Alright, I feel it's only fair to begin this post with a disclaimer: All the names, examples on this post are a work of fiction... I am a writer and have a very vivid imagination, that is why everything might seem real.
It's been about two months since I released my debut novel Dragon Tooth, and ever since then, I was working on getting it in local bookstores in my country. But before I talk about the progress and what recently happened, I feel like am obliged to give you a little background of where I worked before to establish some sort of credibility.
I have been working as a Business Development Manager at the company that I left back in February in order to focus full time on my writing, and before that I was a Sales Manager for around a year and a half so, I know -what we in the industry call- sales bullshit when I see it.
So! You've successfully published your book! What's next? Oh right, getting the damn thing in stores (sometimes, it might happen magically, but other than that you're going to have to contact them yourself), and this could actually prove a bit challenging.
First thing that you have to understand is that your local bookstore is a business, and sales is what drives businesses nowadays and not good intentions. Pause for a moment, right after you get the shiny email telling you "you need to confirm that you consent to our trading terms before we go ahead any further with this" and just analyze it correctly.
If you have a publisher, DO NOT supply them with copies directly no matter how profitable you think it is. You might think "but what could go wrong?" the answer: everything.
Just hold on, and let me explain. The first thing you have to pay attention to is the credit period and the selling term. If I'm not mistaken, you'll probably see a 90 day credit period (which is totally normal by the way, don't worry), but the most important thing is the selling term. Pay careful attention as emails are considered official and can be upheld in court so don't go around saying "yes" in any way or form.
You see, what most bookstores will often do is slap a contingent on the deal that they will only pay you for copies that were sold, and the ones that weren't will be returned to you. Now, stop and consider this for a second. First there is a 90 day credit period meaning you will only get paid after every 90 days, and then a selling term which dictates that they will only pay you for copies that were sold.
Get the picture yet? Seriously, I don't wanna risk getting sued, but if this helps someone along the way and stops them from getting scammed by these dirty sales tricks, then I'm all for it. As a final note: NEVER directly supply copies of your book. You have a publisher for a reason (even if you are self published using any platform out there, they will take good care of you and won't fall for tricks).
Please pass this along if it helped you or offered insight.
Until next time,