Dating Remaindered Men

Harley Jane Kozak’s book DATING DEAD MEN has been remaindered…meaning the publisher is going to sell their stock of unsold copies to booksellers by the pound (so the formerly $24.95 books will end up in the bargain bin at Barnes & Noble for $4.98).  When your books are scheduled to be remaindered, the publisher first offers you the opportunity to buy as many copies as you like for a buck or two.  Harley writes:

Anyhow, a few days later, when the actual Remainder Notice from Random House
arrived in the mail, it turned out to be 2,740 books @ $1.43 a book. Meaning
that the two thousand dollars I’d rounded it off to turned out to be . . . a
tiny bit more. Okay, $3,918.20. Plus tax.

Which led to another not-so-fabulous dilemma.

Where does one put 2,740 books?

It’s a hard offer to resist. I know, because I’ve fallen for it. I have hundreds and hundreds of copies of BEYOND THE BEYOND and MY GUN HAS BULLETS in my garage. Now, a decade after they were published, I have resorted to giving them away in bookbags at conventions and at signings for my new books — using them, basically, like promotional bookmarks. Even so, I’ve hardly made a dent in my stockpile. My advice to Harley — resist the urge. Buy a 100 of each and let the rest go to the remainder bins of America.


13 thoughts on “Dating Remaindered Men”

  1. By buying up all your remaindered stock, aren’t you preventing customers from finding you? I know I generally buy a bargain book or three, so how does keeping it off the shelf help you?

  2. Lee’s advice is excellent. I’ve learned to buy a hundred and often have a hard time peddling or donating those. Remember also that the Authors Guild will keep its members’ books in print in perpetuity, so there is no reason to squirrel books away any more.

  3. Richard:
    Can you explain about how the Author’s Guild keeps its members’ books in print in perpetuity? Is this through some POD program? I haven’t joined the Guild but have heard good things about the association. Between MWA, SINC, Author’s Guild, and PEN, there are so many writers’ organizations, but little money and time to join and get involved.

  4. Yes, I’d be happy to explain. Guild members are invited to submit reverted titles for consideration by its staff. If the legal requirements are met, the Guild submits the paperwork to iUniverse, which does a POD edition of the reverted books at no cost to the author. (The author must submit two copies of the book to be put into POD publication.) The Guild has a contract with iUniverse to do this. I find that iUniverse puts attractive covers on these titles, and my local bookseller is happy to stock and sell my Guild reprints. Thus do my dead books spring to life.

  5. Yeah, Paul’s right. An author is better off with a remainder store. I’ve taken a chance on leftover hardcopies before (or “chance” – at those prices, it wasn’t much of a risk) and I enjoyed them so much that I bought the novelists’ next offerings new when they came out.

  6. Remainder bins are a great way to test-drive unfamiliar authors – I may not be willing to risk 30 bucks on someone I’ve never read, but I’ve taken the remainered plunge several times with great results, then gone on to buy the author’s other works at full price.

  7. Lee:
    Have you talked to Murder by the Book in Houston TX?
    When BTB came out a few years ago, they bemoaned to me their inability to get copies of MGHB, as they were recommending you to anyone who’d stand still long enough to listen.
    Now that TMWTIOB has come out, they might well be interested in taking some of the copies of your older books off your hands.


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