What Is a Remainder

Glossary > Remainder

💬 Definition of Query Letters:

Remainders refer to book copies that experience sluggish sales and can be procured from the publisher at a discounted rate. As booksellers aim to keep their shelves stocked with fresh and appealing titles, remainders offer an opportunity for savvy buyers to purchase books at a lower cost while simultaneously providing publishers with a way to clear their inventory.

Related questions about remainders:

What causes a book to become a remainder?

  1. Slow sales: A book that underperforms in the market may become a remainder, as publishers and retailers prioritize promoting titles that generate higher sales.
  2. Surplus stock: Publishers may overestimate the demand for a particular title, leading to excess unsold copies that eventually become remainders.
  3. New editions: When a newer edition of a book is released, the previous edition may be relegated to the status of a remainder to make way for the updated version.

What are the advantages of purchasing remainders?

  1. Cost savings: buying remainders allows readers to acquire books at significantly reduced prices, making it an attractive option for budget-mindful buyers
  2. Discovering hidden gems: remainders provide an opportunity to discover lesser-known titles that may not have received enough marketing attention and support
  3. Supporting authors and publishers: purchasing remainders can help both authors and publishers by clearing inventory and generating unexpected revenue from slow-selling titles. 

What are the potential drawbacks of buying remainders?

  1. Quality: expect remainders to exhibit minor wear and tear traces such as scuffed covers, bent pages, and any other traces of their long exhibit on bookstore shelves and warehouse storage.
  2. Outdated content: depending on the topic, remainders may contain outdated content, particularly in non-fiction. It is worth checking if the newer editions of the title completely rediscussed a specific issue or if the subject matter has significantly evolved since the publication date.

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