AKA The retailer guide that retailers will either love or hate.
We want to stock your books in our bookshop but you're not on our database? How do we get them?
If you're in the UK you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to say what you want and having agreed the price we'll give you a paypal address to pay into or can request money from your email address if you prefer. We're (literally) a zero-budget operation so we're afraid you have to pay up front but you won't pay shipping in the UK because we'll handle that cost. So that's cool isn't it.
If you're not in the UK you can only really buy from us via Amazon (it'll save on shipping costs anyway because the books will be printed in whatever country you are in - EU or USA). If you spend over a small amount on the books - it's £10 in the UK, for instance, then shipping is usually free with Amazon, as you perhaps know, so that will save you some more money.
How much do they cost? Is there a retail discount?
We usually try and keep our titles between £4-6 (or whatever exchange rate equivalent it is if you're not in the UK) so because they're so inexpensive there is no retail discount. You can generally RRP our books for about £9.99 or less (whatever you want to pass on to yourself and your customer, that's up to you to decide). We don't make any money off what you buy and sell so the difference between the price that you buy our books at and what you sell them for is yours to keep. We're happy to make nothing on the deal because, even despite our idiosyncratic way of 'publishing', we still want to try to support bookshops the best we can.
Why can't we find you on our database? Do you not care about bookshops?
See above. The reason we're not on your database is because we are just two people (one with a full-time day job in public services and one currently a full-time university student) who have to do what we do on a zero-budget (that's literally not figuratively). Actually, we don't get paid for what we do at all with Dostoyevsky Wannabe so for every bit of time we put in unpaid (which is all the time) we actually lose money every single day.
If we were middle-class people and not penniless working-class people, we would be able to risk a print-run of each book and link up to a distributor but even something like Ingram Spark would cost us around £60 per title (and it doesn't necessarily link to the database systems of all bookshops anyway as we understand it) so even that is just not doable for us. Hence we produce books via print on demand with Createspace, or with any other print on demand service that becomes useful to us over time, it is the only way we can exist. We're always looking for better ways to do things but they have to be 100% free because we don't have any money.
We're massive bookshop fans and we want them all to stay open and to sell loads of independent experimental literature and everyone to be happy. It's not by our design that print-runs and distribution are expensive and that all of the structures cost more money that we have got.
If you do the maths, we're not so bad
If a bookshop gets a retail discount of 50% for a book that is RRP £9.99 then they pay £5 for it. With one of our books, which often retail online at around the £4 mark, they can still RRP for £9.99 and so we are actually cheaper than the retail discount in that instance or at least the same. There's a small Paypal handling fee but it's neglible (usually around 50p).
It is true that a customer would be able to go online and order the book from there at a cheaper price but that's pretty much true of every product currently in circulation in this world today and so there's no real change in that sense.
Do you do book returns?
No. We're aware that firm sales are often a problem for book shops so our only advice is don't order hundreds, order a few perhaps. We have no problem quickly fulfilling small orders.
Can you send some books to us and then we'll pay for them via an invoice?
We did that for a while but we basically don't have the money to front that kind of distribution. We'd love to get readers picking up our books in bookshops but we can only offer you the deal where we make nothing and you make something so as bookshops you can continue to be able to pay your electricity bills and earn something for yourselves. Shipping is free in UK (and free in the USA and EU if people in those places order enough via Amazon).
It's a question of an invoive though? We need an invoive for our records?
If you're in the UK and you choose to pre-pay us the full cost of books (shipping is free - remember) via PayPal then we can send out an invoice marked paid for information purposes for your records. If you're not in the UK - sorry we can't help with that.
Here is an article from The Bookseller which talks about Dostoyevsky Wannabe's innovative/problematic (delete as you see fit) publishing model. The article is written by Terry Craven of Desperate Literature (an amazing independent bookshop based in Madrid) and, although we don't feel particularly 'dirty' (but we get his point), it makes a decent stab at outlining our idiosyncratic way of 'publishing' from the perspective of an independent bookshop. Oh and here are a few details about where we stand on various ethical issues.