A week ago I was in Denver, CO for the International Christian Retail Show (formerly and fondly known as CBA). I was there as both an author (Remember that cool new group I posted about? I'm now a member) and for my work.
The days were a blur of meetings and taking in trends on the exhibit floor. But what I like most about CBA is that it has a family reunion sort of feel. I've worked in Christian publishing for eight years, at 3 different companies in 3 different capacities. And I'm not alone in my migrations. The adage is especially true in this industry: Never made an enemy, you never know who you'll be working for.
Although I did have a few work-related meetings, for the most part, I attended as an author, which was nice since I didn't have my luggage for most of my trip. But authors can wear whatever they want.
The "out of control" feelings continued when I stopped by my publisher's book. It's always fun to see what's new. The Jesse Butterworth book I endorsed was on display and it was a cool moment to see my first endorsement in print. I was able to introduce myself to staff and it was very gratifying that I didn't always have to say, "I wrote a book for you."
The bummer of the deal, and people of prayer, I'd appreciate your intercession on this one. I found out that my book is out of stock. That wouldn't be a big deal, except that the powers that be may be deciding not to print another run.
What hurts is that the reason behind all this is that one particular chain took in an optimistic amount of my books. Then I sustained a head injury and wasn't able to do much by way of promotion. The retail chain then adjusted their stock levels and sent a whole lotta books back. In fact, in 2005, this chain returned more books than other stores have sold. This does not create a profitable picture. My sales are still in the postive numbers, though, when you look at lifetime, but that's not the way of publishing today. The painful part is that when books come back to a publisher from multiple stores, they aren't generally shipped in full boxes. In fact, the book can get pretty beat up in the shipping as it's boxed with other books from my publisher. It costs more money to sort out the books and decide which are re-sellable and which aren't, which means, GULP...they're usually tossed. Now there's a ego booster.
So...I only have a few copies of my book. Most physical stores don't have any. (Thank God for Amazon and online stores!). And now that my health is recovered enough for me to take advantage of all the things I had to decline, we don't have books to sell.
This, my friends, is a sad state of affairs.
The book's not dead yet, and I did send an extensive list of upcoming events and angles for WaterBrook to consider. I'm hoping that I'll have good news to share, but certainly appreciate your prayers on my behalf. There are other books coming out so I know the word will get out about the message of Generation Ex. But you know, I don't want to bow out quite yet.
In the meantime, I did learn that some of those returns didn't get trashed. My new best friends at GoodStewardBooks.com are in the business of giving books a second chance. They may not be as pretty, but they're cheap.
Save a dying book, pick up your copy of Generation Ex today!