HarperCollins’ Quixotic Quest

 

HarperCollins’ Quixotic Quest

As readers of this e-zine know, I started out in the book business—first in publicity departments and later as a traveling salesman calling on bookstores, wholesalers and libraries in the East and Midwest. As a salesman, I used to get commissions. As an author of books, I receive royalties. The killer on any commission or royalty statement is the line, “Returns”—unsold books returned to the publisher for credit on which commissions and royalties are deducted. Returns have been the bane of book publishing for more than 70 years. The announcement that HarperCollins will launch a new division that will not accept returns from booksellers