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A cautionary warning for publishers considering doing business with The Book Shop in Somerville, Massachusetts (694 Broadway; http://www.bookshopsomerville.com; email@example.com). I sent more than $250 worth of books to the store on credit, for a January signing at which nearly all the books sold. Despite my repeated requests for payment, and several promises that the check was in the mail, it has now been more than six months with no money forthcoming. I urge you to seek payment in advance for any books you may sell the store.
Details of our interactions are below, for those who are interested.
Ian Randal Strock, Publisher
On January 17, 2013, I sent 20 copies of an author’s brand-new novel, along with five copies of his earlier book, at a 30% discount off cover price, to Gil Barbosa at The Book Shop (694 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02144; http://www.bookshopsomerville.com; firstname.lastname@example.org), for a reading/signing scheduled for January 27. On January 23, the bookstore reported on Facebook that the books had arrived. Late on the 27th, the author told me the event had gone well, that the small store was packed, and that at the end of the signing, there were only six of the new novel left, which Gil asked him to sign for later sales (the older book completely sold out).
On March 6, I emailed asking for payment. The next day, Thursday, he responded "Yes thanks for the reminder, im sending out the check for 262.32 on Monday."
On April 7, I emailed to say I was still waiting for the check, and got no response.
On April 15, I again emailed, and he responded the same day "Hey Ian, sorry for the delay, ill get a check out to you in a few days for sure. Thanks for patience."
I emailed on May 5 and May 20, with no response.
I emailed again on June 18, and on June 19, he emailed "Things have been very slow at my store i understand thats not your problem as you also have bills. The good news is i see the light at the end of the tunnel. I should be able to get you your payment or at least some of it by the end of the month."
On July 31, I emailed, saying "On January 17th, I sent you e-mail... telling you I'd sent you 25 books for [author]'s signing in January, and asking for $262.32. [Author] told me the signing went well. It's been 194 days with only intermittent contact and no money forthcoming. At this point, I have to assume no money will be forthcoming, but I'm asking politely one last time. Obviously, this isn't large enough, financially, to make it worthwhile to pursue legal means of redress, so if I don't have money by next Tuesday (August 6th), the only option I'll have is public shaming. I'll have to tell the other publishers I know about my experience."