I’m a person that avoids confrontation. I simply don’t like the idea of having people against me. My young life has already taught me on several occasions that you always meet at least twice. In the same way, I aim to conduct myself professionally. After all, as a publisher I rely on a lot of kind people to make Offscreen happen.
I’m also someone that appreciates the feeling of wandering into a well-stocked, local bookshop. Finding international stockists for Offscreen is not just based on an effort to increase sales (the financial benefit isn’t all that great anyway), but also on supporting the independent bookseller. And so, publishers like myself send a chunk of their precious magazines to booksellers around the globe, defraying the high cost of shipping, trusting that they will be paid their fair share if their magazine sells well.
This was also the case with Magma Bookstore in London/Manchester. We agreed upon a price and a payment date, and as far as I know, Offscreen sold out. Today, after 6 months of friendly reminders and regular overdue notices, Magma has still not paid their $1600+ bill.
Not paying your suppliers — the very people that make your business possible — is totally not cool. Sure, you might be going through a rough patch, but you know, indie publishers aren’t exactly wallowing in affluence either.
I’m writing this unusually provocative post not to humiliate anyone. I just want to be treated fairly. I’m tired of chasing money from stockists. I have heard a lot of stories from other indie publishers that are owed money from stockists and they are desperately close to shutting up shop because of delayed payments.
If you think it’s unfair for folks like Magma to skip the bill, please spread the message, let them know (please be nice though!) and don’t buy from them until they pay up and value the relationships with their suppliers. I’ve made a conscious effort to find different/more stockists in London. Make sure you pay them a visit, they’d be delighted to get some business.
Read my follow up post here.