Book Buying in the Time of Covid

Lots of you are trying hard to re-work orders you had submitted to publishers before the world’s descent in to chaos. We’ve talked to stores and publishers to gather some best practices going forward.

There are two issues at play here:

  1. What to do with old orders that are now just outdated and much too large?
  2. How to best order frontlist in a time in which things are changing dramatically week to week?

Outdated Orders

Frontlist orders placed pre-Covid were likely a lot more ambitious than the orders you’d like to receive in the midst of this global pandemic. If you’re wanting to re-work those orders, we have a few suggestions based on feedback from reps and publishers:

  1. Talk to your reps! This is far and away the most important thing. They need to know that you want to cancel your original order ASAP. They’ll likely have requests or recommendations for how to make things works as smoothly as possible for their particular publishers’ systems.
  2. Re-Activate your order. Hopefully you’ve been marking your orders Complete once you’re done with them. Details here. Either way, you just need the order in question to be an Active order so you can edit it. Just find the order. If it is in your Complete Orders file, just mark it Active again:
  3. Click in to Edit and change the PO#.  There’s a better-than-good chance that the publisher will require this to complete the cancel/re-order process on their end.
  4. Edit order quantities to reflect your newfound caution. On your Orders page, just click in to the name of your order to see that PO in a catalog view. Edit those order quantities as you see fit. If you want to remove a title from your order completely just delete the number so the order field is blank.
  5. Share that order with your rep and be sure to send them an email notification while you’re at it! In the interest of keeping things clear and easy for all involved, it’s best to alert your rep when a new version of an order is ready for them. SNAG_Program-1323
  6. Mark that order Complete. Download it and all that fun stuff you do to stay on top on things on your end, but be sure to mark your orders Complete when you’re finished to keep your work space tidy and easy.


Nimble and Smart Frontlist Ordering

Many indie stores do things different from their counterparts at other indies. With that in mind, below you’ll find a suggestion* for creating frontlist orders separated out by publication month.
When you first receive a marked up catalog from your reps, it makes sense to do a “first pass order” in which you create an order as you usually would (although without sharing the order with your rep yet) going through the entire catalog and adding quantities to titles of interest. That will be your “baseline” order for this publisher.
When you’re ready, or more like then the timing is right for you to have as informed-as-possible an idea of what the retail landscape will be, go to your Orders page and  create a new order for the publication month on which you’re working. S&S October 2020, for example.
Then click in to the Export Preview screen for the “baseline order” for that publisher.
There, sort your order by pub date and select the titles that are published in the month for which you’re ordering. Note that you can select an entire page of titles to speed that process along, as well as edit the number of titles shown on each page.

Once you’ve grabbed all the relevant titles for that pub date, click on Move Selected to move those titles to the new order you created for them.

See more about the Move Selected tool here.
Note that, depending on your POS system it might be easier to change the Export Format to Order Form (Excel) to more easily see pub date and other fields.
Once you have that new month-specific order, it makes sense to do another pass to edit quantities and such to be sure it’s just how you want it. You can easily add backlist and such to that order of course.
Share that order with your rep and repeat as needed for other publishers and other months.
*Note that the process above is one suggestion. You could also easily utilize Saved Filters to create filters that combine pub date and publisher to create an order too.
Simply treat your Saved Filters results like a catalog and order accordingly.
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If you have questions for publishers, contact your sales reps!