In a smart move, Jason moved our Partners account from UPS to FedEx for a few days, so that we could get delivery on a Saturday. We got not one but two orders from our Michigan-based wholesaler in today, and I got to go back to my roots and receive. Included were such crowd pleasers such as Behind the Beautiful Forevers, The Round House, and The Onion Book of Known Knowledge. I haven't really been paying much attention to this latest Onion entry, but we've at least been selling it well enough to reorder.
After our orders got out, it was pretty much working on the floor for the rest of the day. One finds oneself gravitating to certain books and it seemed today that every other gift recipient seemed perfect for My Heart is an Idiot. We're down to our last three copies It seems that just yesterday that Jason and I found an extra box of books after our event and we decided not to return them. Alas, the post-event return can be problematic on two fronts. Return too little and you're sitting on way too much inventory, which crowds out the rest of your books, especially when you do it a lot. But return to much and you might be surprised by echo sales later. Even though we didn't sell too many copies of Samir El-Yousselff's The Illusion of Return at his event, it turned out that when we wanted more, the book went out of stock.
I've been rushing around so much that I forgot to sit down and read The New York Times daily book critics' favorite books of the year. I guess this had to be differentiated from the best books. I'm not sure I understand the difference. The biggest news is that Michiko Kakutani included a self-published book in her top ten, one that, at least for now, is not available to bookstores. It will be interesting to see how much this list pops sales. It's so close to Christmas that nobody had time to react. It was nice to see Where'd You Go, Bernadette? hit Janet Maslin's list. Two of our former Schwartz coworkers, Nancy and Dave, both put the book on their best-of for the year. Though Boswell had a perfectly respectable sell through, I can only imagine how we would have done with reads like that.