Monday, October 20, 2008

So THAT's how it works

From Galleycat

Posted by Ron | 07:00 AM | Party Hopping | Email this post | 0 Comments

Why Didn't Borders Want Your Book?

Andrew Wheeler, a marketing manager at Wiley, has a long, thoughtful essay about why the national chain bookstores don't order every book published, including some books by imprints at the biggest conglomerates. "I market books for a living, so I can tell you an unpleasant truth: the order for any book, from any account, starts at zero," Wheeler warns. "The publisher's sales rep walks in the door with tipsheets and covers, past sales figures and promotional plans, to convince that bookseller's buyer to buy that book... Sometimes, that buyer is not convinced, and the order stays at zero."

"Generally, for a hardcover or trade paperback that's not being pitched for something promotional... you're talking about whether the order is one, two, or maybe three copies per store," he explains—but there's also the possibility that they'll only order inventory for the stores that sell that book's category best. And it goes without saying that an author's past performance will factor into the store buyer's consideration—looking at the two prominent Borders "skips" of books in the science fiction genre that prompted Wheeler's explanation, the decisions appear purely numbers-based, brutal but economically sound from the store's standpoint. "

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