…Was universally agreed last night as the answer to the question ‘What’s the worst chat-up line you’ve ever received?’
The relevancy of which is that the lady in question had also tried to order The Melting Pot via Waterstones, but had subsequently been refunded after they were unable to source it…all despite my having gone to great lengths to get a wholesale agreement in place with a company called Gardners. I checked on the website and it seems that the agreement has been cancelled without my knowledge!
This kind of occurrence is the biggest obstacle to a self-publisher – the bulk buying view – where a company will say that’s it’s not in their interests to buy (or even take on sale or return) from a single seller due to it being inefficient time-wise. I’ve mentioned before that I sometimes approach a bookshop in or around Reading (where I live), agree a sale, but then have to post the books via a warehouse hundred’s of miles away rather than just take them in myself!
A guy from the Isle of Man ordered the book on Amazon a few days ago and was kind enough to write and say he liked what I was trying to do. I always massively appreciate strangers taking the time to do this, and it more than counters any frustrations I feel at the logistical constraints of fulfilling orders. This particular reader also relates back to the Waterstones rant and goes a long way to explaining a bizarre phone-call I received from a bookseller a few weeks ago – which went like this:
‘Hi, I’m on the Isle of Man.’
[PAUSE] ‘I’m happy for you.’
‘Oh…sorry…One of my customers would like a copy of your book. Can I buy one?’
‘Of course you can.’
‘Wait – how were you planning on ordering it?’
‘I thought you could send it to me.’
‘I can, but I don’t know who you are or where you live.’
‘I’m on the Isle of Man…’