Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Watch out world, here I come!

I knew it was going to be a good day when I checked my Emails just before 9am and found a message from the library buyers in Stockport, Cheshire to say that they had ordered some copies of my book. From that point onwards the day got better and better.

After I got back from the gym, I decided to ring some Borders and Books Etc branches to try and drum up some sales. I started with the London branches and aimed to gradually work down the list. The first store I called was Brent Cross, followed by Broadgate Circus. Brent Cross were very reluctant, since they stated that there was insufficient profit in POD books to make it worth their while. I was puzzled by this, since I know that the two main wholesalers, Bertrams and Gardners, buy the books from Richard at 40 percent discount, yet Brent Cross insisted that they would be asked to pay 90 percent of the cover price.

As it turned out, Broadgate Circus do not do t well with mind, body and spirit or religion, so they also declined. That is fair enough, as each store is different. They suggested that I try the Whiteleys branch, since they do well very in these two genres and have a large MBS dept. When I rang them, they gave me the same story as Brent Cross. After a few more stores had said the same thing, I decided to ring Richard and discuss it with him. I am glad that I did.

It seems that he does sell to Bertrams and Gardners at 40 percent discount, but as distributors and middle men, they take 15 percent of this for themselves, leaving the shops with just 25 percent discount. The other problem is that POD in the main, cannot accomodate returns. Richard said that if I can get enough (maybe half a dozen) stores interested, then he will ask Gardners to take the book on a sale or return basis, and increase the discount to 55 percent. By the time they take their own 15 percent, then this will leave the book stores with the 40 percent they are seeking. Combine that with returnability, and they will not be able to say no.

So, I continued ringing after lunch, speaking to a few more Borders and telling them this. The good news is that Newbury, Lakeside and Oxford Circus (yes, Oxford Circus) are all interested. Oxford Circus have requested that I send them a copy to peruse before they definately commit. For a store of that calibre I think I will let them have one.

I then rang my local branches of Waterstones that I approached at the end of July to gauge their response. Most Managers were unavailable, and so I will try again tomorrow. At least 5 of them definately sound interested, in particular, Walton on Thames and Camberley. Camberley mentioned my going there to do a talk. Borders in Newbury have also promised to forward details of the book on to the person who organises a theology discussion group within the store with regard to a possible talk. If I can get into Oxford Street that really would be a scoop.

I found with a lot of Borders that they referred me back to Head Office, but the problem is, they never return your calls. So I called the Kingston store, since it is Claire from there who talked them into taking the book on in the first place. She is back from holiday on Monday, so they will speak to her then and arrange for her to sort something out. I will ring her myself on Monday as well. I will definately be giving church a miss, as this is far too important to miss out on.

Things are finally moving ahead, and it seems that The Secret stuff that I wrote yesterday may be beginning to work ... Watch out world, here I come!

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