Cant quite read Jonny, but gather Waterstones wants authors to take a hit in the jan sales? Big clear out. Colleen Hoover apparently established herself on Til Tok by giving way her first self published books free. Is this the same kind of strategy? Or just throwing mud at the wall.?
These are not overstocks being sold off, like in the average January sale. These are new titles.
As the article says (I have a sub):
" "To be clear, it’s not a stock clearance exercise," said one publisher. "It’s on frontlist titles out in the last few months. At these levels of discount, no one except [Waterstones] would make money. Not the author, nor the publisher. And for smaller publishers we would actually lose money on every unit." "
At the same time, Waterstones' new order/despatch system, Blue Yonder, remains a shambles. Chief operating officer Kate Skipper told The Bookseller: "much higher volumes of stock have been dispatched this month." She admitted, though, the "consistent stability of BY" — the company’s new warehouse technology provider— "remains disappointingly elusive".
I don't know about you, but if I worked for W I think I'd want to see that sorted first before turning up the heat on long-suffering publishers with reduced price requests. They are, after all, still being asked to supply W orders direct-to-store, at their own expense, while Blue Yonder's operational reliability remains "disappointingly elusive".