The Glendora Side Of The Story

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On Saturday morning, the CEO or Manager or Owner or Founder of Glendora called me. I was not sure of his title because he kept on yelling the entire time as he was very upset. Upset that I had gone to Social Media to raise my concerns about the way bookstores in Nigeria treat authors, upset that I dared to mention Glendora in the post and upset that I was making such a bug fuss about what he called just a few books supplied.

And then he accused me of pulling down black businesses. And that’s where I really took exception. Why is it that every time someone criticizes a business or organization…it is regarded as an attempt to pull down the business? What happened to the phrase constructive criticism?

When Microsoft released Windows Vista, it sucked. Everybody knew it sucked and everybody said it sucked…the media, friends, competitors, dogs and even aliens. Microsoft’s reaction was to quickly murder phase out Vista and release the new and much improved Windows 7. The release of Windows 7 set the ground work for what is arguably the most revolutionary Operating system yet, Windows 8 and ensured that Microsoft remained in the forefront of the computer business. They succeeded because they listened and accepted criticism, not only did they accept criticism they encouraged it because they knew it was necessary to attain success.

But Glendora like many businesses I have encountered in Nigeria are not open to criticism, in fact it is seen as disrespectful to criticize a store [read: How Respect Is Killing Nigeria], especially the established ones. I know this because during our conversation  I listed all the issues that I have had with Glendora, but all I heard was $$#@#%@%#@! 

I soon realized that he was not listening, so I hung up the phone and decided to write this article. After all if he won’t listen, he might read and I do hope he reads this…

What Really Happened With Glendora

When I presented my books to Glendora to put in their numerous stores, I was required to turn in an invoice. That invoice was basically a contract that contained the sales price of the book, the percentage share and most importantly two signatures…one from me and one from Glendora. On the invoices I signed with Glendora, our agreed price for How Stupidity Saved My Life was N1000 and the sharing percentage was 30%. Which meant that if a book was sold for N1000, Glendora would keep N300 and I would get N700…simple arithmetics…except that Glendora decided to ignore the rules of Mathematics and started selling the books (without my knowledge) for N2500. I found this out from a friend of a friend of a friend, who sent me picture/receipt to counter my disbelief. Below is an actual signed Glendora invoice and an actual receipt from a purchase made yesterday.

Invoice on left showing agreed sales price of N1000 for “How Stupidity Saved My Life.” While receipt on right shows Glendora selling it for N2500.

At that time (earlier this year), when I brought this up with their Manager he said he was unaware and that he would investigate it. With only about 15 or so books supplied to Glendora…I did not follow-up. My thinking was that when it would come time to settle the account, that I will bring up the N2500 issue. But alas settling the account was difficult impossible…the Manager never responded to my calls and when he did it was the usual call me back later excuse.

Which brings me back to the original Saturday phone call. I told the CEO/Founder/Manager/Owner about this particular N2500 illegal price increase and I was told and I quote:

“Do you know how much we pay in rent, We can set whatever price we want and your books are not even selling.” ~Glendora Rep On The Phone

Let me break-down the silliness/stupidity in this statement.

DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH WE [GLENDORA] PAY IN RENT: My response is…Do you know how much we the authors pay to publish books? To print books? To edit books? Do you know how much authors pay to market books? To be in newspapers? To fly out for book readings? Do you know how much we sacrifice and the sleepless nights spent to write books?  Do you know how much? Of course they don’t because they see the business from a single perspective…THEIRS!

WE [GLENDORA] CAN SET WHATEVER PRICE WE WANT: My response is…O no you cannot Glendora. You signed a contract and you honor the words on the contract. Last I checked you cannot sign a check for N1000 and then take it to a bank, expecting to withdraw N2500. Check (no pun intended) yourself.

YOUR BOOKS ARE NOT EVEN SELLING: My response is…If an MTN N1000 recharge card costs N1000 in Laterna and N1000 in Terraculture. Then why will somebody go and buy that same recharge card for N2500 at Glendora? This is an ancient economic principle of common-sense. Moreover if the books are not selling, why has Glendora re-ordered on 3 different occasions (I have invoice proof btw)…I guess only God Glendora knows.

