Some may wonder why they are not seeing Asylum in their bookstore.
That’s partly because bookstores are caught up with having to stock the Penguins and the Random House books (if they want to stock a bestseller, they are compelled to also stock x y and z)
Often bookstores don’t have the time to pay attention to the title lists of small presses. They are flat out choosing from the big corporate’s catalogues.
Then there’s the matter of returns. Bookstores return unsold stock to the publisher at a cost per book. The big publishers can absorb the $$ loss. They do large print runs, and often pulp that returned stock. Bugger the planet.
Thankfully print on demand services have provided a different and more ethical business model. Only those books purchased are printed so generally there’s no pulping.
But the problem of returns remains and is prohibitive for an emerging small press, who cannot afford to take the risk of having to buy back stock. If suddenly a whole bunch of titles were returned en masse the small press would go under.
So how do small presses sell their titles? – Online, at book expos, and in any other way they can think of.
Of course, much of the selling of a book comes down to the author. We can’t kick back and let the royalties roll in. Unless our name is Rowling we have to get out there and spruik.
Many bookstores demand from authors that they carry their books on consignment. So the author ends up wearing the costs of delivery, collection of unsold stock and chasing the proceeds from sales. It’s often a thankless process.
Authors have come up with all sorts of other book-selling strategies, from book giveaways to market stalls. It’s all time-consuming and tiring work and detracts from the task of writing but there’s little choice for most of us.
Well, that’s the demystification over. It is what it is and I for one am very happy with my small press.
So, where’s my book? Asylum is available in ebook and paperback formats in all online outlets, and, better still, can be ordered direct from Odyssey Books, or from me, if you want a signed copy. Just send me a message.
You can order Asylum from any bookstore too, worldwide.