Submitted by book on Gregorian Chant to B&N for possible distribution to their store network and they returned it as they will not accept books that are published by CreateSpace.
CreateSpace will not accept PayPal, Barnes & Noble will not accept CreateSpace books for sale and distribution.
My book does show up for sale on line through Barnes & Noble....so there is some sort of strange two-faced thing going on here...
I have done business with the CEO of B&N...wonder if he knows about this...
Here is what I sent:
September 25, 2009
The Small Press Department
Barnes & Noble
122 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
A Beginner’s Guide To Reading Gregorian Chant Notation fills a need for a simple guide to understanding and reading chant.
Recent best-selling CDs of Chant have created interest and sales of books about chant have soared as a result. Gregorian Chant has been mainly of interest to music scholars so most books available are written for that audience. They are valuable books but tough reading for the beginner.
This book was created to be a very simple bridge to the other fine books out there for beginners. It covers the basic building blocks of chant with simple words and images.
Once read, this book makes it possible for people to sing chant and also have a leg up to delve into the existing books on chant for more knowledge.
The suggested retail price is $14.95.
Noel Jones, AAGO
They responded and returned the book with a letter dated October 6, 2009.
The gist of the letter is that they do not transact with CS in any way at any time, and that they will not offer it in stores or on line.
I don't think it's specifically directed against CS -- I had a LONG talk with a friend of mine who owned a bookstore for more than 10 years and her problem was:
(1) It's a whole lot easier for her from an accounting and inventory standpoint, to deal with a few big distributers/publishers than it is for her to account for a slew of one-offs.
(2) The big distributers and publishers offer her 90 days credit -- they bill her. Buying from CS directly, she has to put it on a credit card. If she buys directly from the author, she has to write a check.
(3) She's only going to buy a few copies (2 or three at most) of a new, unheard of book by a new, unheard of author -- the shipping on such a small order wipes out her profit. (With Ingram, for example, many books are consolidated and the shipping per book becomes affordable.)
(4) CS doesn't take returns -- an individual author can decide to drop ship and do that, but how many of us are really set up for that?
(5) Because they are not price-marked in the bar code, processing a book is more work for her.
She did say that as an independent bookseller she would be willing to host a book signing if the author brought his/her own books and hauled the unsolds away at the end. She would expect to get an advanced reader's copy (ARC) before agreeing to a book signing.
Well. Wow. That's interesting. And guess what ...
Your book is published with the CS ISBN 9781442141018 on amazon, with CreateSpace as the publisher, and listed on bn.com with "On Demand Publishing" as the publisher.
So I tried the advantages search on bn.com, typing in "On Demand Publishing" in the publisher field, and there are showing up 99 book titles so far, most of them yet without having a cover displayed.
This might be the result of having all our isbns now listed with books-in-print.
If this means that all our books will be soon distributed to other major bookstores and online sites like bn.com as well, that would be THE BOMB !!!!!!
And it looks so ....
I have checked those 99 titles and some of my books are already included up there!
This might be just the beginning of the inclusion of all CS book in the bn database.
How great is that?
Thanks so much for all the efforts to CS !!!
Any confirmation from CS would be much appreciated!
Can anyone check other sites like borders and whatever online stores?
OK, i checked your isbn again, 9781438257488, and it's listed on bn.com, but obviously not available in stock through BN, just though the third party seller "Adoremos books" who probably listed your book himself in the "Used & Out Of Print Category".
Sorry that I posted the "Hurray Good News". That was to quick ....
It would have been to good to be true
PS: Sorry for that blue color and blue lines, I am using chrome and I haven't had that problem before. Some kind of bug?
Message was edited by: TheDesignHouse
@ Hetman, Lulu distributes through Ingram when you get the distribution package. That's why your book shows up on BN.com and you could set up book signings (at least in the United States). You could also send a letter to BN (the address on his letter is the same one I used) to get your book on BN shelves.
@gedekt I will assume since my answer is coming A LOT slower that there is still a modicum of hope that they are seriously considering my title. I didn't know whether they would call or send a letter, so I've just been praying to hear something.
@ PeaceCenter - You brought up all the points that I've heard of the past few months about why brick and mortar stores don't work with CS. I'd also add the lack of a wholesale discount and returnability are probably the key issues. Many Indie stores will work with the authors using consignment, so there is hope for getting into their stores using that avenue. When I dropped by one such store this weekend, the first thing she said is that she works on a consignment basis for many of the books she stocks.
Edit: Yeah, the page shows differently when it comes through Ingram. I don't have a used dealer on my page and it shows in stock. 9780615307046
Karla -- we have books on consignment at two bookstores (actually, a bookstore and a writing center) but it's not really a viable solution for authors in the long run and on a big scale.
