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I Am A Stripper, Not A Porn Star!

February 28, 2006 by in category Blogs with 9 and 0
Home > Writing > Blogs > I Am A Stripper, Not A Porn Star!

By Michelle Thorne

If you google Michelle Thorne you will get about 850,000 hits for Michelle Thorne, England’s most famous porn star, and about 5 for me, Michelle Thorne, Bookseller. I’m in a bad mood, and not because there are people who think I do vile things with lots of men in stories that have no plots, on film or more accurately on video. Every month about this time I do book returns. I decide what books have had enough time on my new shelves and what books will get a reprieve until next month. I really hate this part of my work, because I hate to destroy books. It is a bad thing. I know it’s wrong. I yell at customers just for opening a book too far and creasing the spine, but today I have to strip books.

Yes, I am a STRIPPER.

There is no way around it. I wish I could keep every book I order, forever. I can’t. I don’t enjoy stripping books, but to make room for next month’s books, I have to. Yes, I do get credit for the returned covers but it’s not that great for me financially either. I take at least a 10% hit every time I send a cover back. If I buy a $5.99 book, I pay 40% of the cover price or $3.59. When I send a cover back, I receive $3.00 in credit, for that same book, from my distributor (and not real money…Ingram bucks). 59 cents is gone like the proverbial wind. It may not sound like much, but multiply it by every book I buy and return every month. And get this…Ingram can decide not to give me credit or can drastically change the amount I get back from them in credit, at their discretion. That sucks, big time.

At BUB….123 I give the potential “Stripees” an extra month on a special shelf at 50% off (the same as I would get from Ingram, only in cash that I can spend.) That’s their last chance. Really! I try very hard to be careful when I order, but sometimes I just don’t get it right. Many of the times I don’t get it right is when I have an Author Autographing. I can never be sure if I have under ordered and will sell out, or if I have over ordered and I have a table full of books left at the end of the day. I always offer the books to the Authors at cost, so I don’t have to strip them. Authors always have to get books for contests, their relatives or donations. If you buy them from me you get your royalties, a discount and no books will die that day. Authors, don’t forget to sign stock even if you don’t buy your books, I always have a harder time returning a signed book, but I can do it. Buy your books when you can, but I’ll understand when you can’t. Like I know you’ll understand when I have to do returns. Don’t hate me because I strip, It’s not like I do porn.

Michelle Thorne
Bearly Used Books…123
Home of A Great Read
123 So. First Street
La Puente, CA 91744
(626) 986-3700

9 Comments

  • Anonymous
    on March 2, 2006

    Michelle–

    The pain, oh, the pain and heartbreak of being a stripper! Please bring any of my poor leftovers you may have to the meeting. I will buy them from you happily to save us both from more hurt.

    Luv ya always,

    Sandy C.

  • Anonymous
    on March 2, 2006

    Don’t worry, Michelle, I’d love you even if you were a porn star!

    Mary C.

  • Anonymous
    on March 1, 2006

    You explained an aspect of the business that’s hurtful to all of us, and with your usual sparkling wit! Love the title.

    Sandy

  • Anonymous
    on March 1, 2006

    YOur bookstore sounds awesome. Very cute play on words. Wish I was closer to ya, I’d stop by.

  • Anonymous
    on March 1, 2006

    Thank you so much for posting this. It’s helpful to understand your side of the industry.

    And I feel your pain about Michelle Thorne the porn star. I couldn’t get my name’s .com because it was taken by a xxx site. 😉

  • Anonymous
    on February 28, 2006

    Fascinating, Michelle. Great to see an insider’s look at bookselling. It must tear at your heart with every cover you have to “strip.” (Great title, btw!)

  • Anonymous
    on February 28, 2006

    You with your cute boas and sassy shawls! I love it!

    What a bummer part of your job, though. That’s gotta be tough. But I do enjoy reading about the life of a booksellers and your blogs are always so entertaining!

    Michele

  • Anonymous
    on February 28, 2006

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • Anonymous
    on February 28, 2006

    You’re a stripper!? Gasp! Who’da thunk? No, really…I know how much it pains you, Michelle. Thanks for another great blog from the Bookseller’s Corner. And that’s a cool logo by Marianne, too. Way to go, both of you!

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