Posts Tagged ‘book sales’

How far do I want to go? Time is precious.

December 2, 2008

I’m talking to myself really as I have a decision to make. But I am sharing it with anyone interested in this publishing game. The policy for Waterstones handling books of self-publishers is now clear. I have all the information, instructions and application form. It is true they only buy books through Gardner’s. I’m told that it is because it is not viable dealing with thousands of accounts. Waterstones do not have a central depot of stock and all managers order from Gardner’s what they think they can sell. So even if the manager would like to sell my (or your) book he can only order it through Gardner’s. Gardners will only stock a book if there is an on-going demand for it, otherwise they order from the publisher just the books requested. But for Waterstone’s to deal with self-publishers (like my Magpies Nest Publishing) it is necessary to apply for a Waterstone’s Trading Agreement with Gardner’s Books Ltd. You can get this from: Peter North Independent Publisher Co-Ordinator Waterstone’s, Capital Court, Capital Interchange Way, Brentford, Middlesex. TW8 0EX. Tel. 0208 9964388

You would think that local stores would have discretion about buying from local authors (as Ottakar’s did) but no, if the local store wanted a book or books, they would have to go through Gardners, I would get an order come to dispatch requested books to Gardner’s at East Sussex and they would send it to the store (likely with other books).

So I have this form and am wondering whether to fill it in or not! If accepted, I would get sent a list of all their stores so I could contact each individual manager/buyer. Maybe I could persuade one or two to try out a book or two and perhaps a book signing? But there is also a returns policy to consider and huge discounts as well as all the packing and posting, account keeping etc etc. should I be successful. If enough books were to be ordered then maybe Gardner’s would buy in bulk for stock. In which case I could get my books printed cheaper and maybe not lose out!

 Amazon and most booksellers automatically advertise a book that comes up on the Nielson list. And I do get a few orders from Gardner’s but I don’t know where the books go to from there. So I am looking at this form. Do I really want the bother? The local bookshop rang yesterday and asked for two more copies of Northern Lights. A customer had just bought the last one but wanted two more. Maybe better to relish being a little fish swimming around in my own little pond? Mmm… a lot to consider for an old biddie of a writer!

WELL it is now some time later and I decided to go ahead. But, unlike some keen types, I did not ring the managers of the stores. I found a web site with their Emails and used that method. The next day I received a couple of orders for each book I mentioned. Would I have done better by ringing? I do not have a gift for ‘selling’ so maybe not, and it would have cost quite a bit. Just might have a stab at it when I have nothing urgent to do. Or if I get a few more awards for Awakening Love or one of the others.

Chester at night

November 18, 2008


Christmas lights in Chester

Christmas lights in Chester

Not a good photograph but it gives an idea of the Christmas lights in the shopping areas of Chester.

It is rather lovely that at a rather dull and wet time of the year we have the brightness of special lighting to cheer us. Something that is free to look at even if shopping may reduce the contents of one’s purse.

We were in Chester partly to go to our friend Geoff Nelder’s book signing at Borders, Cheshire Oaks. What a huge bookstore! I strongly suspect that most book sales are of those piled up on the tables where their covers are clearly visible and you can’t help but notice them as you walk around the shop. Do I sound envious? You bet!

There are so many unsung authors, but that is inevitable in a world of big business and cheap books – so unlike the days when prices for books were fixed by the publisher. Do we read more now that books are cheaper? I guess with the growth of so many other diversions — TV, videos, games etc etc that is not an easy question to answer. Surveys may be done on book sales and reading habits but they do not tell us a whole storyl. What does speak volumes is the closing of independent book shops. We are almost directed by the big boys, celebrities and promotional techniques, as to what we buy — actually reading the books is another matter.


Chatting with Geoff at Borders

Chatting with Geoff at Borders