Monday, October 15, 2007

Back to business

After the weekend, today was a relatively quiet day. It started off reasonably well with my trawling through the notes I made from Paul's little black book and seeing which people I could ring. I decided to start with Methvens, who as it turns out, are now Same Day Books. I have a vague recollection of reading about them on The Bookseller recently and how some of their branches have closed.

Most of their business these days seems to be be conducted online, so I checked first to see if my book was on their website. It was but with the original cover, so I emailed them to let them know that it needs to be changed, and then set about ringing their stores. Their website lists five stores throughout the south east, including one in nearby Chertsey, so I started with that one, thinking that as a local author, it would be the best place to start.

The Manager turned out to a very helpful man, sympathetic to the needs of self published authors, and not adverse to dealing with them direct. It is of course though easier for everyone to deal with wholesalers and distributors rather than the authors supplying direct, so he was delighted to know that my book is one of the few POD books stocked by Gardners, and suitably impressed. He explained though that was about to go on holiday (lucky him) for a couple of weeks, and would not be back until mid November. He then asked me to call into the shop on his return with a copy of the book and other publicity materials. This then, when it happens will be my very first official face to face sales call.

I then rang their other two stores - Worthing and Gosport. Worthing were willing to talk, and asked me to send them information in post, but Gosport were not so helpful. The Manager explained that there is currently an embargo from their Head Office on ordering new titles, and I need to call back after Christmas. This seemed strange given the helpfulness of their other two branches, but I thanked her for her honesty and said that I would make a note to call in the New Year. It gives me time to hopefully get some decent sales in the Chertsey branch at least I suppose, which might persuade her to change her mind!

Following that I made some calls to Waterstones branches that I have posted stuff to in the last few weeks - Nottingham, Oxford, Plymouth and Southend. Three of them said they not received it which is perhaps not surprising when you consider the recent Post Office strikes. They asked me then to email instead - the words bang and head once again sprang to mind ! Nottingham though were very helpful indeed; the Manager even promised to call me should he decide to order come copies - and he certainly seemed interested from our conversation. It is then once again a matter of wait and see.

After that it was time for lunch. I then decided to have a crack at Foyles, where I successfully obtained the email and direct telephone number for the Principal Buyer. An email then was fired off accordingly with the obligatory information sheet.

I then went round to the Post Office with the letter for Same Day Books in Worthing, and a review copy for Glastonbury Radio. Five minutes later Coran arrived home and we drove up to the view point for a well deserved cup of tea.

In between all this activity I have been posting on some writers sites to try and get some people interested in the new blog site - Conversations with POD. Tomorrow I will contact some of the writing magazines and maybe local paper, and get them to give it a mention, as that is one sure fire way to get people posting. The possibility of appearing in the new book may entice them even more. I may contact Grumpy Old Bookman again as well, and Jerry Simmons at the Nothing Binding project and get them both to mention it. I will be very surprised if Jerry's site doesn't produce some results.

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