One thing I’ve been worrying about it that Lightningsource/Ingram, our printer/distributor, is instituting a “new stocking strategy”. They used to keep at least two copies of every book on hand so that the books would be listed as in stock. It’s important for the titles to be in stock because a lot of customers won’t backorder a book even though LSI can print one up on the day it’s ordered.
However they are no longer going to print every title because there are so many books being published that it’s too expensive. They say that all books will still be listed as in stock because now their system is so fast they can print the book up and send it out immediately so it won’t require backordering. But I don’t think that’s going to help. Even though it will say in ‘in stock’ I bet the bookstores will treat it as a backorder. Our titles have always been listed as returnable through Ingram but some bookstores ignore the listing because they can tell the title is POD. They tell us they can’t stock our title because it’s non-returnable!
Is it coincidence that overnight most of our titles on Amazon say things like ‘special order’ or ‘takes 11-13 days to ship’? We’re thinking about joining Amazon’s warehouse program to get our books listed in stock at Amazon. But this is going to make it even more difficult than it already was to get bookstores to stock our books.
LSI/Ingram caused this problem when they accepted so many publishers and POD titles. LSI never turned money down from any of those publishers but now LSI/Ingram slams the door in our faces when we’re trying to sell the books. They get money for each book printed and they know you can’t sell books if you don’t have distribution. The less books sold, the less books printed, the less money for them. Is it poor decision making or prejudice against the small press?