View Full Version : How do I make it known that my published book is returnable?

10-12-2005, 04:31 AM
When my book came out, it was absolutely nonreturnable. Thus no reviews, no bookstores, no mentions anywhere. Well, my publisher is making my particular book returnable. So how do find a distributor for it? It's endorsed by Norman Mailer. (That's why my publisher is making it returnable. He wants it reviewed and in bookstores. Is it too late?)

10-12-2005, 03:52 PM
Let me guess, it's the one from PublishAmerica? There's been a lot of discussion over how they have often refused to make books returnable. Many of us have been curious about how their new return policy works in practice - there have been rumors that they don't refund the whole price, for example. You might want to drop in at the Neverending PublishAmerica Thread in Bewares and Background Checks if you have any detailed information on their return policy.

Unfortunately, there's a couple other obstacles to be overcome that make it hard to sell books from PublishAmerica. The first may be the price - it's a bit higher than many other trade paperbacks. Second is that PublishAmerica often doesn't offer bookstores as good a discount as other publishers, so sellers will make less money on each copy sold. Third is that PublishAmerica books are a mixed bag - some are excellent, and many aren't. With PA not making much of an effort to weed out the ones that aren't, bookstores are worried that they may get bad books, although an endorsement from Norman Mailer may be pretty helpful there. Fourth is the notoriously bad job their editors often do.

Anyway, good luck. With an endorsement like that, you may have better odds than average at getting it into bookstores.

10-12-2005, 04:30 PM
His publisher is not PA. It's Whitmore, I believe.

10-12-2005, 05:15 PM
Actually, he's got books from PA, Whitmore, and Lulu, as well as one that looks like it isn't POD.

This one's from PA. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1413717349/104-2804256-8028768?v=glance&n=283155&n=507846&s=books&v=glance)

This one's from Whitmore. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0874260582/104-2804256-8028768?v=glance&n=283155&n=507846&s=books&v=glance)

Here's one (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1570720886/104-2804256-8028768?v=glance&n=283155&n=507846&s=books&v=glance) from Overmountain Press. (http://www.overmountainpress.com/) I'm not sure who those guys are, but it looks like they're a small regional publisher.

And this book (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1411605748/104-2804256-8028768?v=glance&n=283155&n=507846&s=books&v=glance) and this one (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1411602722/104-2804256-8028768?v=glance&n=283155&n=507846&s=books&v=glance) are from Lulu.

Could you please tell us which book it is that you've been having these issues with?

Cathy C
10-12-2005, 06:35 PM
Well, I don't know if you want to hear the answer to this, but the truth is that you don't make it known. The publisher is supposed to. It is possible for an individual author to interest a representative from a distributor/wholesaler to carry a particular book, but generally only when the publisher is already known to the distributor/wholesaler. Since your books aren't even presently listed as available through Amazon, B&N.com, etc., it's going to be extremely difficult to achieve this. If Whitmore is actually willing to work with you (i.e., put some effort/money into it) to make this happen -- terrific! There are plenty of things that THEY can do to make this happen. But first, you should read up a little bit about the relationship between the distributor, wholesaler and publisher, so you know what you're asking them to do:


Here's a directory of the available wholesalers/distributors that can be contacted by Whitmore to get your book into their catalogs.


I wish you well trying to accomplish this. It's hard even for self-published authors to work directly with the distributors/wholesalers. But with a well-known vanity press, it will be difficult to convince these companies that Whitmore is actually willing to make a print run (not just POD) and allow returns.
Good luck!