Attention Publishers: Please Stop Doing This

Josie Leavitt -- December 2nd, 2014

I suspect this is not the first time I’ve complained about this, but I have to do it again this year. As I ready my store for the onslaught of the holidays, the back room is full to the brim with overstock, toys, and a myriad of things awaiting the flurry of restocking needs. In short, my mind is solidly on the holidays and being ready to have as many books and stocking stuffers as folks need. My mind is not on event grids or summer 2015 galleys. Yet, I find that every day I’m inundated with another box, or two, IMG_4111or even three, of summer F&Gs and galleys. One box even said: Open Immediately! and it was for a book that was coming out next July. The photo on the right was just what came in Friday: all of it is for Summer 2015.

Maybe I manage time differently than other booksellers, or perhaps it’s the nature of a small store without a dedicated buyer, but I’m finding a little oppressive to get things in from UPS these days because so much of it is for things that are six months away. Every day these boxes arrive and every day these boxes get shunted to a corner until I have time to deal with them. You know when I have time to deal with? January. Why can the publishing world not realize this and send these things after the holidays?

I am making a plea right now for all publishing companies: send these things just one month later. That’s all I want, one month where I don’t have to get things that are irrelevant to my daily existence as a bookseller. Want me to order more books for the summer 2015 season? Then send me things later. I would challenge anyone in publishing to work in a bookstore for a week during the final push of the fourth quarter, and then they could see how getting these things in late November or December is actually counterproductive to their cause.

And the event grids that are due at the end of this week are insane. There’s a grid that’s due tomorrow and another one on Friday. Filling out a grid actually takes time, thought, and a level of planning that I just don’t have at the moment. I know everyone has their own scheduling needs to meet, but surely, the publicity departments can wait until January 3rd to get a grid. By forcing a tight deadline on something when most stores are too busy during the workday to deal with it thoughtfully seems insane and ultimately hurtful to all involved.

So, publishers, please reconsider the timing on these things for next year and send us grid requests and boxes of galleys when they’ll be received with open arms and joy and not with a shaking head.

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