Now that 2 bookstores want to carry my book, I decided a consultation call to my friend Anne was in order. What kind of a discount do I offer to the stores? Is there a signed contract? What documentation provides proof that I dropped off x number of books in case later it is claimed that I only dropped off the quantity of y? Anne told me that the bookstore will take 45% off the price of the book as their discount. That is where they make their money. She had no written agreement, and she concurred that it is all pretty loosey-goosey. That won't work for me, so I need to come up with something to leave in the bookstore owner's hands that covers me but won't offend them.
I ended up designing a starting point layout for my publishing company letterhead. Then I devised an introductory letter, where I can insert the number of books being left with any store who elects to sell my book.
Having heard nothing from my printer by mid-afternoon yesterday I bundled up 10 copies of my not ready for prime time books and took them to the local bookstore, Pudd'nhead Books. The store was having a fundraiser for a local elementary school last night, and the owner felt certain she could sell some of my books at the event. As she said she would take some books in their current condition, I had withheld 10 when I took the rest back to the printer. When I arrived, they were scurrying around readying the store for what they hoped would be a deluge of customers. A young woman was outside painting book characters on the windows. The owner assured me she still wanted my books, and said the first thing I needed to do was sign each copy. After they were all signed, she placed two stickers on the cover of each. One says "Local Author", which she says garners a lot of attention from shoppers, and the other says "Signed". Then she placed them on a shelf in the area of the store she felt would be the busiest last night. Right next to the beautiful, hard bound book commemorating the anniversary of the Missouri Botanical Garden. It was definitely a moment for me. And did I have my camera with me? Nope! I left a letter with the store owner on my new letterhead, confirming that I was dropping off 10 copies of my book. At least she now has my contact information until I can get business cards done.
Speaking of business cards, last night I came up with a layout that I am pretty happy with. Today I purchased business card stock with matching paper for letterhead and envelopes. Hopefully the Avery template I used will work on the paper I ended up purchasing. Shame on Avery for not selling paper and envelopes to go with their business card stock!
Latest word on the book? It had to be reprinted, they are waiting on the covers before they can do the binding, and I'll have them tomorrow afternoon. No pressure!