Books without Borders

This piece by Gregory Frost came to my attention when I read Tobias S. Buckell's post on the subject. Buckell's bit also contains a link to another related piece by Pat Cadigan.

I feel that this might interest many readers who are not necessarily familiar with the bookselling industry and often wonder why their bookstore don't stock a particular title.

Here's an excerpt:

A few weeks ago, I found out that my latest book would not be carried by the Borders bookstore chain. Anywhere. At all. Worldwide. Not a single copy. Lest you think that the book did something bad to earn this treatment, the novel, Lord Tophet, is a lead title from Random House's fantasy/science fiction imprint, Del Rey Books, the sequel to Shadowbridge, a novel that Borders did carry. In fact, Shadowbridge received glowing reviews and went back to print twice in its first six months. You might think, “Say, that’s kind of impressive.”

You might.

The reason Borders decided not to carry the new book is that, according to them, its predecessor didn't sell “as well as anticipated.” It sold; it just didn't sell enough for Borders. What's enough? I have absolutely no idea. Nobody else seems to, either.

Click on the links above to read the whole story. . .

9 commentaires:

Cecrow said...

I tried finding Dan Simmons' "The Terror" at a similar chain store. Their computer said there were two in the store, but they weren't on the shelf. I asked for assistance and they insisted they were there - somewhere, I guess, despite the fact I was looking where directed and they clearly were not. I eventually bought it elsewhere. Last time I checked back, it still listed two in stock. In other words, they'll never sell those two and what conclusion will they come to about Mr. Simmons?

TK42ONE said...

I know times are hard, even for book sellers. But Borders is one of the top three chains and I would think that if the other chains sold it, Borders would too. Perhaps peer pressure doesn't exist in bookstores?

Michael P. said...

Borders has been horrible with their stocking policies lately. They have been late ordering new titles. I'll often go to Borders to buy a new book and they don't have it. They say they can special order it. If I wanted to special order it I'd go through Amazon and at least get a discount. I end up going to BN and they always have it. Borders have flatly refused to carry my NY Time best-selling authors such as Peter David in hardcover and a few of my other favorite authors. I probably would buy at least another 10-15 books a year from them if they carried the books. Everyone should also keep in mind Borders is up for sale so they are trying to make themselves appear more financially stable on the books. Which means they are buying less titles and have lowered the amounts they've purchased in the past for books they do carry.

MrLoopie said...

90% of what I read is ebook, usually read on the Kindle and the rest is bought used online or the B&M store "Half Priced Books" so this wouldn't bother me to much. Even before I bought a Kindle I would go to Barnes & Noble to "scope" out what I wanted and go home and order it cheaper...B&M stores really do not appeal to me much anymore.

Taineer said...

I special ordered Lord Tophet from my local Walenbooks which is owned by Borders. They got it for me so at least they have access to it even if they're not carrying it on the shelves.

Jebus said...

I no longer go into any bookstore at all these days, not since I found bookdepository.co.uk.

Chain stores just can't compete and frankly I was just sick to death of trying 3 or 4 different stores to find the books I wanted to buy.

The author gets their dosh in the end no matter where I buy it from so I'm fine with no supporting local business especially since 90% of them are large chains anyway.

It's a bloody shame though for those people who don't have a credit card or access to the 'net.

jdurall said...

Borders is not exactly in the best financial shape right now, a condition that has obviously affected their stocking policies.

They are increasingly ordering smaller and smaller numbers of new titles, choosing not to replace titles sold, and rely on regular rewards club discounts to spur sales. Employee hours are being cut back, and there have been rumors that the chain is on the brink of bankruptcy for some time.

Clifford S said...

Chain book stores in Canada are the pits. There's only one and they rarely carry UK books in hardcover and they will not order them. They have a bizarre tendency to split the SF and Fantasy into two sections. I recommend, if you have one, go to a specialty bookstore. Calgary has one of the best SF/F bookstores in Canada. It's called Sentry Box and they have over 8,000 titles in stock. I buy almost everything from them. Vancouver's White Dwarf is another great SF/F bookstore.

Jason Durall said...

I went to Borders last night, and was astonished to find that the store received one (1!) copy of Gene Wolfe's new novel, An Evil Guest. It had sold out. I asked if they would restock it, and they told me that I'd have to order a copy.

ONE copy of the new book from the guy who's won three World Fantasy awards (including last years'), two Nebulas, five Locuses, and a handful of other awards.