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Why I Don’t Do Prepub Ordering

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I usually make my final commitment on quantities of new titles about a week before release. We’re a smaller market, so often the quantities would never be sufficient for additional discounts anyway. I wait until I can make an assessment of the market and the potential popularity of the title as close to release as possible. And then I use a just-in-time system to replace items as they sell out.

I say all this to say that right now I am thankful that we do not have very many new titles on backorder. This is one of those times when the strategy pays off. I would probably be cutting back those quantities now given the effect of the rising U.S. dollar will have on sales.

However, I also believe there are some consumers who will buy new titles no matter what. They did it before when the conversion rate was high; and some don’t care about price to the extent we think they will. But I believe this time around, with today’s market conditions, the prices conversions will cause some customers to rethink their purchase, or more aggressively look around online for a more competitive price. 

The buying price for the American dollar Friday, when you factor in the 2.55% your bank charges for the transaction is 1.2972, in other words, even the 1.25 rate is insufficient to cover titles your store imports direct.  David C. Cook is raising MSRPs this weekend to approximately 1.2500 x U.S. list, but if this trend continues, watch for 1.300 soon.

image: CBC National News

Related: We Need Fixed Canadian Pricing

  1. February 1, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    Reading this two day later, I realize I need to add that publishers do need pre-pub orders in order to determine the initial print run of a title, and gauge overall prospects for that book. It’s not unheard of for a title to be canceled altogether if dealers don’t get on-board. So if everyone were to adopt my suggestion as a blanket prescription it would throw things into chaos. However, the U.S. advance orders ought to be sufficient for publishers to foresee response, at least at the wholesale level, and by the time numbers from Canada feed into the stream, the book is already rolling off the presses.

    I stand by my opinion that it’s important to exercise extreme caution, especially right now, but if you’re large enough that you are indeed getting all those nice, extra discounts for advance ordering, then you’re probably not too worried about what’s taking place.

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