Eek • 13 September 2006 • The SnowBlog
I saw my first conker of the year today. They're so shiny, aren't they? It's a wonder people don't use them for hypnotising instead of conkering. Of course, conkers means only one thing: Christmas is here.
We have what I believe is a stonking Christmas range. I was writing some information packs about our Christmas titles today and was getting more and more excited. We've got previously unseen material about Peter Cook; the best crafting book on the market; an 880-page Adept/Ex Machina omnibus; the next book from the brilliant Sarah Bryant; a seminal martial arts book; a hardback of The Sunny Side by A A Milne. Yes - they *are* perfect gifts. Yes - they *are* unique and needful and brilliant. Yes - people might buy them!
Which got me thinking. Oh god, what if they sell *really* well? Have we printed enough? What happens if we get a real runner? How quickly can the printers respond - or will they be too busy responding to everyone else? What if a customer places a huge order for, ooh, let's say 20,000 copies in November, and we print them and it takes three weeks and we get them into store with two trading weeks left and then they all get returned in January? What if... [breathes heavily into paper bag].
It's not all reindeer and port, you know. Christmas is mighty scary - 'specially when you're a little publisher doing quite well who might do a little bit extra well which might, ironically, bankrupt you. Thankfully I have ten years of blue-chip supply chain management, collaborative forecasting, planning and replenishment and strategy training behind me, so what could possibly go wrong? Er...
Still, I remember this time last year thinking that we were going to have a ghastly time of it for the other reason - insufficient sales. The mighty, merciful Scott Pack came to the rescue and bought a couple of books for Waterstone's 3 for 2 which got us through the season unscathed. It shows how far we've come in a year that I'm now worried about too many sales.
Maybe to steady my nerves I should attempt self-hypnosis. Where's that shiny, shiny conker...?