Thursday, June 14, 2007


Just got my latest statement from Meritage Press' distributor, SPD. It's a chilling effect. In some cases, what I -- as publisher -- receive can be as low as 29% of a book's retail price. So in some cases, I sell books at a loss through SPD.

I'm not blaming SPD, mind you. Due to poetry books' relatively low print runs (relative, say, to fiction) or the higher-per-unit cost of POD printers (due to lack of economies of scale when only one to a handful of books at a time are printed), the unit cost of a book is always higher than desired. But combine that with a wholesaler's take and said combo is enough to drive me to drink...and I do.

Nor is the solution to raise the price of the poetry book (though I am doing that now with one of Meritage Press' titles). Generally, there is most def a threshold in poetry book pricing against which purchasing power drops significantly (as someone who tends to write long poetry books, I learned that moiself the hard way...)

Poor Moi ... and she goes off to begin cocktail hour ... which seems to begin earlier and earlier whenever she ponders the bidness side of da poetry bidness...

This evening, in the overheated Napa Valley summer, to begin with a glass of the 2005 Spring Mountain sauvignon blanc (I first wrote blanch)...