Author and journalist Jeff Rivera interviewed Robert S. Miller about how his groundbreaking new publishing "studio", which he has just opened at Harper Collins will affect booksellers. Mr. Miller has announced he will be working with booksellers to introduce a workable non-return policy and other new ideas that some have welcomed and have raised a few eyebrows with others.
Jeff Rivera: How have booksellers been responding to your innovative ideas about selling books to them? What do they say about a no-return policy?
Bob Miller: Well, booksellers have certainly all have been in touch and are interested in talking about it. Nobody has rejected it because for booksellers return is an enormous problem as well. Not only is it the publisher that suffers from returns, but the bookseller. They spend an enormous amount of time and money processing returns so they would also like to find ways to reduce that problem. It is just an enormous amount of waste for publishers, for booksellers environmentally. When you are part of that 40% return pattern which is an industry average return of books that you print, it is unbelievable. I mean it is really not an acceptable standard for anybody and if you take the savings that you will receive by not doing things in such a way, you will hopefully find by eliminating that waste a nice profit. Booksellers are certainly open to the conversation. No one has rejected it on this end.
Jeff Rivera: How do you think this will this affect the amount of books the booksellers order?
Bob Miller: Well, yes I assume it will result in them being more selective in ordering more or ordering more cautiously. They will likely shift into reordering based on need.
Jeff Rivera: Do you think they will be more open to ordering from publishers who do allow a return policy?
Jeff Rivera: What type of books do you expect to release?
Bob Miller: Absolutely, if you look back to see what I did at Hyperion you'll have a sense about what I will be doing at this new venture. Especially some of the shorter non-fiction that we have done and some short fiction .