Friday, January 09, 2009



I just bought Aase Berg's book With Deer, translated by Johannes Göransson. It looks really great, and it was a great buying experience from Black Ocean press. After you complete the Paypal transaction you go to a page that says
While most of our titles are available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, neither corporation has very friendly small press practices in place, and we would much prefer that you order from us, Small Press Distribution, or better yet: your local independant bookstore . . .
Good job Black Ocean. Speaking for PGP, the deal Amazon offers to small presses makes it very easy to get books listed through their store, but they are miserable to work with. Amazon orders one or two books at a time at 45% of the cover price, and they don't pay for shipping. They also insist that the book isn't sold more cheaply anywhere else. So since I like to keep PGP prices as low as possible, I take a loss on every book sold through Amazon. If they would order in higher quantity, pay for shipping, or pay more like almost every bookstore I've dealt with (only one bookseller, someone named Dick Haley, has stiffed me for books), working with Amazon would be okay. It would be great. But as it is, it sucks and the only way to make it work is to charge readers more for books.

I think people sometimes check Amazon for a listing before deciding if a book or a press is "legitimate" or not. I guess the thinking is that if something can get sold at Amazon, it is serious stuff and deserves attention. But working with Amazon is BAD BUSINESS. It's BAD BUSINESS to use their consignment program.

This post went the wrong way. I'm excited about this new book from Aase Berg, Johannes Göransson and Black Ocean.

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