(1) We don't get paid until the books are sold, which means we have money tied up in inventory sitting on someone else's shelf.
(2) They want to be able to return unsold books, which means we might end up with a stack of pawed-over books, unfit for resale.
(3) If the store isn't local, we still have to deal with the shipping issue which prices small orders out of the market (our consignment venues are both local and we hand-deliver.)
(4) If we were to do this on a larger scale, the bookkeeping on our end would be complicated.
Consignment is OK, but it's not a great solution for selling ALOT of books. I live in a big city (1.3 million people) and, other than the used bookstores, we only have two independents who would even consider consignment. I would think most cities only have one.
Just my suggestions:
This is definitely not just BN. This is just the way it works. Arrange for a book signing and take your books with you and haul them away is THE way to get them into a bookstore. If you had good sales at a signing, they might be willing to stock a few on their own or do consignment but their answer is usually "no" to stocking it. You can reset your pricing to a lower price than Amazon's and give the book store their percentage, which just leaves you with less profit, but might encourage the store to do a signing. The pricing given by BookSurge (Amazon, CS) is, in my experience, way too high in some cases and a new author isn't going to get sales on the high prices they listed on their sites, so reducing is your best bet to getting volume sales. Get your name out there and get a following first.
Hello, I read your reply and think that you may have found the better way through this POD onslaught. Lulu now offers to buy you an ISBN for under $100 in your own name. Considering the possible explosion in the POD industry that usually follows any honest idea, having your own ISBN sounds very interesting. I am not sure if they will allow you to buy the ISBN without doing business with them, however. Do you intend to do this as a rule?
Thanks for your input.
peaceCENTER, irbauthor, and Karla_B, the points you make are spot on!
Bookstore chains prefer distributors because it's easier from an accounting standpoint. Indie bookstores and small chains rarely stock non-returnable books regularly.
There are many different rumors about how titles end up on B&N's web site; it's been like that for years. The bottom line is that they don't want the accounting hassle of stocking them, but they want to make make money from them nevertheless. The solution? List used copies for sale, and get an override from the sale.
Consignment deals do tie up inventoy/dollars. Unless the deal is local and you have a good flow of customers, it's not advisable. One exception: Running a consignment as part of a signing, provided that you take your books with you afterward. The bookstore is only liable for what is sold, so they really aren't "out" anything, and neither are you.
Consignment deals are very easy to set up. I stopped by the new coffee shop after dropping my daughter off at school this morning. I chatted with the manager over a cup of coffee. An hour later, two small stacks (four books each) of my titles were sitting on her counter, just underneath a handwritten, sharpie sign that says "Local Author!" and lists the two titles. She called an hour ago and said she's already sold three books -- and she's wanting me to give her six more (I'll drop them off when I pick up my daughter this afternoon). This is a true story.
Would I do the same arrangement for a non-local store, or a store only 30 miles away? No way, not unless it's a signing and I get to take the leftover books with me when I leave.
To get your books on bookstore shelves, get an ISBN, create and test your barcode (which includes the price), get a business license and set yourself up as a publisher, put your book through Ingram or B&T, and then send out gallies or ARC's to the small press buyers at all the chains. Now, unless you're Stephen King, etc., it's doubtful that EVERY store in a chain will stock your books, but some will.
Just a few more cents to toss in given my recent experience. I just recently got my book into 3 local Barnes & Noble stores and am waiting on answers from three others. Based on my experience, it is a must that you have an ISBN with the price encoded, your book must be available through Ingram or Baker & Taylor, and it must be returnable. I'm sure the fact that I offer a standard wholesale discount didn't hurt at all, but the first three are a definite must. For those of you going through Lightning Source, I can tell you that I STILL had to do some fast talking because it still shows print-on-demand in their system. The way to offset that, however, is to tell them that it's fully returnable, that way the understand there is no risk to them. I can say that going through Lightning Source has made this process easier, even though one of the larger (snootier) B&N stores blew me off. They didn't say no, they just blew me off.
I've still got my book into B&N Small Press division for approval and have not yet received a response. I've also got it with Booksamillion's small press department. If I get a yes from either of those, I can market my book in all stores nationwide instead of just the local ones. I decided to wait on Borders because their process is a little more difficult. And I thought that if I could say B&N and Booksamillion approved me, that it would be easier to get through them. We'll see how that plays out.
Also, if you use Lightning Source you book automatically goes up on B&N's Web site, which gets it into their system. Not only that, but using LS gets you into all the overseas Amazon.com sites. Mine is listed in England, Germany, France, and a few other places.
I published this book as a sole proprietor so didn't get a business license (although I am not dismissing that as a way to go). Buy your own barcode from bowker, and use both Createspace and LS. It gives you the greatest flexibility, as I'm finding out. You've still got to pitch your book to the managers but at least they'll give you a chance.