I have spent half my life battling the obstacles that bookstore chains place in front of authors who use POD technology. Now, an entirely new and scummy twist. I’m heading out on a tour this summer where I will be bringing my own copies – thereby bypassing all issues of returnability, distribution, printing, etc. Right? Wrong. The first community relations manager I talked to said they are not allowed to have author appearances for POD authors. Period.
I wrote back, “So you’ve banned all books by POD authors?”
She wrote, “It’s not a ban. It’s a policy shift.”
And, in fact, it’s not a policy shift at all. B&N has been fighting off new technologies ever since I’ve been publishing. With one major exception: my first tour, in 1995, when I booked 20 stores across the country. When B&N still had to keep up this veneer of caring about lesser-known authors.
Anyways, I’m talking to Borders managers now, and at least they seem willing to take a look at the book. And I’ll still be calling a few B&Ns, because there are always a few renegade managers out there looking for events for their calendar.
But God am I sick of this.