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Borders Will Accept Non Returnable Books

http://ShelfAwareness Bob Miller's HarperStudio might actually change the publishing world.  Borders has agreed to buy stock from HarperStudio on a nonreturnable basis in exchange for discounts between 58-63% rather than 48%.  The first of the HarperStudio books will ship this spring.  

The article in ShelfAwareness suggests that Miller is paying a small advance in exchange for higher royalties instead of the "no advance" theory that was advanced early on.  ShelfAwareness also brought up the idea that perhaps the industry could take a look at the "suggested retail price" printing on the book.  What that would mean in terms of royalties to authors or prices to the consumers, I'm not sure.
WallStreetJournal via ShelfAwareness.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Ann Somerville
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 04:22:12

    ShelfAwareness also brought up the idea that perhaps the industry could take a look at the “suggested retail price” printing on the book.

    Is this like the ending of the Net Book Agreement in the UK?

    I don’t understand why the publishers can’t sell the book at what they want to cover their costs and make a profit, and the booksellers can’t then sell on for whatever they think is reasonable. It would hit independent stores, of course, but aren’t they already competing big time with Walmart et all over there? How would removing the RRP affect things in reality?

    It’s like the book industry operates in this bubble where normal commercial rules never existed. This HarperStudio initiative might introduce some much needed realism.

  2. Karen Templeton
    Dec 20, 2008 @ 16:53:53

    I think the SRP is to make figuring out royalties easier, for both publisher and author. That way, the author knows she’s getting X percent on X cover price, rather than some vague “net” figure that leaves far too many opportunities for shadiness, IMO.

    That said, publishers work out all sorts of deals with booksellers, so their wholesale selling price isn’t set, and neither is the retailers, since many regularly offer discounts on the cover price. But for accounting purposes, having that price set as a guide probably makes life much easier for all concerned.

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