I love book signings. I like attending those of my colleagues (I believe it’s important to support our fellow authors in this way) and I enjoy greeting people who attend mine. I had a very successful book signing at Borders Westend in Nashville March 31 of this year. We attracted something like 21 people, who came to hear me talk about publishing. Many of them bought my book, The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book. In fact, I shipped several copies of the book a few weeks ahead of the presentation and quite a few books had already been sold by the night of the event. The books were selling so well, that the manager, who so graciously welcomed us to the Nashville Westend Borders, asked if I had any more copies I could leave with him. He ended up with 31 copies total.
Guess how many have been paid for to date—nearly 5 months later? NONE! Zip!! Zero! Not even one of them.
I am to the point of frustration, as you can imagine.
Of course, I’ve been in touch with the manager of the Nashville Borders store and the accounts manager (who has since left) numerous times. When I can actually speak to a live person, or when they happen to respond to my emails, they assure me that the check is in the mail or that they will check into it. A couple of times, I had to resend the invoice. All I get are promises and lies.
Finally, I sent a letter to the Accounts Payable Department at Borders’ Headquarters. I included a timeline of my presentation in Nashville, my conversations with the store manager and my attempts to get paid. There was no response. So two weeks later, I attempted to contact the Borders main headquarters Accounts Payable Department by phone. I left numerous messages. Finally a live person called and left me a message. They don’t seem to know anything about my invoice. I had to send it again. (Or maybe this is just their way of stalling me so I will eventually forget about it and go away.)
On August 20, I sent the copy of the invoice and a timeline of events since the date of the signing (March 31) to Borders Headquarters Accounts Payable Dept. Since then, I’ve made several follow-up calls and have yet to speak to a live person. So I still have not been paid and I still don’t know truly what’s going on. All I know is that I am growing more and more frustrated.
I’ve posted versions of this dilemma at SPAWN’s discussion site, SPAWNDiscuss, asking if anyone else has had a problem collecting from Borders. No one has responded, except with their own bookstore problems—none related to Borders. I can’t find anything while doing a Google search to indicate that others have had similar problems with Borders. So I am assuming that I just fell between the cracks. However, I do have a few smaller outstanding invoices that Borders hasn’t paid over the years—invoices that I didn’t pursue.
Does anyone know what’s going on with Borders? Have you done business with them? Do they pay you? Has anyone had trouble? How did you resolve problems with them? Any information or advice would be welcome.
In the meantime, don’t forget that I’m starting a new book proposal course September 15, 2008. Sign up this week (August 25-29, 2008) and get a discount. Here’s the information:
Write a Successful Book Proposal. Every author needs a book proposal. Let me successfully walk you through the often intimidating process of writing one. 8 weeks, $200. The next class starts September 15. Sign up this week (August 25-29, 2008) and I’ll give you the course for $180. http://www.matilijapress.com/course_bookproposal.htm
Questions? Comments? PLFry620@yahoo.com