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Publishers My Store Won't Deal With

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Lilybiz

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I was ordering Maestrowork's novel at my local (large) independent bookstore and happened to see a note taped near the register that said "Don't order from these publishers." From my perspective it was upside down so couldn't get them all, but three of them were Xlibris, iUniverse and 1st Books. I asked the clerk what would get a publisher on this list and she said they were usually POD or vanity publishers, and the store wouldn't order from them because they don't take returns or they're difficult to deal with.

Just a heads up on these publishers from one store. If it's their experience, it might be the same in other places, too.
 

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Fascinating! I expect the operating margin for indie stores is so thin that troublesome ordering isn't worth the markup on a POD book.
 

Lilybiz

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CaoPaux said:
Fascinating! I expect the operating margin for indie stores is so thin that troublesome ordering isn't worth the markup on a POD book.

I should mention that the store I refer to covers an entire city block and isn't exactly a mom and pop organization. But yeah, I imagine any book store doesn't want to bother with a company that doesn't take returns. Or, as Jim says, with orders that never get picked up...
 

maestrowork

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Most bookstores I talked to asked these three questions: 1) Are the books returnable? 2) Are there any discounts? 3) Is it available through normal channels such as Ingram?

Every one of them. Even the libraries I talked to asked these questions. They never asked if the book was self-published, vanity or POD published, or if it had been reviewed. They were only interested in the answers to the 3 questions above, and they expect: yes, yes, and yes.

My publisher might be small, but I can honestly tell them: yes, yes, and yes. And that got my books into the stores. Or the store will order the book if you ask for it.

So, when you decide to go with PODs (even the good ones like iUniverse of Lulu), you have to ask yourself this question: What do I want to do with these books? If you just want to give them away to your friends and family, or if you just want to sell them online and on your own website or out of your own car trunk, then that's fine. But if you want the stores to carry them, think twice.

Also, there's not much "markup" for POD books. They're already charging $22 for a paperback, and they might offer 10%-20% discount. Book stores expect at least 40% to consider worthy of their time, effort and overhead (they do have employees and rent to pay). 10% off a $22 book is still about $20 for a paperback -- unless the book is really hot stuff (Amy Fisher's biography for example), no store is going to touch it.
 

maestrowork

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aertep said:
Or, as Jim says, with orders that never get picked up...

But the store might not even want to special order for you... or you'll have to pay for it first before they would even consider ordering an iUniverse book. But, it might really be a good way to get your book "in the store" if you're desperate.
 

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Toni1953 said:
I'm going to take a wild guess PublishAmerica was on the list of banned publishers.

Actually it wasn't. Maybe PublishAmerica just goes without saying. :)

There were others on the list but I admit I was afraid of being too nosy and I didn't get them all, so I listed here only the ones I was sure of. But PA wasn't on it.
 

maestrowork

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aertep said:
Actually it wasn't. Maybe PublishAmerica just goes without saying. :)

There were others on the list but I admit I was afraid of being too nosy and I didn't get them all, so I listed here only the ones I was sure of. But PA wasn't on it.

Then it should be. Go back there and tell them to add PublishAmerica to the list. ;)

(disclaimer: I have nothing against the authors. But I won't support or allow anyone to support a company like PA. The second they get a book in a store, they'd immediate brag: "See, see, we are a real publisher.")
 

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