Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Selling lit fic to Waterstone's

As I write I am in Waterstone's Gower St again, where on November 16th Verona kindly ordered a copy of my novel Too Many Magpies. When I wrote about this , Salt's Chris Hamilton-Emery explained that bookshops rarely re-order even if they do sell such writer-motored orders, and David Knowles of Two Ravens Press questioned that they were even really ordered in the first place:
But the real value of your experiment will come if you ever manage to find out how many of those 'Magpies' actually got ordered after you left - and, more importantly, how many have come home to roost in 3 or 4 month's time.
Well, I have to report that there is no copy of Too Many Magpies here on the fiction shelves. So was it not really ordered? Or did they send it back double-quick, or did it sell, and it hasn't been replaced?

Do you know, I feel too weary to ask...


Jessica said...

Or it could be stuck in the Waterstone's Hub - I hear it's like a black hole!

Some booksellers have told customers to order their books via Amazon instead!

Vanessa Gebbie said...

I cant fathom Waterstones, really. Sometimes they are terrific. Viz Brighton. And somethimes they seem to be supporting... viz Bridport branch, when I took Short Circuit in, and showed them the badge 'Recommended by Bridport prize' and told him it contains essays by five winners of a lit prize run by his town.

I will order, he said. Definitely. Its a nice looking book, we dont have anything like it, people like to write short stories.

Thank you I said.

he hasn't. At least, its not there.

Elizabeth Baines said...

Jessica, as far as I remember, Verona told me at the time that W Gower Street isn't on the Hub, or wasn't t the time, anyway.

V, I really don't know what to think. On my previous post, David Knowles commented that most booksellers don't like to say no, so they SAY they'll order a book to writers, but then not do so. Though I must say that those who agreed to order when I did my rounds gave me to understand that they were ordering on the spot as they punched the buttons. And then of course there were those who had no scruples whatever about saying no...