Firstly, there are about ten stores who will all stock and sell copies of my books to "gauge the market". This means that I pick a certain number of titles I want to go with, say five, and I order them, send them to the store but get nothing back if they sell, however, the store will then decide if they want to then order and pay (at a discount) more copies -postage, etc., payable by me which means IF they took books I would have to sell a lot to even try to make money.
I was explaining this to the old chap runs a stall in St. Nicholas Market, Bristol -he's been in business since the 1940s! He looked at me, mouth slightly open almost as though stunned: "You have not, have you? You haven't?" I told him "no" but that was the deal on offer. His response: "Well, why not ask them if they want ten copies of each of your books and in a year or two they can decide IF they want to pay you or not?" The look of disgust!
He is quite right, though. Say I want to send one copy of the Collected Phantom Detective -I pay for the book but then getting it to the comic shop I have three postal options:
These are standard rates. I DO NOT decide these -the printer has the contract all sewn up so there is no choice.
If I sent a bunch of books this increases and even if the shops were to split the sale 50-50 (which they are not -they have made it clear THEY will decide on what I get) I am quite literally giving these books away (well, I am giving them away). No way am I ever going to get 3% of what they are costing me back. The shops are in fact demanding the same deal as Amazon and others.
This will not get the readership base I need. "Get someone to sell your books at events -you send them the books and organise the table but they will know the way things work" to which I respond: "Oh, like whom?"
Even if I sent books to a relative so I could pick them up for an event it is still going in cold and with no prior build up and I honestly could not afford to lose more money like in 2015!
However, I have had an idea that will help people purchase Black Tower books at a lower cost than via the store front.
Firstly, remember: the postal costs are out of my hands. If you want to order a book I'll let you know the postage options before placing an order.
What I will be doing is, initially, offering ten titles at a discounted price. If you want to order one or more of those books you email me and I will ask which postal option you want and then tell you the total amount. You will then need to send me the postal address and payment via PayPal which protects me and the buyer. That done I will then place the order for you. It then all goes through automatically.
I think it worth trying and you get a book at a cheaper cover price.
So I will decide which books in the next week and then list them here along with single copy postal options if you only want one book.
Am I going to book that world cruise in advance? Give me a break!