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Dealing with independent bookshops

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Offline Jonathan Hill Reading too slowly
20 May 2017, 09:05 PM | Post: #1

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Dealing with independent bookshops

Looking for advice, please, from Kuffers!
I've been asked to outline the RRP of paperbacks I'm looking to get stocked in an independent bookshop, along with a % trade discount. The example given to me by the seller is that a £10 book with 40% discount would give me £6 per sale, the seller taking £4.

Firstly, is 40% a reasonable figure? I obviously need to make it worth the book seller's time and shelf space.

Secondly, to make any money at all, I'd possibly have to quote a higher RRP than the books are currently selling for on Amazon. Is the Amazon price tag classed as the RRP? Of course, if I sell in a bookshop at a higher price than Amazon, people may feel cheated, in which case I'd have to raise the Amazon selling prices to match.

I don't see this as a money-making venture at all, as after all costs it's going to net me pennies - and that's if I'm lucky - but the exposure is what I'm after right now. 

Any advice gratefully received...

Jonathan
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Offline Campbell
20 May 2017, 09:44 PM | Post: #2

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RE: Dealing with independent bookshops

40% is a standard discount for wholesale paper (ignoring the extra 15% you'd give yo wholesalers if you weren't going direct).

Up your prices. POD is expensive, and that's not going to be something you can change. They aren't mass market paperbacks; they're library quality bindings (in theory) and so should be priced a bit higher. If you're not making a solid profit, then the retailer can't either (and that will curtail any chance of expanded distribution sales, even if you work around the Createspace-ISBN and non-returnability issues).

Is this on consignment? Or is the store straight up buying them? If the latter, 40% is a steal as it carries no risk for you. If the former, you want to fudge your prices a bit more to cover any returns/ stock damage/ unsaleable returns.

The RRP is whatever you list it at. But having two RRPs for one edition would be unfair and confusing. Amazon will discount from their share so don't worry too much about having a high print RRP on that front.

One way you could add value is to sign the book store copies (and/or offer to dedicate copies on request). I wouldn't expect to get much out of print in terms of volume so the exposure will be limited, and the money will be as limited as your volume, but a good relationship with a bookstore owner has value. That relationship might lead to signing opportunities, a physical space for book launches, on-going sales of the whole series, and hand-selling of your book to customers (and booksellers still have the upper hand in matching the right books with the right readers in a way no algorithm can replicate entirely).
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Offline Jonathan Hill Reading too slowly
22 May 2017, 06:10 PM | Post: #3

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RE: Dealing with independent bookshops

This post was last modified: 22 May 2017 06:11 PM by Jonathan Hill.
Thanks for your excellent reply, Campbell!

I took your advice and upped the RRP. The store is settling up after three months, upon which they will order more or return stock.

Signing the books I thought of and should add value.

Agree that actual entry into the bookshop space is going to be much more valuable than the monetary reward.

Cheers.
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Offline Campbell
22 May 2017, 07:08 PM | Post: #4

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RE: Dealing with independent bookshops

Excellent news (and on Harvey Milk Day too). When they've got stock in hand, we should get a few KUFer orders in so they sell-through the first batch quickly to maximise your odds of repeat orders.
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