CONCLUSION: At the end of the day, I really do hope that people take these criticisms and use them to improve their businesses, rather than focus on whether it was an insult or not. Because great businesses like Microsoft thrive on good, solid and consistent criticism.

On a side note…I met with the folks at Silverbird yesterday afternoon and they listened to my suggestions on ways they could improve their system and promised to do something about it. It was a far cry from the ranting calls I received from Glendora and was a clear sign of a company that now understands the value of listening to their customers. I just pray more and more Nigerian business start listening and that our people continue speaking up.

Ofili is an award winning anger management coach motivational speaker, author, success coach and cook entrepreneur who blogs about life, success and entrepreneurial excellence. Follow him on twitter , facebook or subscribe to his blog for more success TIPS!” To bring Ofili to your school or organization as a speaker simply go here.

He has written two books, How Laziness Saved My Life and the best-selling How Stupidity Saved My Life, to find out how they both saved his life visit ofilispeaks.com

Wishing You Extreme Success,

Ofili

Author: Ofili

Words by Okechukwu Ofili of ofilispeaks.com
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33 comments on “The Glendora Side Of The Story

  1. johnson Abbaly on said:

    Hello Ofili, I sympathise with your travails. It does appear both sides could walk away with valuable lessons if they so choose. Apparently Glendora responded only after you took your case to the courts of social media. Just wondering if perhaps a veiled threat of this outcome could have helped prevented it. Your next Book however should be : “How Stupidity saved my Business”

    • Ofili

      This is not the first time I have approached Glendora on this issue. All I wanted was for them to listen, but they did not. So I decided to write something in hope that they read it…

  2. ibukun on said:

    social media could be a beauty and it does bite too. Then be careful of the bull pulpit syndrom. i bate my breadth though for Glendora’s comments.

  3. Kolo Kenneth Kadiri on said:

    Gosh, you should sue their f**king a** already. Glendora? I would always recommend them as the worst bookstore to buy a book from, or even take books to as a publisher. These guys are thieves.

    • Ofili

      The money is not worth the suing and for me my hope is that system changes so that authors don’t go through the same crap I have experienced.

  4. *sigh* hopefully he’ll read this
    I still believe that someday we’ll get it right all around.
    From the customer’s end, I’ve had so many issues with ordering books and the utter lack of feedback and crappy customer service, regardless of if you’ve paid or not.

    E go beta.
    Sisi Jacobs latest post is TiwaladeMy Profile

  5. Pingback: Okechukwu Ofili: The Glendora side of the story | YNaija

  6. Hi Ofili,
    I actually understood your plight. But come to think of it, Glendora are marketers and in business concept morality is a loose word. What if in the process of increasing patronage, they had sold the book for N800 in order to increase the number of customers visiting the store, would you not have raise the roof down that your returns for each book must not be less than N700?
    I think you need to see things away from your own perspective. If they sell your book above the cost price, they are not obliged to give you more than N700. The agreement you signed did not expressly foresee this kind of situation. So you dont have any case against them.
    The only thing you can do is to re-negotiate. Drafting sales agreements with marketers goes beyond ‘pen and paper’.
    What the store did is to re-strategise and explore avenue of increasing revenue. In business sense, they call it INNOVATION

    • Ofili

      Sorry I totally disagree. That is not INNOVATION that is cheating. We signed an agreement for N1000, if you decide to sell it at a higher or lower price you have to inform the author or modify the agreement.

      If they can raise the price when they feel like, then I can as well demand a higher percentage when I feel like and that results in a cycle of dispute. That’s why we sign contracts and present invoices.

      Laslty, Laterna, Silverbird, Terraculture, Patabah, Ohio Bookstores, The Hub, have never put prices that differ from the invoice. Why does Glendora feel they can do that?

  7. Interesting comments and responses as well as your point. This is one of the reasons those overseas are scared of coming to Nigeria to do business. Even outside investors are scared. what is the point of a contract if it cant be held up. its just a matter of time before reliable technology swoops in (such as internet sales and proper mailing addresses) before these guys realize how much business they will be loosing.
    Just a side joke, if the contract was held at 30 percent, that means Glendora should be paying you 30 percent of the 2500 not 700 as agreed based on the original price.

    • Ofili

      exactly Wale!

      That is what I believe, they have to pay 30% of N2500.

