Working Toward the Point of No Returns: Chelsea Green Publisher and President Margo Baldwin on the company's Green Partners program.
Extra: How have book-sellers responded to the program so far?
Baldwin: … I think we’re up to 42 retailers that we’re doing it with currently. I think everyone considers it a success. Certainly, we feel it has been. … We just like anything that reduces [returns]. In these hard economic times, the industry needs to look at those returns to see if it’s [a practice] that needs to survive. …
… Our business with our Green Partners is up something like 80 percent over the business that we were doing before. I would say that's definitely a win-win situation.
Extra: Do you hope to do away completely with returns?
Baldwin: … Would we like to see our direct retail go nonreturnable? Sure. … The biggest thing is how you would be able to do business with a national chain. Amazon is already nonreturnable. Most of the key independents are nonreturnable. You're really talking about the last remaining segment of the retail sector—the national chain.
Extra: What other environmentally friendly actions have you taken as a publisher that you're particularly proud of?
Baldwin: Mainly publishing important and inspirational books about the environment like, "The Man Who Planted Trees," "Limits to Growth," "An Unreasonable Woman" and "Not One Drop." Our long-term commitment to using recycled paper, starting in 1985 with the publication of "The Man Who Planted Trees," with a portion of the royalties [going] to Global ReLeaf to plant trees. ...
Check out the January/February issue of Book Business magazine for an in-depth interview with Margo Baldwin, including a discussion of her decision to sell “Obama's Challenge” exclusively through Amazon.com for the first few weeks of its release and the subsequent backlash from other book-sellers.