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2,082 Views 4 Replies Last post: Jan 8, 2017 7:44 AM by Lighthouse24 RSS
Level 0 1 posts since
Nov 29, 2013
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Jan 7, 2017 6:04 PM

Getting around "Non-returnable item" in bookstores

Hi everyone. I hope there is someone here who can help with this. I went to a few Barnes & Nobles in hopes of doing a book signing/workshop for my book and they wouldn't let me hold an event because the book comes up as a "non-returnable item." I know there has to be someone who has found a way to go around it. Since I am the publisher, couldn't I offer the store a discount back? I called CS and they said there have been a few authors who have gotten around this. My question is how???

Level 3 934 posts since
May 25, 2010
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1. Jan 7, 2017 6:18 PM in response to: Travelwithliz
Re: Getting around "Non-returnable item" in bookstores

Get to know the Manager.

Offer them books on consignment so they deal directly with you and don't have to deal with CS/Amazon.





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Level 4 2,667 posts since
Jul 2, 2011
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2. Jan 7, 2017 6:50 PM in response to: Magic_Man
Re: Getting around "Non-returnable item" in bookstores

MM is correct.  But, bear in mind that unless your books sell within 30 days you'll have to buy them back.  You could potentially lose a lot of money.


This is the reason POD is so popular.

Level 5 15,707 posts since
May 4, 2008
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3. Jan 7, 2017 7:17 PM in response to: Travelwithliz
Re: Getting around "Non-returnable item" in bookstores

Many stores expect authors to bring their own stock for the signing, then after the event they may be invited to leave copies on consignment, especially if there was a good turn out and and future publicity scheduled (eg. radio or local paper coverage). Get that all lined up prior to your signing to entice the store manager to keep supporting your book after the event.


30-60 days is a good timeframe after which to collect unsold copies and settle the bill, but you don't buy the books back from the store since they're your stock.






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Level 5 13,066 posts since
Aug 22, 2008
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4. Jan 8, 2017 7:44 AM in response to: Travelwithliz
Re: Getting around "Non-returnable item" in bookstores

If your sales strategy relies on placing books in B&N bookstores, and  if you don't want to supply them yourself as suggested above, then IngramSpark  may be the better option than CreateSpace. IngramSpark provides the ability to set a trade  discount and allow returns -- which brick-and-mortar bookstores normally require. But be  careful. The unit profit margin with print-on-demand is relatively low,  and once bookstores decide to stock a title, they tend to order more copies than they ever expect to sell -- so the returns can end up costing you more than you make.


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