We have two messages this week. First, in response to our two most recent messages about Barnes & Noble and the “from-the-top” corporate business model which has doomed numerous other chains, a customer sent us an article about a chain that is actually thriving. The article noted that B&N is replacing books with games, gifts and art supplies. The chain hopes to make a splash with adult coloring books. Most significantly, corporate is still making decisions for all of its stores.
A different, and far more profitable, approach has been taken by Waterstones, a UK chain. Unlike B&N Waterstones isn’t closing stores but opening up new ones. In 2011 the chain was close to filing for bankruptcy and now its showing a profit. Why the about face? Managing director James Duant tore up the old business plan and adopted one that made more sense (he had owned an indie store which expanded to a six-store franchise). At a chain like B&N, corporate dictates what books are carried and where books are placed. Often prime placement is purchased by publishers. Duant decided to forgo the advertising revenue from publishers so store staff at each store could determine the placement of books. Each store determines what interests their clientele the most and those books receive prime shelf space. He also fired a portion of the central office staff as well as many local managers. The booksellers made determinations what to stock and where the books would appear in the store (kind of like an indie store). What was good for one store wouldn’t work nearly as well in another. Unlike B&N, decisions are made from the bottom (each individual store) rather than from corporate. Duant understands that the clientele for each store differs. And, giving more power to the booksellers at each store invests them in the store’s success. At B&N “sales associates,” as they are now referred, follow the plan of corporate where individuality and innovation is stifled. Waterstones is now showing a profit. It’s new business model has proven successful. Chains like B&N might be smart to copy this unique business model before they go belly-up.
Secondly, we again are asking for suggestions from our customers. We have had a ball working with Clive Barker and his staff the past two years for The Great and Secret Show and Everville. We would like to pursue more signed limited editions (books which have NOT received a signed limited treatment). So, please let us know what Barker books that have not received limited treatment you would like us to query about. Send your suggestions to email@example.com or use the contact form on the Gauntlet Press website. In the subject mention “Barker Books”.
Besides your suggestions, what do you think of a limited of Mr. B. Gone, which Clive has offered us?
Until next time,
Publisher, Gauntlet Press
NEWS ON THE LATEST GAUNTLET PRESS TITLES
STARS IN MY EYES: MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH BOOKS, MOVIES, AND MUSIC by David Morrell
Numbered and slipcased copies of The Stars in My Eyes have shipped. We are still waiting for traycases for the lettered edition. We have a limited number of copies still available. We, in conjunction with David Morrell, decided we can’t wait any longer for Doug Winter to provide his piece. Instead Tom Monteleone will be writing an afterword. This means new tipsheets for the lettered edition have to be sent to Morrell and both he and Monteleone will sign them.
RAMBO III by David Morrell
We have shipped all numbered and slipcased copies of David Morrell’s Rambo III (slipcases arrived this past week). We await the traycases to arrive, which should be within the next few weeks.
Click here to order RAMBO III
HONKY TONK SAMURAI by Joe R. Lansdale
The first draft of HONKY TONK SAMURAI has been completed and is being proofread. We will only be printing enough copies to satisfy orders (plus another dozen or so for late-comers) so if you’ve been putting off ordering this Hap and Leonard title you might want to order now.
ELIST SPECIAL: CHAPBOOK SPECIAL
This week we have a chapbook special. Over the years we have produced dozens of chapbooks by the likes of Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, Poppy Z. Brite, Jack Ketchum, F. Paul Wilson and others.
Many of these (especially the Matheson and Bradbury chapbooks) are the first appearance of a short story (in Bradbury’s case sometimes the only appearance). These normally sell for $10 apiece unsigned.
For this special you get 20 chapbooks for $79.
And each pack will include one signed chapbook by Ketchum, Brite, Matheson and Wilson (four signed chapbooks of the 20 you will receive).
Besides great reads, because they are the first or only appearance of an author’s material, their collectibility is greater. Some of our chapbooks are almost sold out.
This special is for two weeks only, through May 3rd.
Sorry, no Paypal orders accepted for this special offer.
SUMMARY OF GAUNTLET’S FORTHCOMING TITLES
Clive Barker’s THE GREAT AND SECRET SHOW has arrived. All copies have shipped. We expect slipcases for those who ordered only the slipcase shortly.
STARS IN MY EYES by David Morrell has shipped (numbered and slipcased copies). We are awaiting traycases as well as the introduction for the book.
Numbered copies of Rambo III by David Morrell have shipped. Slipcases have also arrived and those have shipped. Traycases should be arriving within the next few weeks.
Honky Tonk Samurai is now being laid out.