Suppose a publisher withholds 20% of royalties for returns in each raoyalty period:
1) When is this withholding returned to the author? Each succeeding royalty period gives back the withholding from the previous period?
2) The publisher just scarfs it and never returns it at all?
3) If a return is in good condition is it just warehoused to fill another order, or is it destroyed (hardbacks and tradeback softcovers, I know mass-market paperbacks are often destroyed at the retail or wholesaler site rather than shipping them back)
This question concerns a particular publisher, but I really need to know the industry standards on the issue. No, it's not my publisher, but a question from someone else.