Thursday, December 06, 2007

It's raining book orders....

It has been chucking down with rain for most of the day (and half of last night as well), so the area around our village is starting to resemble a lake. The gullies which run along the top end of the main road into the village are in full flow. By the time I walked up the hill to work this morning from where I had parked the car, despite the fact that I was wearing a thick waterproof, my uniform was soaked. Thankfully it dried out within 10 minutes or so, but it made the men's eyes pop out and put a temporary smile on their faces at least.

Despite the rain though it turned out to be a reasonably busy day. I must remember to ring the bank in a minute and see how much my first pay check is for.

The good news though is that we have another new chap starting on Monday. This means that the staffing problems have been alleviated. My boss is taking him on for the moment as a Christmas temp, but as soon as becomes official that his predecessor is not coming back (company procedures say that you have to wait 3 weeks from the first date of absence - the first week was up yesterday), this new chap will become a permanent member of staff. I met him briefly when he came in this afternoon to confirm the details. He seems nice enough and I am sure will do a good job. It will be strange not to be the new person anymore, but I am sure I will get used to it!

Going back to the book business though, I have decided that tomorrow will definitely be the last day that I make calls to book stores, since Christmas is fast approaching and it is becoming just too busy for most of them to talk to me. Some of them I have called every day this week, and been told it is the managers day off, so I get the feeling that they just don't want to talk to me anyway. This is fine, as it just means that I shall bookmark them for a call in the New Year instead. I don't give up that easily !

Still the week has not been a total loss though, since I have managed to receive orders from several more Waterstones in Watford, Maidstone, both branches in Colchester (they share a Manager), Winchester Brooks, Windsor, Torquay and Salisbury High Street, and today I got Telford and Wrexham in North Wales. This is good since I need more in Wales, and the MBS Manager there sounded particularly keen. She ordered 5 copies where most stores order just 1 or 2 to begin with. She even indicated that she might read the book herself, which is always good.
I also had an interesting conversation with the Manager of Swindon, who although she is not willing to order copies this side of Christmas, has asked me to ring her in the New Year to arrange a book signing and/or talk. Apparently she knows people at the local radio station well and they often come down to interview authors live in the store when they host such events. Richard then will be pleased, as will Paul. Might give him a ring later on, and Richard tomorrow as well again, if Gardners are still out of stock.

This is really beginning to irritate me now - they have been out of stock for almost 2 weeks again, and this is the worst time of year for it to happen. I have book stores who ordered books on November 22nd who are still waiting for them, and if they don't hurry up then I risk losing valuable Christmas sales, increasing the chance that the books will be returned. This is the last thing that Richard and I want or need right now. I am not sure what the delay is - 50 copies were ordered nearly 2 weeks ago and another 50 just last week, but the orders are backing up, to the tune of 66 to 70 copies I estimate which must now be on back order, so as soon as the first lot do arrive they will be sent straight out again, meaning that they are immediately once again out of stock. I can see why some people do all the fulfilment themselves! Then again, if I had done that several things would have happened - firstly the house would be overrun by books, padded envelopes etc, secondly my shoes (not to mention arm muscle) would be very worn from constant trips to the Post Office and thirdly of course most shops only order through a wholesaler/distributor anyway. Fingers crossed that they arrive tomorrow then ....

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