Neary explains that during the Great Depression, many david hoffmeister books and booksellers were unable to move their titles because of the economy. As a consequence, the publishers at that time agreed to give the bookstores the right to return books which they could not sell. In the time since, the industry continues this outdated policy.
It appears as though book publishing is the only industry subject to this insane policy. Could you imagine manufacture dealing with this form of return policy from any other retail organization? Grocery store chains would love it. If they could take any spoiled meat, wilted vegetables, or sour milk and return it to the supplier for cash credit, they would incredibly increase their profit margin. They would also be able to order their stock total abandon; they could carry anything on their shelves because if it did not sell they would simply return it.
In essence, this is what is happening in david hoffmeister books across America. It is an absurd policy which the huge publishing firms would like to see continue. They can afford returns.
According to the 2008 report, President and Chief Operating Officer of Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Jed Lyons reports the ugly truth about book sales is the rate of returns. He says booksellers return roughly one in four books as unsold. For hardback book sales last year, the rate of return was 43 percent.
These returned books must be stored in a warehouse where the same bookstores sometimes reorder the same titles. Publishing companies must pay the initial shipping, the return shipping, and then the third shipping to the bookstore again. As Mr. Lyons reflects, “sometimes I think the only people making money in the book business these days are the truckers who are picking up the books as they go out and picking up the books as they come back.”
For the small publisher the prospect of profit is very dim. They have to pay for shipping to place a book in a brick and mortar bookstore at a discount distributors and david hoffmeister books require – 55 percent! Then, if the book does not sell, they have to pay to have the book returned and placed in storage. Indeed, with a return rate greater than 30 percent, the numbers turn into a loss.