I wanted to point anyone interested in the last two articles to the comments following the first Life After Returns post. There is discussion there about the POD machines and Scan-Based returns. Both really didn’t fit into my focus of showing what would happen if returns suddenly stopped, but they are worth looking at.
Print on demand in stores and point of sale has been a hopeful method of getting rid of returns for over a decade now, but the speed is too slow, the costs per book still too high. We all hope they can get those problems worked out, but at the moment the machines are still just an interesting possibility of a down-the-road solution.
Scan-Based returns are explained in the comments wonderfully, so take a look to see how really ugly the returns system is about to become. Those of us in the industry have seen this coming as well for years, but it’s almost here for books and is here for magazines. It’s going to affect how publishers do business and how writers get paid, and not in a good way.
Great comments. Thanks, everyone.
Next up: Life After Agents.