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872 Views 12 Replies Last post: Feb 17, 2018 11:57 AM by DougBrunell RSS
Level 0 4 posts since
Jul 15, 2017
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Feb 13, 2018 10:47 AM

Book signing book return question

A group is ordering books from me for a signing. They want 50. They've asked if they can return any that don't sell. What are your thoughts?  I'd rather not deal with that. But, wondering what you all have done.

Level 4 2,834 posts since
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1. Feb 13, 2018 1:23 PM in response to: mzladyj
Re: Book signing book return question

It's standard procedure for bookstores to return unsold books. As for a "group," it's your call.

Level 4 2,667 posts since
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3. Feb 13, 2018 2:49 PM in response to: mzladyj
Re: Book signing book return question

If you do a lot of signings and can take the others with you to the next one, then I'd say yes. 

 

If they would rot in your garage if they return them, I'd say no.

 

This is why POD is such a good deal, no financial risk.

Level 5 15,645 posts since
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4. Feb 13, 2018 3:23 PM in response to: mzladyj
Re: Book signing book return question

Are you going to lose the sale altogether if you say no to returns? A 50-copy order is a lot to miss out on. And it’s not that hard to move unsold stock if you end up with a few copies. What sort of group is it? What discount are you offering on the group order?

 

 

Michelle

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Odyssey Publishing -- editing, cover design and book formatting services to help you on your publishing journey.

 

Odyssey Books -- quality fiction and non-fiction -- where books are an adventure!

Level 3 336 posts since
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5. Feb 13, 2018 3:30 PM in response to: mzladyj
Re: Book signing book return question

Since they want 50 books for the signing, if you decide to go ahead, you should perhaps put in a restriction regarding the number or percentage of returned books you would accept.  This would hopefully allow you to reduce your risk and perhaps cause the group to determine how many they actually need and how many buyers actually exist.

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6. Feb 13, 2018 5:23 PM in response to: BooksAndMore
Re: Book signing book return question

Good idea.  Or maybe a "restocking fee".

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9. Feb 13, 2018 5:56 PM in response to: mzladyj
Re: Book signing book return question

If they were OK with list price, I wouldn't offer a discount.

 

They also may be OK if you tell them that the books are POD and you won't be able to take returns.  Maybe just ask them about it.

Level 5 15,645 posts since
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10. Feb 14, 2018 2:25 AM in response to: mzladyj
Re: Book signing book return question

There's no need to offer a discount, although this is common practice at some signing events. Do you have a way to find out expected attendance? Is this a ticketed event? Something I've done in the past is charge an entry fee which includes the cost of the book for each attendee -- that way we knew the exact number of copies needed.

 

 

Michelle

-—--—--—

Odyssey Publishing -- editing, cover design and book formatting services to help you on your publishing journey.

 

Odyssey Books -- quality fiction and non-fiction -- where books are an adventure!

Level 5 13,021 posts since
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11. Feb 14, 2018 9:20 AM in response to: mzladyj
Re: Book signing book return question

When I'm invited to speak at corporate events and receive a similar offer regarding books, it's usually because (1) someone influential in the organization is a strong advocate of the techniques, principles, and messages presented within, (2) he/she wants to share that info with others in the organization, and is willing to approve corporate funds to buy a copy of the book for any manager or employee who wants one, but (3) he/she isn't sure others in the organization will feel the same or embrace the message presented, and (4) he/she doesn't want to waste money giving away copies to a lot of people who'll never read them.

 

So it comes down to how much I think I can "sell" the group on what I have to offer. I'm generally confident in that regard, so I'll readily accept an offer to take back unsold copies (because I don't really plan on there being any). Even if all the books don't sell on the spot, if I'm doing my job, people will be discussing my talk and/or my book after the event, and employees who perhaps didn't claim a copy initially (or who weren't even there at all) will want one later.

 

All this is why an organization can't be sure how many copies might be needed. So yes, I agree to returns, but I do put a time limit on the return window -- two weeks is long enough in most instances. If they keep books longer than that, they bought 'em.

Level 1 158 posts since
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12. Feb 17, 2018 11:57 AM in response to: Lighthouse24
Re: Book signing book return question

That actually seems more than fair.

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