I've got 18 distributors now, mostly in the US and Europe, but a couple of further flung ones too. I'm cautiously optimistic that I'll be picking up two more in the next couple of weeks, another one in the US and one in Canada too.
In my experience (which is still pretty limited to be fair), distributors seem to conduct their business in one of two ways:
By Product Line
The distributor treats each line as a completely separate item. When you release a new product they will place a 'standard' order of a certainly number of cases (in my experience 4-15) of the game. When they start to run low they'll reorder, with the volume of the second and subsequent orders based on the rate the first order sold at.
The distributor groups all of a supplier's lines together. They will place orders fairly regularly (maybe monthly) ordering a mixture of all your product lines, based on current stock levels of each game.
It's definitely better when a distributor orders a multiple of full shipping boxes. I use a 52 x 41 x 42cm box which will hold either:
- 8 boxes (48 games) of It's Alive!
- 4 boxes (24 games) of any mixture of Carpe Astra and Sumeria
- 4 boxes of It's Alive! and 2 boxes of Carpe Astra/Sumeria
Having games that are the same size like Sumeria and Carpe Astra is great as it makes filling shipping boxes that little bit easier for the second class of distributor.