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Friday, July 10, 2009

Remainder Article

I have an article appearing in the summer 2009 issue of Canadian Bookseller: The Magazine of Book Retailing. The article covers the how booksellers can use remainders to help boost their bottom line.

But more than that, I tried to explore some of the other benefits of remainders. As I'd mentioned a while back on this blog, while authors typically don't get a dime of royalties from remainder sales, there might be some other benefits that they could see from them being available, like reaching new readers.

Within the article, I covered how remainders have worked in the experiments I've had in my own bookstore, in terms of selection and placement. I also talk about the serendipity involved when customers discover new writers when checking out these lower priced books in bookstores, some bookseller's distaste over remainders as well as how to "blowout" the stock you've had for a few months without losing money.


The article is called RALLYING CRY OF THE REMAINDER: "I'm Not Dead Yet!" and is the perfect example of the pleasures of working with a great editor. When I first pitched the idea for the article to Canadian Bookseller editor Emily Sinkins, she was receptive and offered me some guidelines and suggestions that helped keep me focused on benefiting the booksellers who would be reading the article. And when I couldn't land on a proper title, but instead, kept bouncing various combinations of ideas I'd had for a title, she crafted the perfect fitting title for it based on my struggles to land on one (as well as a great visual presentation in terms of layout that Emily and Liz Machin developed for it)

Here's an excerpt from the article:
Over the years, I have come to see remainders as actually helping expand the life-cycle of a book as well as breathing new life into your bottom line. Look at it this way: A book is published, bought by a bookstore, merchandised on the shelves, and if it doesn't sell, is shipped back to the publisher for a credit. But the life-cycle doesn't need to end there. Instead of getting pulped, a remaindered book gets another chance to be discovered by readers. And it fits nicely into the green movement of reusing and recycling.

As I've mentioned before, editors add a huge value (often unseen or undetected by readers) to written works, and I've been fortunate enough to have worked with so many of them over the years. Emily is one of those editors who stays behind the curtain and toils quietly away, really making my writing shine. Kudos to Emily and all those editors out there making writer's words that much better.

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