Interview: Wanda Introduces Becky as Publisher, Materials Cost Discussed

In October 2023, Mrs. Sanseri and I met online with some SWR Endorsed Trainers who took turns interviewing us about some recurring questions being asked in the SWR Community. This is the first part of the interview. –Becky

Following is a brief, paraphrased summary of what you will hear in this video. It’s not a word-for-word transcript; it’s more of a skim for busy folks who may not have 25 minutes to watch.

SWR Author Wanda Sanseri talks about the beauty of Becky becoming her publisher and how she first met Becky’s family. [SPOILER: Becky’s parents, Wanda, and one of Wanda’s sons were in the same Writing Road to Reading class taught by Oma Riggs.]

Wanda: Becky is the new head and mastermind [of publishing. Wanda is at the helm of SWR.]

Wanda: I saw that she had the ability to not just know the material but to understand how to use it.

Wanda: Becky has done a beautiful job. She has a wonderful team.

Wanda: Becky began publishing at a time when prices were increasing rapidly. She had to adjust the prices to match with that.

Rhonda Bedee, SWR Endorsed Trainer: Had you and Gary been wanting to retire for a while?

Wanda: Yes. Our last year, we saw the retail orders coming in more numerous than before. Because we did not want to run out of materials without reprinting, we chose to not sell wholesale that year. 

Rhonda: Even before your number of orders skyrocketed, had Gary been wanting to make changes with printing contracts and shipping and those things?

Wanda: He wanted to retire. But the June [retail] orders overwhelmed. We checked the price to reprint books like the Spell to Write and Read Teacher’s Manual. We couldn’t get them and keep our prices the same so we just focused on the retail orders [and did not sell wholesale]. It was just the two of us [fulfilling the orders]. 

[June’s retail orders equaled the peak of previous year’s order cycles. Without reprinting, BHI was concerned they would have enough materials to fulfill the early flood of prepaid orders so the decision was make not to sell wholesale that year. They did not reprint because they would have had to raise prices at that time.]

Rhonda: When you and Gary came to the point that you’re ready to hand over the publishing, make some sort of agreement, were there some other companies that you considered first?

Wanda: There were some other companies and some other wholesalers but their contracts were undoable.

Rhonda: So why did you choose Becky’s company to take over the publishing?

Wanda: Well, we already knew Becky. She was a breeze to become a trainer. We had a common foundation. 

Rhonda: I see what you mean about it being a beautiful connection because Becky already had established connections with people she knew for printing, shipping, and much more.

Rhonda: How long has it been since you raised SWR prices?

Wanda: I don’t know if we have.

Becky: I’m operating on tighter margins than BHI did just because I’m trying to keep prices low. . . . My cost to have the Logs printed is more than double what Gary paid the last time BHI printed them.

Wanda: Gary was very wise in what he did and he was exhausted. It’s harder to ship retail than wholesale. Putting 30 books in a box is easier than processing several retail orders.

Rhonda: I understand that if you had continued publishing, you would have been raising prices very soon.

Wanda: yes!

Rhonda: Teachers are asking about the trend of digital books. Did you and Gary ever consider offering digital books?

Wanda: No, we don’t like digital books.

Becky: For future products, we might offer digital but former BHI publications will not become digital products.

Wanda: Digital books are not the same.

Becky: My husband and I agreed we needed to go into this without dipping into our family budget. The business had to pay for itself. So far so good.

Wanda: Have you read the Banker’s Confession?

Becky: Not yet; I confess I have not.

Wanda: We aren’t money-hungry people. We don’t need the sun, moon, and stars. A lot of our audience doesn’t have a lot of money so it’s a challenge for them to get the materials. 

Wanda: So do you think this has been a good deal?

Becky: It’s been good so far.

Wanda: We want to pray for it to continue.

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