Any hopes I had that today would be a relatively civilised affair after last night's Potter launch were dashed within minutes of opening. I had customers shouting at me, another phoned to tell me how stressful they found our Potter party and to top it all, we ran out of the children's edition.
This afternoon I ended up having to drive 40 miles to a warehouse to pick up more stock for tomorrow, as there won't be any more deliveries until Monday.
Who is to blame? I think the answer is quite clear: Bloomsbury. By enforcing a cap on returning unsold copies they have put booksellers in an impossible position where we have to take all of the risks. When you're selling a book at near the cost price, you can't afford to sit on too much unreturnable stock. It will be interesting to see whether the trade press come to similar conclusions.
I have had three hours sleep and I've still got another day to go. I hope we'll have enough books to get us through tomorrow.