Tuesday, October 09, 2007

More Idiotic Managers - grrrr !!

It is unusual for me to post more than once a day on this blog site, but I just have to get this off my chest so here goes ! While the highs far outweigh the lows and I still stand by what I wrote this morning with regard to the advantages and disadvantages of POD, I am fed up with idiotic book store managers who do not understand how it works and just fob you off with a load of old rubbish - if they are not interested in my book and don't want to talk to authors direct then why the hell don't they a) go and get another job where they don't have to do that or b) develop an ultra thick skin and just learn to tell the aforementioned authors the truth ...

What they do instead is make up all kinds of stupid and unsubstantiated reasons as to why they will not order and string you along with words such as 'I will look it up on the Internet to find out more', 'or it sounds interesting, but I will pass it through to the relevant section manager so that they can decide'. Either way they are abdicating responsibility.

Hello - YOU are the manager, you can make a decision for yourself, and you are allowed to say no. I won't cry and curl up into a little ball and die just because of one rejection. I will though develop a violent headache from talking to idiots like you who won't say what they mean, and I will also run a huge phone bill in the process.

I don't understand why I get such variations in attitude though - almost 60 stores have ordered copies now, and they are starting to sell - this I know for a fact as the stores themselves have told me this. The book is also getting press coverage and some excellent reviews. The mere fact that it is a POD book available on sale or return should I think speak volumes by itself, as although there are others available on such terms, it is still very unusual, despite what certain others on websites who shall remain nameless try and tell you. This is what I mean when I say that self published authors have to work ten times harder - we have no one to help us other than ourselves and that means bloody hard work.

I made a list the other day of all the roles that I have to fulfil myself and stopped when I got to about 1o of them. These include editor, proof reader, indexer, website designer, telemarketer, accountant, publicist, advertising copywriter, secretary, agent, researcher and general dogsbody! I seem to spend much more of my time in the last role than any of the others put together.

Still, it is worth it all though when you do get the successes. It is just that writing is such a solitary occupation, and we do not tend to network that much among ourselves. Sure there are the discussion sites where you can let off steam, but they are mostly American based. It is not quite the same as going out for a cup of tea with friends, where you talk to each other face to face, swap ideas, bang heads and in the process have a good laugh. Perhaps I will advertise in the newsletter I edit for other authors around the area to contact me and form such a group. We could really help each other and have some great laughs along the way.

This time though is was yet another branch of Waterstones that was acting like an idiot. I won't name and shame the store involved (it was somewhere in Kent), as there is not a lot of point. Suffice to say that he too shall be receiving a call from the independent author advisor in due course to put him straight on certain things.

The gist of the conversation was though that he would not be ordering, as it was too difficult to send the books back. Nice, as straight away he was assuming that they wouldn't sell - yee of little faith. We don't have an agreement with Authors OnLine" I was told. You don't need one" I replied "the books are available as a stocked item from Gardners, you order through them in the usual way". "It is too difficult to send them back" he then said "and there is too much paperwork". I went on to say that I was very surprised to hear him say that, since the 300 odd other stores I have spoken to did not say that at all, but quite the opposite in fact!

I think this one though is a lost cause to be honest, as well, he wasn't a very honest man, but was basically just looking for an excuse to say no without actually saying no. Oh well, his stuff I suppose, and for him as always to deal with. Will make some more calls tomorrow then - including one to Justin at the Waterstones Head Office!

In the meantime, thank goodness for Coran's new drum - they really are an excellent way to work out your frustrations (along with rubber baseball bats and settees!).

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