you don't like how I'm living, well, fuck you! (brownstargirl) wrote in hard_pressed,
you don't like how I'm living, well, fuck you!

shipping costs

Hi all,

Hope this finds you well. I recently went on a tour to promote my first book. I gave my publisher the complete list of bookstores where I would be travelling two months before the first date. At the last minute, she asked that I bring books with me in my suitcase. She did not give me any instructions as to how to deal with the stores, selling them out of pocket, etc. When I sold out of the 35 I brought with me to San Francisco (the first stop) I called and told her she needed to ship books to New York or there would be no books for the launch. She ia now talking pointedly in several emails about the 'high expense' of shipping those books to the store. To my understanding, that was part of her job. Am I right?

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Well, yeah. It's the publisher's job to get books to bookstores. Most use a distributor. There are folks in this community who have been publishers themselves and know tons more about the nuances than I do, but, even as a small press, there is no way that she should be balking at getting books to stores on a pre-arranged tour.

That said, sadly enough, I've had experiences like being invited to read for the queer employees group at Time Inc, with stacks of books available from all of the other readers (and the organizers of the reading gave them to people who came), but none of mine because they had found it hard to get my small press books -- it was pretty awful.

Hope the problem gets addressed in a reasonable way.
I am writing another direct but diplomatic email that's all like, "I hear that the way the books were sold was stressful, because it was stressful for me too. In the future, how can we make this easier for all of us?" But I really want to beat her head in. She acts like it's just too much fucking work to sell one goddamn book. Oh yeah - did I mention that I am the entire spring catelogue?
Your publisher needs a beating. Who the hell is it?
Toronto South Asian Review Press, aka TSAR ( There are no queer or feminist small presses who do poetry anymore, so I am gritting my teeth and doing a tradeoff, but hearing you say this made me feel oh so much better.

She is also great for saying things like, "Oh, you sold 350 books in a month? (which is damn good for a small-press poetry book.) Well, that's good... we'll try to keep it in print for a little while." She's a flaky-ass wonder with no sense of attention to detail who has the power to just stop doing anything if I piss her off by telling her to go bite a dick. Next time, it will not be poetry and it will be on a trade press through an agent.
Oh, that sounds like a very tiny small press indeed. In that case, I suspect it's just a matter of being overburdened, and not incompetence or evil.

A firm letter to the publisher might do the trick. Squeaky wheel and all that. A spanking instead of a beating.
I'm her only spring book, her husband is MG Vassanji and they have live-in domestic help - she does seem more than a little overwhelmed by life, but my sympathies are low. However, thank you for being in favor of firmness.