Thursday, August 20, 2020

Prepare to Succeed


Do keep good records of all your book sales both retail and wholesale.

Office supply stores and similar areas of big box stores will have a selection of carbonless pads of receipt forms to choose from.


Retail sales

I have one type of two-part-form receipt pad for retail sales. I use it at book signings, speaking events, or any time I have a sale. Note: Always have books on hand in your vehicle.

Info you will need: date; location of event; name of customer & address/email, if possible; price; type of sale—cash, check, or credit. Location is important because sales tax will vary by city and state. You are responsible for collecting sales tax. I also use these receipt forms for gift, review copies, and donations; any information needed for inventory control.


Wholesale sales

The larger invoice pad is for wholesale book placement in bookstores, gift shops, or anywhere you can work an agreeable percentage deal with the owner/buyer. I have 3-part form pictured. That’s from my days in the craft program in Bishop Hill. A 2-part form should work well and be less expensive. Wholesale customers are responsible for sales tax.


Publisher sales

Publishers will have their own events and sales. They will have their own inventory and be responsible for sales tax. Do show up to sign & date your book. Think about a catchy phase to add. Have your quick-drying gel pens ready.


Do make up your own one-page inventory forms. Most of your regular wholesale customers will have their own, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared for the one that doesn’t. Plus, you’ll need something, a spreadsheet perhaps, to track overall sales.


The suitcase

I knew about having a to-go box of books for the car before I went to my first panel discussion, but I was totally amazed when the other authors started rolling in with their to-go suitcases. Basically, it’s your bookshop on wheels. Pack everything you might possibly need to set up a table or booth: cash/change, credit card reader, tape, scissors, price labels, tablecloth, book stands, business cards, promotional anything—collect it all then take it with you. Yes, these days it includes masks.


Do whatever it takes to be prepared to succeed.  

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