29th December 2006
For a writer to get a book published is only half the battle. The other half is getting it into the bookshops. My books Dear Air 2000 and Football Crazy are now available from all the main book wholesalers so now I have to make book retailers aware of this. With this in mind I called in at my nearest branch of Waterstones in Stockport this morning with a view to getting the name and address of the person at their head office who is in charge of buying books. I shouldnâ€™t have bothered.
I asked the girl behind the counter for the required information but as luck would have it the manager was nearby and overheard me.
â€œWhat do you want to know for?â€ he asked.
â€œIâ€™m an author.â€
â€œWe donâ€™t do local books.â€ This said with a snotty expression and a disdainful tone of voice. I could have hit him but we authors know that the pen is mightier than the sword so I exercised restraint.
â€œSo if Stephen King or John Grisham lived in Stockport you wouldnâ€™t stock their books,â€ I said.
â€œI meant books of local interest.â€
â€œMy books arenâ€™t local interest books. Itâ€™s me thatâ€™s local, not the books.â€
He went on: â€œAnyway if you wanted to get them into Waterstones youâ€™d have to approach the manager of each branch.â€
â€œAre you telling me that Peter Kay dragged his carcass round every branch of Waterstones that you are now selling his book in?â€
â€œItâ€™s different for big names.â€
I produced my books from my pocket. â€œWell would you be interested in stocking these two books from a little name. Who may one day be a big name should you deign to take pity on him and stock his books.â€ I offered him the books but he didnâ€™t take them.
â€œIt depends. On the deal. Whether we can sell them sale or return, what our discount is, if we get a bigger discount for quantity, all sorts of things. But Iâ€™m far too busy to go into that right now, try me in the new year.â€
â€œFuck off,â€ I said. Some times the mouth too is mightier than the sword.
Ignore this if you have already read it. My books are priced at Â£8.99 each and are available from Amazon, but readers of my blog can buy them direct from me for Â£7.50 including p & p. Just send me a cheque and I will send the book/books by return.
My address is â€“
Terry Ravenscroft, 19 Ventura Court, Ollersett Avenue, New Mills, High Peak, SK22 4LL