Tindal Street 'upbeat' despite rise in returns

<p>Tindal Street Press has said it is watching its &quot;promotion costs and print runs with care&quot; after the level of returns from campaigns it participated in over the past year hit its latest financial results.</p><p>The Birmingham-based indie celebrates its 10th anniversary in October in &quot;upbeat mood&quot;, despite admitting that trading has become harder over the past year. As a small not-for-profit publisher </p><p>Tindal does not submit full accounts to Companies House, but its return for the year to end-March suggests that the company had a difficult year, with a decline in its reserves from &pound;118,657 to &pound;80,924.</p><p>Alan Mahar, publishing director, told The Bookseller the drop was down to &quot;heavy and sudden de-stocking and serious returns&quot; from chain booksellers, which resulted from taking part in book chain promotions, shortly before the recession began to bite.</p><p>He added: &quot;We had a lot of books&mdash;for us&mdash;in the shops, especially of the old edition of [Catherine O&#39;Flynn&#39;s] <em>What Was Lost</em>. Even <em>Girl in a Blue Dress</em> [longlisted for 2008&#39;s Booker Prize] was returned in large quantities before interest revived following the Orange Prize longlisting early in 2009.&quot;</p><p>Mahar said Tindal took part in store promotions because it was the only way &quot;for books to make any impact . . . We have always considered that it&#39;s worth going in for the main promotions, but we have observed that it doesn&#39;t always have a positive effect.&quot; He added: &quot;We are having to watch our promotion costs and print runs with care this year. Trading has certainly become harder.&quot;</p><p>Mahar&#39;s views echo those of Marion Boyars publisher Catheryn Kilgarriff, who attributed excessive consolidation in the retail sector, and the cost of promotions, to her decision to wind down the company.</p><p>But Tindal Street is still upbeat, celebrating its 10th birthday this month with two special events. This week it launches <em>Roads Ahead</em>, an anthology of short stories selected and edited by O&#39;Flynn, and next week launches its Booker Box Set, comprising its Booker-nominated trio of <em>Astonishing Splashes of Colour, What Was Lost and Girl in a Blue Dress</em>. </p><p>Mahar said he was &quot;enormously proud&quot; of the publisher&#39;s achievements, stressing Tindal&#39;s &quot;commitment to diversity&quot; and &quot;regional focus&quot;. </p>