This post has more of a business ring to it. I am very curious to know where you stand on ‘being exclusive.”. Or better, to make your product available exclusively to one shop / chain / or customer only.

The reason I am asking is this: Two weeks ago a light bulb went off in my head and I approached two of the biggest berry farms here in the Lower Mainland to sell my book. These two farms offer the same product: berries to pick!
The amount of visitors both farms attract is roughly the same, the kind of visitors they attract is totally different.

The first one is more your fun, basic, family oriented fruit farm. Parents show up with their kids in tow, bucket in one hand, picnic basket in the other. This farm offers basic merchandise (jam, pies, fruit cutters, lollipops, drinks, ice cream). For this season they also brought in more merchandise like tea towels, aprons and pot holders. All printed with the most wonderful strawberry designs. Furthermore I saw fun coffee mugs, plates and napkins to spread a joyful strawberry flair around!

The second farm? Let me call it the Disney World of Berry farms. Tour busses pull up to let their guests get a looksy into the holy world of merchandise! You don’t come to this farm to pick berries- you come here to eat lunch, to buy a strawberry shaped teapots il_teapot
or one of their cookbooks. Your children can visit the padding zoo and enjoy a scoop of their homemade ice cream!

The berry season is upon us and I have a 4 months window of opportunity here to sell my books among all their other strawberry based items!

Both farms are interested in selling my book – here is the clitch: The Disney Farm expects me to sign an exclusivity contract. That means, no other shops or farmers in the area are allowed to carry my book!

After a few sleepless nights I decided – NOT to give exclusivity!
From a business point of view it doesn’t make sense. It sounds good and strokes my ego to have an exclusivity deal; then I thought, books by John Grisham or Dan Brown are available everywhere – so why not mine?!

Yes I know, the ego is big, I put myself right up there with the big boys – somebody has to.
What do you think, right or dumb decision?

See ya’ tomorrow!

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