We’ve have had questions about what happens when books are returned to Ingram. We’lll attempt to explain the process, but please understand this explanation applies ONLY to books on the Ingram printer program where the UNSOLD books are returnable.
Okay, let’s say that Barnes & Noble (B&N) buys 50 copies of your book for a book signing but only 20 sell. When B&N orders the 50 books, they are given 45 to 60 days in which to pay for the books they have ordered. During this 45 to 60 days, B&N must sell whatever books they can, pay for the books they have sold and return the unsold books to Ingram. They don’t get money back because they don’t pay for any books except the ones they sell.
B&N would, in this scenario, ship 30 books back to Ingram and send a check for the 20 books they kept and sold. Ingram would then report sales of 20 of your books to us.
When the 30 books get back to Ingram, those books go back into the warehouse until another vendor orders copies of your book. The 30 books would not be sold or distributed to any third parties without Ingram paying royalties to us.
There is, apparently, a rumor going around that the 30 books would go to third parties, bypassing royalty payments to us, but that is simply not true. If Ingram did this, publishers would find out and they would cease doing business with Ingram.