A document pops into my inbox entitled New Promotional Strands at Waterstone's. Frankly much of it is gibberish that sets out our default promotional strand for both Front of Store and In Section and is designed to help compliment our "book matchmakers" strategy. (What the fuck?).
It is far too tedious to go into at any length, but should you be a publisher you have my sympathy.
A few highlights from the rate-card:
Should you wish your book to be the Offer of the Week it will cost you £10,000, but they do hope to sell 10,000 copies of the book. Now I was famously away from school the day they did maths, but even I can figure out that as a publisher you would, if you were lucky, be paying the W, £1 a copy to sell your book at half price.
Should you wish your book to nestle neatly in the New Titles bay it will cost you £1000 a month.
Should you wish your shiny new hardback to appear on a shelf in its rightful section (without being graded) then that opportunity is yours for £250.
Oh, and should you wish to hoodwink the punters with one those If You Like, You'll love promotions where some tit suggests that if you like Joanna Trollope you might like Elfriede Jelinek that will be a £1000 a pop.
Of course, if you go along with this guff, then you only have yourself to blame.