February 15, 2009

The Nature of the Business

Filed under: Business — bilbo @ 11:24 pm

Recently, HinterWelt was dropped from traditional distribution by Key 20. This has caused a few hiccups but in all, it could have been much worse. I am lucky though, in that I have made some contacts and have some folks who actually know me in the industry. Amongst these are the folks over at ACD (one of the big distributors). Now, normally, small press like HinterWelt go through companies called fulfillment companies that collect up all the small press and offer them up to the big distributors like Alliance and ACD. This adds a step and an expense.

Hmm, a quick “How it works” for those who do not know. Publishers sell their books at about a 60% discount to Distributors. Distributors then sell these books at about a 40-45% discount to the retailers. Retailers, if they are lucky, sell the books to the public at the MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price). Now, with small press, there just is not the volume that distributors need to make money considering shipping and such. So, fulfillment houses come in and they take another 6-8%. This generally will get you listed at most of the distributors but the new paradigm is to stock such titles on demand. In the case of some distributors they have created confusing systems and designations that get retailers thinking that some small press are out of business. This is a great pain.

Now, I am not “in” with ACD but at least they will listen as I have run promotions with them in the past and Brad and I have talked at GTS and such. At least they will consider my application. I ahve long since gone to sellign direct and through a number of less traditional outlets. I think we have a pretty good shot at keeping this avenue open but only time will tell.


  1. Oooh! That bites nuts, Bill! You should send some hit squirrels to ACD… Make they an offer they can’t understand!

    Squirrel: “Ch-ch-chit! ch-ch-ch-chick!”
    ACD Dude: “Huh? Wha..?”

    There’s always raising the red flag and marching joyously over to IPR…


    Comment by clash bowley — February 19, 2009 @ 8:18 am

  2. IPR has already told me “Sorry, you are not avant garde enough.”. What the hell does that mean? Come on, I write books about playing magical squirrels from a make believe world called Nuttopia that fight dogs, cats and guys named Dr. Jones. So, IPR is on my bad side right now…well, they always were but I am having trouble not cracking their nuts over this.

    Comment by bilbo — February 19, 2009 @ 10:27 am

  3. Huh? Brett has some stuff distro’ed through them. Brett’s no more avant guarde than you are.


    Comment by clash bowley — February 19, 2009 @ 11:49 am

  4. Apparently he is. I am assuming they are talking system. Brett has a diceless system so that makes him cool. I suck because I am just a trad pile of crap. 😉

    Comment by bilbo — February 19, 2009 @ 12:07 pm

  5. [Bangs head on wall!] They don’t even know what they are talking about!



    Comment by clash bowley — February 19, 2009 @ 12:21 pm

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