Early in the piece, David says: “First, we are privately held and cash flow is far more important than profitability. ”
I get that. I have observed for years that owner-managed companies often make smart decisions that larger corporate ones would not, because owner-managed companies are conscious of cash.
But then, about four words later, David says: “We own our own warehouse and ship our own books, so we can print for three or four years, and not just for a season.”
Print for THREE OR FOUR YEARS? When “cash flow is more important than profitability”? I think this policy is almost certainly a blow to both cash flow and profitability. I have always admired David’s ability to survive doing only books that he believes in. I am in even greater awe now, because he’s surviving despite the fact that he’s tying up cash in stock for years at a time and, undoubtedly, sometimes finding at the end of three or four years that he actually has enough stock to last (at then current rates of sale) for 30 or 40 years! I met a university press once that printed for seven years.