The form below is the one we use. You’re welcome to adapt it to your needs, put it on your letterhead, and use it too.
Book Return Authorization
1. Our books are returnable. If a title isn’t moving in your market, we want to get it back before a new edition makes it obsolete. Thank you for giving it a chance on your valuable shelf space. Our return period is normally between 90 days and one year of the publisher’s invoice date; however, we will accept the book for return after one year as long as the edition is still in print. To keep our products current, we update our titles every one-and-a-half to two years.
2. Return permission must be requested so that we may issue detailed packing and shipping instructions. This is your authorization to return the book(s), and the instructions are below.
3. Notice of shortage or nonreceipt must be made within 30 days of the shipping/invoice date for domestic shipments, 60 days for foreign.
4. Books damaged in transit are not the responsibility of the publisher. Please make your claim to the carrier.
5. Returns must be accompanied by your packing slip listing quantity, title, author, original invoice number, and invoice date. Books returned with this information will be credited with 100 percent of the invoice price minus shipping. Otherwise, it will be assumed the original discount was 60 percent. Some books have been returned to us when they should have been directed to one of our wholesalers; books should be returned to their source.
6. Routing: Ship books via Parcel Post (Media Mail) prepaid or UPS prepaid to Para Publishing, Attn: D. Poynter, 530 Ellwood Ridge, Santa Barbara, CA 93117-1047. Note, this is not the same as our order address.
7. To qualify for a refund, returned books must arrive here in good resalable condition (no scuffs, tears, folds, or marks that would prompt a customer to reject the book). If they are not now resalable, please don’t bother to return them. If you are not willing to package them properly for the return trip, please don’t waste your time and postage.
To package the books so that they will survive the trip, we suggest you wrap them in the same way that they were sent to you. There are two important steps in successful book packaging: Keep the books clean and immobilize them. Place the stacked books in a plastic bag. This will separate the dirty newsprint and greasy Styrofoam peanuts or discs from the book edges and will prevent grit from creeping between the covers. To keep the books from shifting (which causes scuffing), cut a shipping carton to the right size and stuff it tightly with dunnage. Since it has been our experience that books shipped loose in oversize padded bags always arrive scuffed, it is now our policy to simply refuse them at the Post Office so that they will be returned to the bookstore. Do not use those bags!
8. A credit memo will be issued toward future purchases.
9. Research shows that the costs of writing a letter add up to more than $8, when you figure the time, wages, benefits, etc. Correspondence, packaging, and postage cost us all a great deal of money and time (and time is money). Years ago, when postage was cheap, it made sense to return slow-moving books. Today, however, many bookstores are finding it is far more cost-effective to simply mark them down and move them out.
Dan Poynter, the author of more than 100 books, has been a publisher since 1969. His seminars have been featured on CNN; his books have been pictured in The Wall Street Journal and his story has been told in US News & World Report. He reports that he now travels more than 4,000 miles each week “to share, inspire, and empower writers, publishers, and professional speakers through keynotes and seminars.” For more information: http://ParaPublishing.com.