Wednesday, August 15, 2007

How green does your garden grow ?

I didn't get around to writing this yesterday, not because the day was particularly busy, in fact, far from it. It was pouring with rain and miserable for most of, and I hardly really did a thing, well, book wise anyway. Well, actually, when I stop about this that isn't really true. First thing in the morning I sent that same press release that I posted on here the other day to all those branches of Watertones, I also an email from the Twickenham branch to say they would be ordering copies, since they are not a large store. You win some, you lose some.

After that then I had a dental appointment and since the surgery is next to my gym, I killed two birds with one stone (do you ever wonder about the origin of such phrases?) and went to the gym afterwards. I did not really have the energy to do too much though, so pottered home after less than an hour to prepare a nice big salad.

Coran was expecting a telephone call from one of his clients in Switzerland, whose website he is designing, and he was also waiting for a new desk to be delivered, so that meant that I had to stay in and wait for the door bell to ring, since with him being on the phone, he was unable to answer it ! I took advantage of my enforced captivity to explore some of the free press release sites, and posted the one I wrote the other day. I chose two sites to begin with, one UK based and one US and I will see if it has any effect. If nothing else then it will push me further up google. As I was working, an email came through from Richard, enclosing a copy of his correspondence with Robin at Gardners - it is all now set up, and Robin has ordered an initial 30 books to keep as stock. This is quite a reasonable number I feel considering - I must in fact have already gathered orders at least equal to this, although some of these may be from libraries, who will of course order through Bertrams instead. Talking of libaries, I need to go through that list and resend to those who have not yet responded. I also need to take a free copy of those first editions that I still have to Epsom library as well.

I was looking at the Gardners website yesterday as a matter of fact, just surfing like you do, and discovered just how unusual it is for them to take print on demand books on this basis. I really am extremely lucky then and also extremely grateful. Basically though, the guidelines on their website are as follows:

All publishers must be registered with Nielsen Bookdata, have a valid ISBN and visible barcode. For stock titles, the publisher must have UK Representation and the stock must be available from a UK location. In addition to this, to qualify as a stock line, books must be available as printed, rather than on Print on Demand. If your title/s meet all of the above criteria then you are asked to send a sample copy to their address in Eastbourne, clearly leblling it as such. The publisher will then be contacted to confirm whether or not they will list their titles (and this decision can be reviewed on performance), or whether they will stock them. Where it is agreed to stock books, Gardners will then discuss commercial terms with the publisher. Almost without exception, books from new publisher relationships will be taken into stock on a consignment basis (i.e. we hold stock and pay monthly on sales achieved). Other commercial terms (e.g. discount levels) will also be agreed.

As a general rule of thumb: all books that are held as stock lines are sold to the retail customer on a sale or return basis, whereas listed/non-stock lines (what they call special orders) and books provided as Print on Demand are sold on a firm sale basis.

So, there you have it. Hopefully the above information may help a few other brave print on demand souls who may read this blog and be inspired to enquire about getting their own on those terms.

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