A review … and why Hasting’s sucks

The good part first. If you haven’t already seen it, rush out and get a copy of the April issue Rue Morgue magazine. Turn to Page 62, look at The Grim Reader column, and check out Richard Hipson’s short review of Ulrik. He calls the novel an “… adrenaline-fueled reinvention of the lycanthropic world.” There are other nice things said about it, too. Richard, you’ll remember, did the two write-ups about me for Fear Zone a while back.

Now, if only Ulrik was available for people to buy …

Which brings me to Hasting’s. I ventured to the nearest Hasting’s store yesterday to buy my copy of Rue Morgue. As always, I wandered over to the horror section of books. Once there I saw several titles by a West Coast author who publishes with a small press specializing in a particular type of horror. “Hmm,” I said to myself. “If they’re stocking his books, they should stock my books.” So I sauntered over to the desk where two young ladies were gabbing about something and asked who I’d talk to about getting my books on the shelf. Turns out it was one of them. I explained who I was and what I write. Her response? “We can do it on consignment, where we’d keep 40 percent of the sales and you’d get 60.”

What the fuck?!?! Let’s just forget about Fine Tooth Press and Darkscapes for the moment; I’d be losing money if I agreed to Hasting’s terms with that book. The Scrybe Press books, though, is another story. Scrybe has a return policy that is as generous to the bookseller as anybody else’s. They offer the typical discounts to retailers. This woman didn’t ask who my publisher is. She didn’t ask if my publisher has a return policy, offers discounts, if the books are self-published, or anything. Just a 60/40 split. I thought about telling her about the return policy, offering to send her the info I have on it and the discounts. But no. Screw it.

I feel pretty damn sure that the West Coast author doesn’t have a consignment deal with a Norman, Oklahoma, Hasting’s store. This is in no way a slam to this author or his publisher. It just gripes me that Hasting’s would want 40 percent of the revenue to sell books by a local author when they’re obviously stocking similarly published books by another author who lives 2,000 miles away.

Not to mention, I’ve done consignments twice before and it didn’t work out well. The books sold, but I had to go begging for the money because the people in charge “forgot” to send it to me.

That’s the end of my rant. For now.

One response to “A review … and why Hasting’s sucks”

  1. Well, actually…40/60 is a pretty standard consignment deal.
    My guess is that Hastings – like every other bookseller in the country right now – is so inundated with requests to carry self-published books that they’ve made that their standard response. Heck, at my store we just give a flat “NO” to every request we get from some author to stock their new masterpiece; otherwise we’d be the Self-Published Bookstore in six months.
    I don’t know the California author or book in question, but I’m betting they either: 1) have a deal with some distributor, or 2) know somebody at the store.

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