Thursday, December 13, 2007

Shock in Stock...But Amazon US has something against MNW

Will Atkins informs me that when the Pan Macmillan web store shows a title as "out of stock," this means that the number of copies has shrunk below some threshold. He's had them reduce this threshold, and, poof! I'm back in stock. There's still about 50 copies somewhere in the Pan Mac warehouse.

Which brings me back to my original question: What is up with Amazon US? They let people buy copies for months (though as far as I know they never delivered any. And then they dropped the title from their "available" list. They still don't list my book as available for sale except as a used book. Yet their representative tells me the book "ought to be listed as available." Indeed it ought.

The most recent communication from Amazon US informed me that "We have received a few of these items from distributors, but have not yet received them from the publisher. We appreciate your patience with this issue."

Well, now at least I know the problem isn't that Macmillan is out of copies.

Meanwhile, Amazon Canada, bless them, still lists Shock and Awe as available, and what's more, available for CDN$15.72, which is a good price even with the US dollar somewhere underwater. At the moment they list it as "Only 1 left in stock--order soon (more on the way). "

I'm wagering that Amazon Canada receives more copies before Amazon US manages to cover their orders from September. Does anybody have a phone number for Jeff Bezos?

(Update: I've just learned that Amazon US is apparently doing the same thing with other MNW books. LC Tyler's The Herring-Seller's Apprentice is still listed as "available," those who pre-ordered it have been informed that it won't be shipped until mid-to-late January. Faye L. Booth's Cover the Mirrors can still be added to your shopping cart, but there is a note saying that the book is "Temporarily Unavailable".

Peter Anthony's A Town Called Immaculate is listed as though there's no issues, but I have a sneaking suspicion that if you ordered it from Amazon US, you might find that you'd wait a month and then receive a notice informing you that delivery would be delayed...If anyone has ordered Peter's book from Amazon US, let me know how it all progresses!)

(And furthermore: While you can pick up a copy of Cover the Mirrors from Amazon Canada for CDN$15.72, Amazon Canada lists The Herring Seller's Apprentice, which was published a month before Cover the Mirrors, as "not yet published."

Truly, the ways of Amazon surpasseth human understanding.)


Eliza Graham said...

Same for me, David. It was 'my week' for cybergirlfriends blogging (basically about a dozen other women in my group blog about my book and link to my Amazon page). Except I don't think Amazon US will be capable of fulfilling any orders until AFTER Christmas. So people won't bother, will they?

David Isaak said...

Yours is a variation on the theme that I haven't seen before: "Sign up to be notified when this item becomes available." Four different books, four different Amazon treatments. You can't say they don't customize, can you?

For the moment, tell people to buy it from Amazon UK--and point out that their Amazon US accounts work just fine at Amazon UK!