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Publisher FAQs


What kind of publishers does ABC represent?

149 independent publishers, including university presses, research institutes, NGOs, and commercial publishers, large and small, women and men. They come from 24 African countries, publishing with a focus on African issues and cultural and literary heritage

What sorts of books does ABC distribute?

Scholarly and academic books, literature, and general culture and children's book titles. We are interested in books written in all languages especially African languages.

Where does ABC sell books?

Worldwide including Africa, with the exception of the publisher’s own country unless permission is given. Our biggest market is the US.

Is ABC a publisher?

No, ABC is not a publisher. If you are an author we are happy to suggest African publishers who might be interested in hearing from you, but have no influence over their publishing decisions.

How can I have my books distributed by ABC?

If we believe we can find a market for your books we would be interested in distributing them. There is no fee to have your books distributed by ABC. For further information please contact us and tell us a little bit about your publishing.

How do I send my books to ABC?

The greater part of ABC’s current list is permanently available Print on Demand (POD). To make your titles available POD we need you to send us PDF files of your texts and your covers. You can email us the files, send us a disk or if you are unable to create PDFs you can send us a copy of your printed book which we can submit for scanning.

What is POD?

Instead of printing a quantity of books for future supply of orders Print on Demand allows us to print any number of copies for a fixed unit cost. In our case ABC receives orders for your titles and then sends those orders to our printer daily. Our printer then prints the books and ships them to the customers directly. There is no charge from ABC to setup your books POD.

What are the advantages of POD for African publishers?

  • You do not have to worry about sending us physical stock of your books, which can be time-consuming and expensive. Once you have sent ABC files for your new title/s your job is done. This allows you to spend more time developing exciting new books.
  • There is no money up-front, ABC only prints when orders are received and books are sold firm sale.
  • Once made POD your books will never go out of print.
  • Timeliness. After ABC receives your PDF files your book can be available in a matter of weeks and order turnaround time is three days. This efficient supply of books into the market is a key driver of sales growth.

Is POD expensive?

POD is generally more expensive per unit cost than offset printing, however you need to weigh that up against the cost of shipping books to the UK and US. We can help you cost the options.

I would like to send stock of a book that I have printed myself. Is this possible?

Yes. Not all titles are suitable for POD so ABC continues to run a small warehouse operation.

What does ABC do for its share of sales income?

ABC has several commercial partnerships with major wholesalers, distributors and retailers in the book trade; ABC distributed publishers benefit from terms ordinarily afforded to medium to large sized publishers. ABC feeds new title information to major bibliographic information providers, discovery services, and book wholesalers ensuring your books can be found and sourced from anywhere in the world in a timely fashion. New titles are released monthly and sent to customers on the subscriber lists we have developed, and to outside managed subscriber lists purchased by ABC for featured campaigns. ABC has in place speedy order turn-around times and efficient payment processing systems. Customers can order online from the ABC site or any online retailer, directly from ABC, or through any commercial wholesaler or bookshop. ABC manages standing order plans for libraries ensuring it's distributed titles are available to scholars in the major African Studies institutions throughout the world. ABC can also supply books for course adoption use for Universities around the world, quick and reliable supply is key in this market. ABC attends major African Studies conferences in Europe, Africa and the US, and also major book trade fairs as a representative for the publishers it represents. ABC will arrange reviews, respond to reviewer requests and/or send review copies out at a publishers request. Titles, authors, and publishing houses all receive unique URLs on the ABC website making it easy for publishers to direct customers to a point of sale.

Does ABC handle ebooks?

Yes. ABC distributes eBooks in PDF and ePUB/Mobi format worldwide to both the library/academic and retail trades.

Where does ABC distribute my eBooks and Digital Content to?

Digital content sales to academic libraries is becoming an increasingly important source of revenue for academic publishers and ABC is reaching all of the major providers of content to libraries along with adding new partners. Titles can be sold on a subscription basis, as a collection, perpetually or loaned out for a fixed time.  In the retail trade ABC is reaching all of the major devices: Kindle, Nook, Kobo and Apple’s iBookstore along with thousands of other eBook retailers worldwide including Kalahari in South Africa.

How do I send my ebooks to ABC?

ABC will convert your print files into PDF format ebooks for you; all you need to do is provide an additional ISBN for each new format. ABC can also arrange ePUB conversions on a publisher’s behalf or publishers can supply their own ePUB files for distribution.

Can I keep the distribution rights to my ebooks and distribute them myself?

Yes. ABC has both print and digital contracts. Publishers can choose to sign both or just the print.

How does CODE work with ABC?

If you are a Burt Book Award publisher you can read the press release from CODE here.

What is ABC’s share?

ABC is an unfunded not-for-profit organization, its aim is to remit 55% of sales income to publishers, to achieve this bonuses are paid on top of a base remittance of 40% for print and PDF format (e)books and 80% for ePUB format ebooks.

Who do I Contact?

Please leave a message here if you are interested in having your books distributed by ABC.

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