An independent bookseller I know landed a major bestselling
author for a rare in-store signing. He got the word out, took
advance phone and internet orders for signed copies, and called his
sales rep at the publisher to make sure the books would reach him in
plenty of time.
“You’ve ordered 450 copies,” the rep told him. “I’m afraid we
can only ship you 200.”
Why, for God’s sake? Hadn’t they printed enough?
“No, it’s policy,” he was told. “Two hundred books is our
maximum order. We can’t take the chance of huge returns, or credit
“But the copies are sold,” the store owner said. “I’ve got
prepaid orders for them, and I’ll pay in advance myself, and take
them from you on a non-returnable basis. There’s no risk, and there
won’t be any returns, and that’s 450 copies of a $30 book at the
usual 40% off, which makes it an $8100 cash order. So what’s the
He got nowhere.
Moments in Contemporary Publishing | LB's BLOG
You know, twenty years ago forgoing a publisher for the
“self-publisher” route was a sign of vanity on the part of the writer.
But these days?
These days, I'm thinking your better off avoiding the traditional
publishers, as they seem to be tripping themselves into oblivion.
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