Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Pause is Done

No more pause, now. Today I was ready to start building back up an inventory to fill individual orders as they come in, and to contemplate other possible avenues for promoting the D-Lux 4 book. Actually, last night I took one step in that direction; I browsed the internet looking for a site that deals with photography books, and happened to find I had not heard of that site previously, but it looked very interesting and had a great selection of Leica books and reference materials. So I sent off an e-mail message on the theory that the more contacts I make, the better.

This morning I checked my e-mail and had a return message saying they are interested in carrying my book -- good news! I e-mailed back, and then I spoke on the phone with a very pleasant gentleman from the combination store and web site. The upshot was that they are going to try carrying my book on a trial basis to see how it sells. I have already shipped some books off to them, because I think it will be great to have the book handled by what is obviously a very reputable and established business that specializes in photography books.

I had another e-mail this morning that could be considered in the category of news that's good -- up to a point. (If you ever get a chance to read Evelyn Waugh's novel, Scoop, there's a great passage about the meaning of the phrase "up to a point.") If you read earlier posts, you know that Amazon at first ordered 2 copies of the D-Lux 4 book, then very recently ordered 23 more, which sent our production line into overdrive. Then, this morning, they ordered 27 more! Well, that's great, but we don't have 27 books. In fact, at this very moment, after shipping 10 books to the people, we have a grand total of -- let's see . . . zero! Actually, there are 8 copies that have come out of the printer and need to be cut, bound, and trimmed, and there are more printing out, but it's going to be a long way from here to 27 copies ready to ship. Also, there are two individual orders that need to be filled.

I'm not suprised that the individual orders are dwindling now that Amazon has the books in its own inventory, as opposed to being sold by me as an Amazon Marketplace seller. One unfortunate fact is that Amazon is selling them at a discount from the list price. I have no control over what price Amazon sells them at. So, there is a tradeoff. I won't make as much money selling them through Amazon as selling them direct, but I believe I will get more exposure for the book if it stays in stock as an item that Amazon carries as shipping directly from Amazon, so buyers can get it sent overnight, etc. (I buy a good deal of books and other items, including the 2 laser printers that I'm using for this project, from Amazon, and I do appreciate their fast and efficient shipping.)

So, that's the status for now. We will really have to scramble to fill the latest Amazon order, but I think we can do it. We'll soon find out.

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