Friday | Death Artist | Terms | Litro | Dull bookkeeping thing • 14 July 2006 • The SnowBlog

Friday | Death Artist | Terms | Litro | Dull bookkeeping thing

          So many things to say! I've been putting off blogging as I wanted the Death Artist post to stay at the top. We've had some excellent reactions to it, not least from Amazon who have put it on their crime page. A trillion* hits a day! The funny thing is it's next to a James Patterson book, and I remember watching a (really quite crappy) TV ad for his last book and thinking 'surely we can do better than that'. And voila. 

I have one quick boring thing to say, too, in case you're thinking about which accountancy package to go with. Quickbooks is utterly useless and Sage is the way of the future. I wish I'd figured that out two years ago. 

Less boringly we met these people this week. We like them and you should too. 

And finally, the thing I actually wanted to post about. Here's a letter I wrote to the Bookseller this week (full version at the bottom of this post). It was, sadly, edited in one crucial place - the original included an email address where small booksellers can email me to set up their new terms. So: it's - I can't wait to hear from you! 

(* Estimate rounded to the nearest trillion.) I attended the recent IPG/BA Small Business Forum meeting in York. Having again heard calls throughout the day, echoing Caroline Abram's letter (30th June), for parity of discount for independent retailers, and in the absence of an independent retailer buying consortium being developed in the near future, from now on Snowbooks will offer the same discounts to independent booksellers as we do to our larger customers. 

There will be no minimum order requirement; all orders will be sale or return, although greater discount is available for firm orders; retailers must have an account with our distributor LBS. Extra discount will be available if you treat our books with extra love (promotions, windows, reviews, table space). 

There is a dusting of altruism in this move, but the real motivation is business-led. By trading directly with retailers, we can better understand their and their customers' needs, and get feedback on what's working and what isn't. By offering larger discounts than our competitors, our books have one more thing in their favour when booksellers consider them alongside the thousands of new titles every month. Retailers may feel more comfortable taking a chance on a Snowbooks title if the risk is lower, and, when they see how well the books sell, will order more and different books.

I hope that this offer is taken up with enthusiasm. In discussion with independents I have detected a marked split: those who want better discounts and those who prefer the convenience of the wholesaler's "one stop shop". 


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