Time and again we hear from authors, “Can’t you just send a few more books to Amazon quickly?” or, “Thalia doesn’t have anything in stock anymore. Please send out 100 copies tomorrow so that they are in stock again.” But it’s not that simple. Why this curious assumption has become so widespread among self-publishers is also a mystery to us. We’ll explain why now:
The First Law of Business
In most industries, it is customary that a delivery is made only after a binding order has been placed. It is the same in the book trade. As an author, you can present your book to your favorite bookstore and the nice gentleman or lady will then decide whether or not he or she will accept books. Of course also how many. The WalMart around the corner also decides independently how many bars of chocolate, peanut butter and strawberry yogurt to order.
And it’s the same with Amazon, Thalia, Hugendubel & Co. All retailers are independent companies that can decide for themselves what and how much they offer and keep in stock. And that brings us to the next topic.
Warehousing Is Expensive!
Warehousing costs a lot of money. If every publisher were to ship self-determined quantities of titles, then the bar assortments, Amazon & Co. would probably have to increase their warehouses tenfold. Because every publisher would be happy to reduce their own inventory and warehousing costs and outsource them for free.
But since everyone only has limited storage capacity, it must also be managed well.
The larger the warehouse, the more complicated the warehouse logistics. To get many different thousands of articles under one hat needs a lot of planning and also manpower. If every publisher and self-publisher sends goods at will, the whole system breaks down.
Have we been able to dispel the myth?