Sunday, July 31, 2016

Adding a new book distributor.

I've set up an account with Ingram's Book Distributors, which means I'm only one day shipping away from getting any book. 

When I first approached Ingrams, ten or fifteen years ago, they pretty much slammed me. "'re a comic store..." 

"Yes, I am. And you carry graphic novels, and besides I want to try my hand at regular novels."

The woman pretty much made it clear that I wouldn't qualify, that I wouldn't be approved. She mentioned I had to buy at least 1000.00 wholesale each month to start. (As this turned out, it wouldn't have been a problem, but it was a new category for me and I wasn't sure I could sell 1600.00 retail worth of books every month to start with.)

Anyway, graphic novels have only gotten bigger, and new books did well for me, and now I'm expanding again. 

Ingram's was considerably more welcoming this time...

I feel a little guilty. Baker and Taylor, the other major distributor, was very nice to me. They've been very good. Now I have to split my purchases between two distributors. Hopefully, by paying attention to the category I can increase sales so that B & T won't notice a drop off. 

Maybe it's time I got serious about being a real bookstore. So far, I've done it the easy way. Carrying my favorites, and the classics, and the books with a cult following, and the obvious tie-ins to a pop culture store. This has been more successful than I expected, and I probably should build on it.

Not so much the bestsellers. That probably won't change. I got a gander at the bestseller list this morning and it was pretty awful. Wow. This is the stuff that is half-price at the feeding trough at Costco.

But I can be more responsive to reordering the books I have and maybe a little more expansive in my selection. As always, the problem is room.

I'm getting ready to take out the sports card rack once and for all. That should allow me to add 3 bookshelves. I have to decide what I want to do with that. I'm thinking a non-fiction section, which I don't currently have. Again, just the best of the best. Things like Hunter S. Thompson, and Malcolm Gladwell, and stuff like that. Pop culture non-fiction, if you will. At least one shelf of that.

I could turn one shelf into "Current Bestsellers" I suppose, if I use a loose definition of that. Maybe a shelf of history, which is a subject I like. 

That will free up a couple of shelves to fluff out the inventory. 

Really, all that's stopping me is the buying of the shelves, and the dismantling of the mammoth card rack, which won't be much fun and will be very messy. Probably should just hire a truck for day and toss a bunch of crap into it and pay whatever dump fees I have to. 

It's work, dammit, and I've gotten lazy.

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