A Voice From The Book Trade
Over at The View From Here Magazine, Helen Miles talks about her experience of the book trade:
I was quite unprepared for the bizarre practices that persist in the selling of a book. Apparently, I must set a price for our books (that must end with 99p, obviously) and then offer a whacking discount to the trade. They then order a couple of hundred copies, hide them at the back of the shop for six months, sell two and send the rest back to me. This is regarded as so commonplace that no-one bats an eyelid, and the returned books are pulped and form the hardcore of motorways. Tell this to an ordinary reader in a Waterstone’s Costa outlet, and they will be utterly amazed. I was too, and also entirely out of pocket.
Helen Miles is the proprietor of Solidus, a small, independent, Stroud-based publishing house using print on demand technology to get up-and-coming writers into print.