When writers don’t get paid

The witch doesn’t always remember things. But sometimes my memory is very good, and with a visual mind, I can ‘see’ some things from the past exactly. So, nearly eight years ago, I see where I am standing and in which bookshop, and I see what I am buying. The memory may be stronger, because it was uncharacteristic behaviour for me.

I picked up hardback copies of the first Artemis Fowl and the first Pure Dead Magic. The former because all the PR had made me confused enough to buy a hardback, and the latter because the purple velvet cover was irresistible. The bookshop was – or became – Hammicks. It was a shop that changed names faster than I could keep up with, but as I said, I can see where I was.

So, last week I brought the purple velvet to its ‘mother’ to be signed at long last. When Debi opened it up, however, the name Ted Smart leapt out at us. But I did not buy it from his catalogue! Debi reckons shops sometimes get their books cheap from that place, and sell them on. 

Will have to keep my eyes open from now on.

3 responses to “When writers don’t get paid

  1. Perhaps Debi might have to go into the Witness Protection Programme now before someone decides to Take Her Out ( and we’re not talking dates here, people)

    I’m reminded of a typically brilliant Posy Simmonds cartoon about an independent bookseller heading off to Costco ( or some similiar non-bookselling giant emporium) to buy cheap copies of a bestseller in order to resell them, full-price in her shop.

    Needs must, when the devil drives – but in this case, who is the devil, and could somebody please tell me where it is that we’re heading?

  2. And how many times do we find current – very recent – titles offered by Amazon re-sellers for 1p? In fact, instead of buying copies at 50% off from my publishers, I often buy them at a larger discount online, or in discount shops like The Works. How crazy is that?

    Debi – some independents actually did buy HP7 from Tesco to re-sell at near full price!

  3. Anne – I was going to say that I know of one shop where they seriously underestimated the need for HP5, and went round Tesco with a trolley on Sunday morning. When challenged by Tesco, they claimed to have a very large family and many friends. So, it wasn’t to make money, it was saving face, in the face of the madness of buying Harry.

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