“Should I pay my publisher almost $3,000 to make my book returnable?”

“Should I pay my publisher almost $3,000 to make my book returnable?”

Q –

Dear Ang,

My new publisher highlights their services for me to be MARKETING my novel. I have not been a successful marketer. They got me some reviews of my book but I had to pay several thousand dollars for those.

Concerning me is that I believe they see me as their “cash cow” now. They’re now wanting me to pay to have my book considered for a movie. They do have my fantasies churning; that’s their job. They want to promote my next book, too.

My question for you, Ang: They want me to agree to pay almost $3,000 for 2 years of “insurance” that will encourage bookstores to purchase copies of my books This will reassure stores that they can return unsold volumes without expense to the stores.

My publisher told me they have a commitment for 500 printed books by “a large bookstore company” but, to close that deal, I have to buy the insurance. A business friend told me that sounds bogus.

I am told I am being scammed. I am suspicious, too, but they’re appealing to my “dream-life” comparable to an addiction.

Could you tell me if you are familiar with “book return insurance” that reassures bookstores that they can return books they receive “on consignment,” which is what my publisher has pitched to me?

I would be very appreciative for your professional opinion. You have given me sound advice over the years.

A –

Don’t do it. That $3000 basically means you’re paying for all of the books being sent to those bookstores – and then some. Don’t count on getting anything back. You won’t…unless it’s a pile of dusty, bent, unsellable books. It wouldn’t surprise me if the publisher never printed and sent any books to any bookstore at all.

There is no “insurance company” offering such a thing. That company is trying to make you think bookstores will order your book if you pay the “publisher” (ahem, scammer) $3000. It’s unlikely any store will stock your book even if you do pay the $3000. It’s disgusting how they’re trying to scam you by giving you a tasty morsel of a possible future sale from a large “bookstore company.” (That’s a weird way to word it, am I right??) I’m glad you were suspicious. Believe me. After you paid the $3K, they were going to later tell you that the sale fell through for one reason or another.

Amazon outsells all bookstore chains combined now. With all the best sellers, backlist titles, and new traditionally published books (that publishers are paying bookstores to stock), there simply isn’t enough shelf space for the millions of new books published each year now, most of which are self-published.

(Note: I also sent this author links to numerous complaints about his publisher, which is running a pretty lucrative scam on numerous fronts.)

Angela Hoy lives on a mountain in North Georgia. She is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the President and CEO of BookLocker.com and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.

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Angela is not only the publisher of WritersWeekly.com. She is President & CEO of BookLocker.com,
a self-publishing services company that has been in business since 1998. Ask her anything.