need an office or warehouse to store your products, which means researching spaces and leasing fee agreements. Similarly, you'll need to establish working relations with one or more shippers, since mailing costs will be another big part of your business.