In my last post I mentioned that Heffers – my local bookshop, and the first physical one to stock the Sam Plank books – had changed its book ordering system and no longer places orders with small publishers, only through the large distributors. This is a hassle, but one that I shall navigate in January. And now I have lost another physical stockist: Daunt Books. I was never in their flagship Marylebone branch – the one with the amazing oak shelves and gorgeous skylights – but the manager of the Cheapside branch did take a chance on me, reasoning that book-buyers in the City might be more interested in financial crime… And indeed the books sold slowly but steadily. I contacted the shop earlier this week, to ask if they need more stock for Christmas, and “my” manager has left and the new fellow wants me to collect the remaining copies he does have. Ho hum. So that’s two down.
What I need to do is work out what is going on. The books did sell in Heffers, but I have now fallen foul of their new ordering system – and so the solution is for me to learn how to fit with the new system. But if Daunt is returning their copies, I assume the books didn’t sell well enough, or quickly enough, to justify their shelf space (it is quite a small shop). Again, I will wait until January and perhaps contact the chap to ask his view: is he purging self-published books in general, in readiness for (à la Heffers) ordering only from large distributors, or is it my books specifically that weren’t selling?
I’ll add it to my enormous – but exciting – list of things to do once I am a “proper author”!