Re: RARA-AVIS: Hard case cheap

From: hardcasecrime (
Date: 04 Jun 2010

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    Well, our books are definitely not bestsellers (except for THE COLORADO KID by Stephen King, which was, but that was 4 years ago). But the presence of copies in remainder shops like Dollar stores is really just a reflection of the publisher having printed more than got ordered and wanting to clear out some warehouse space for newer titles. This is orthogonal from the question of how many copies got sold. So, for instance, if you only sold 1,000 copies of a title but only printed 1,001, you won't have a bunch left in your warehouse to remainder; if you sold a million copies but printed two million, you will have a big pile left and will have to do something about it. Of course, you wouldn't have printed so many copies if you didn't think additional orders were likely to come in, so there's some correlation between whether a book has "legs" and continues to sell after its initial time in stores and whether you've got copies to remainder later...but even that's not a perfect correlation, because a book could sell quite nicely on an ongoing basis and you could still have printed even more, thinking it might do even better. So really the presence of remainder copies is a reflection not of how well the book is selling, but of how bad a job the publisher did of PREDICTING how well the book would sell. And there are some titles we did a lousy job of predicting.

    Just to give one example, GRAVE DESCEND by John Lange wound up selling perfectly well -- slightly above average for us, I believe -- but booksellers thought it would sell much better than that, and we accordingly set the print run at a much higher level. The result: more than the normal number of leftover copies. And some of our our weaker-selling books (including our worst seller of all time) happened to be by some of our better-known authors -- not what you might predict when the time comes to set print runs.

    Anyway, that's why there are now some titles available cheap.


    --- In, mhall@... wrote:
    > I've been grabbing books from the Hard Case Crime series over the last
    > years whenever I find them in used book stores. I got a pleasant
    > when I went into my local Dollar store and found four of them! A few
    > later I hit another dollar store and found four completely different
    > I am very happy to pick all these up so cheap but I'm also concerned
    > perhaps Hard Case isn't doing so well? You don't tend to see
    > books in the dollar stores.

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