In 2008, Victoria Strauss stated in a blog posting:
“Micropresses with limited distribution, for instance, may encourage writers to believe that their books’ lack of brick-and-mortar bookstore presence isn’t a significant handicap, because “so many books are bought online these days….If 20% of books are sold online, 80% are sold elsewhere. To achieve volume sales, therefore, your book must be in as many ‘elsewheres’ as possible–including brick-and-mortar outlets, which still substantially outpace the Internet. Chain stores alone account for 33% of the US book market, according to PW, and in the UK, according to Publishing News Online, chain store sales are ‘greater than through supermarkets and the Internet combined.’” [emphasis added]
In 2011, Victoria Strauss re-released two out-of-print books with publisher Phoenix Pick. Phoenix Pick appears to be a micropress, has limited distribution, and in its FAQ statement states as follows:
“….While your book will be available to virtually any bookstore in the nation (and many abroad) because of the book’s availability through Ingram (one of the world’s largest book wholesalers), we do not expect them to put the book on shelves—shelf space is too expensive and there are just too many books competing for that space….Customers can still order the book by special ordering it through any of the stores….The good news is that the book will be readily available through virtually any online store, and that is where your sales are going to come from. Amazon and other online stores are capturing an ever-increasing share of national book sales, and having your book freely available through them makes it available to virtually any potential buyer in the nation.” [emphasis added]
In researching the bookstores (both new and used) in Victoria Strauss’ backyard, and searching the “elsewheres,” we have been unable to locate any of her titles on any bookstore shelves. We were told that we “could order” the books and that they were not stocked because they were “non-returnable” or out of print by the publisher. Which leads to the Crispin Paradox:
“You won’t find either Strategic or Eloquent books on the shelves in your local book store.”
– A.C. “Ann” Crispin, Chair, Writer Beware
“A FAQ on POD & Arc Manor.” ARC Manor. Web. 7 Apr. 2011. <http://www.arcmanor.com/PDF-Files/ArcManor-FAQ.pdf>.
Strauss, Victoria. “Victoria Strauss — Of Online Book Sales (and Pies).” Writer Beware™ Blogs!14 Mar. 2008. Web. 07 Apr. 2011. <http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2008/03/victoria-strauss-of-online-book-sales.html>.
“A.C. Crispin Claims Strategic & Eloquent Books Are Not Available in Local Bookstores « The Write Agenda.” The Write Agenda. Web. 07 Apr. 2011. <https://thewriteagenda.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/a-c-crispin-claims-strategic-eloquent-books-are-not-available-in-local-bookstores/>.