Friday, March 18, 2011

Small Press Month - Tip # 18

March 18 - Create a printed Terms and Policies statement outlining how you will go about the sale of your books. What is it? It's a one page form stating your business policies and sales terms, including the following:
  • Your logo, phone, fax, email and address
  • Desk copy policy (For books that may be used by schools or organizations)
  • Your discounts for different types of distribution channels (Bookstore, specialty retailer, library, catalog, distributor, wholesale, association, etc.), and different quantities (for example, Bookstores --1 to 200 copies-40% discount, 201 to 500 copies-42%, and so on.) If you have a distributor with an exclusive agreement, you need to include that information.
  • Consignment Policy or "Guaranteed Return" Policy (do you accept returns)
  • Return policy (how to return items)
  • Shipping terms
  • Payment terms 
  • Ordering information
  • Barcode and book cover
If you don't have your terms and policies in black and white, expect to negotiate terms on the fly (and then have to remember and enforce those ever evolving policies). Actually, you'll protect yourself legally too -- you can't offer one reseller a deal and not offer that same deal to the next reseller, giving the first a competitive advantage.

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