      Also all the disorganization with payments can be solved with a simple app or program. The world is too advanced for this to be happening in this day and age. And they don’t need to go far, I mean Laterna and Terraculture have a system that works…just copy them.

  8. A lot of Organizations forget too easily that the most important person in a business is the CUSTOMER. Some come up with Strategic objectives and a Value proposition targeted at offering the customer value but fail to deliver in line with their objectives. They have developed the “get-rich-quick” ideology and then progressive growth linked with customer satisfaction (The Key Conductors) have been taken off the ‘Company Vision’ bus. They then go on to CHEAT and DECEIVE customers, failing to realize that the customers DEFINE the business and then a customer negative response reaction, whenever it emerges, is seen as provoking and destructive rather than as a means to new learning, positive development and correction.

  9. Sorry Dear. I commend you for speaking up. Obviously Glendora doesn’t know what Writers go through to have their book out there. I know how I slept for only 2Hrs each night to write my first book and how much I spent on it editing and publication overseas. Now I am back to the stress of writing another book, my 2nd and 3rd and have decided to make use of Nigeria’s publishers and bookstores this time, but hearing your stories is just a bad news for me. However, I would love to meet you in person o you can advise me on how to publish and market my book here in Nigeria, PLEASE BOSS. Lastly can I share this post on my blog http://www.brandigest.wordpress.com – it is all bout branding, and delivery on promises, customer relation and trust is part of brand growth which I see missing in the Glendora transaction. It could enlighten some of my readers. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
    Dozie latest post is A Microwave May be What You Need To Attract More CustomersMy Profile

  10. Terhile on said:

    Hello Ofili,

    Would it be wrong if they ordered 1000 copies of your book @ N1000 /Copy and sold it @ N2500 with no contractual agreement? I’m just asking

    • Nope. Nothing wrong with that. In fact if they buy it for N1000 and decide to sell it for N2500 that’s their call. Because when they purchase the books outright they are not bound by any contracts.

      However, in this case we were operating on a Sales-On-Demand basis. Which means that the bookstores get your books for free and sell at an agreed upon price and percentage, that is the invoice we signed and that is the contract. 2 different scenarios.
      Okechukwu Ofili latest post is The Glendora Side Of The StoryMy Profile

  11. Well done, Ofili! You really put up a strong case and stood up for authors selling books in Nigeria (most especially at Silverbird). I feel a bit more at ease that you’ve had a positive meeting with Silverbird and hope now that my book, The Crazy Nigerian, will not suffer the same fate at their stores *so help me God*

    • Ofili

      lol…they better not mess with the CrazyNigerian boy!

      On a serious note, I do believe they are looking to get better. Only time would tell.

  12. Gbemisola on said:

    Well done man! This is not only for the authors/sellers contractual agreement but the mentality of most business people; they want to be ‘rich’ at an INSTANT! This will serve as a good ;awareness’ for those out there who are milking innocent people dry.

  13. I hope Glendora rep/MD really reads thiS. I’ve been following this issue on twitter and I’m glad you and silverbird finally had a meeting and good they are also willing to improve their processes.

    I’m sure there are dozens of glendora (dubious business people) out there, we just don’t take critisms even it is well constructed well.

    Hmmm, what can I say? I just pray/hope that someday we will look back and see that Nigeria has moved forward a great deal but little things like “not honouring a contract” put us in this state.

    • Ofili

      Thanks Dayor. The more dangerous are the people who keep quiet…aka my fellow authors. We need to speak up and not whisper.

  14. I am so glad you decided to speak up about this. Nigerians often fold their arms and complain to their mirrors or drinking companions. This way is more pragmatic, prone to effectiveness and healthy even. How dare the nincompoops try to poopoo you just like that??!!! RUBBILSH!!!!!!!!

  15. I really appreciate you for speaking up. This is an eye opener for upcoming authors. You see why I recommend training in most organisations, they fail to realise that business is business, a contract is a contract. Ofili, you would be amazed how few of them even know what a contract is, to some of them it is just a paper. Hmm! How pitiful! Such case of Glendora is an offense and breach of contract which could cause a total shut down of their organisation in the court of law if it where to be in countries were the Law is abided to the later. Now I know better. Thanks for sharing!
    Emeka latest post is Dangerous KnowledgeMy Profile

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