Really because I do not think that raising a stink will have too much of an effect on the book stores, I am bringing my rant here. Mostly to give you all some options to counteract the insanity I was faced with last night. As you can tell by my shopping list that I posted, I had a few books to buy – five to be specific. I also had a shiny new Border’s gift card sitting in the wallet to take care of the cost of those books. Yeah, I bet you can see where this is headed.
So I show up to Borders and begin looking for the books in alphabetical order. I do find a copy of Amber Benson’s first book in the series (Death’s Daughter) but no copies of Cat’s Claw. I figured this was not a huge deal as I already ordered it from California so that she could sign it for me at her launch day book signing. Well worth the cost of shipping. So I continued on down the line.
Coming up on the H section in scifi/fantasy I found a couple copies of Happy Hour of the Damned in mass market, but no copies of Battle of the Network Zombies. Don’t get me wrong, I did win an ARC and have already read it, but this is the book series I wanted to support the most. Also, Mrs. Zombie wants to read the retail version once she heard there were edits to it post-ARC. So needless to say I was a bit miffed when I shifted over to the K shelf and found nothing there by Stacia Kane! For those keeping score at home that is 2 snubs for the League and 0 of 3 on the shopping list.
I skipped to the S section based on the layout of the shelves (trust me it was quicker) and found that there was another snub for the League. That’s right, Simon Canderous was not in attendance. It was not until making it over to the R’s that I was given the one bright star of the night. Blood of the Demon by Diana Rowland had 3 copies on the shelf. So the final score at Borders was 3 snubs for the League and 1 of 5 from the shopping list. Only one book out of the five I was looking for was in store.
I was then treated to the fact that the process to special order a book in was to have them go to borders.com and order it for me. Really? Is that where we are? So I simply said, “How is this different then if I was to order it from home?” Can any of y’all guess what the answer was? If you guessed there was no difference you are correct. The only helpful actions I was graced with the whole night was when they offered me a code for free shipping and the guy in the cafe that didn’t have a scowl on his face and presented generally strong customer service skills.
Allow me to repeat that – the best customer services skills in the store came from the guy making the lattes.
Based on that whole experience I did not buy Blood of the Demon there and I would give them a C- as a store. The cafe was a slight bit better as a place to write than the one at Barnes and Noble, but not even that could save them.
From there I went to Barnes and Noble as I knew they would have what I wanted. They were in the mall proper, so a bit more of a hassle to get to but worth it to get my books. From there I was able to track down 4 of the 5 I was looking for. Unfortunately the 1 that I could not come up with was not the one I ordered from California. Just take a guess at the karma involved to get an idea which they did not have. Had you chosen Battle of the Network Zombies, you would be correct.
Thinking it either sold out or was sitting there waiting to be fronted, I went up and asked. The response I was given kind of concerning. I was told that the book was not releasing until March 2nd. I asked them to check again as I was pretty sure it was due out the 23rd. I let her know not to worry about it and I would grab it the next week when it came in. Likely I will be placing an order for it online, but at that point I was just getting wore out.
But this was not the only Leaguer that was caught in a strangle-hold by my local Barnes and Noble. Nope. What did I find on the shelf in the New Science Fiction section? A couple of stacks of Roadkill by Rob Thurman. The Roadkill that is due out next week – and that will screw up numbers were I to have picked it up this week. Apparently the “no restriction” on the sale of a book is strictly followed, even when the early release of the book could do harm to the series and author.
So my end result was I have 3 of the 5 books in hand, 1 on its way post-signing, a copy of Accidentally Dead (I needed to use that gift card on something) and a rather defeated view of retail book stores. So here is my final bit for you all – if you cannot find these books at the book store, say something. New readers are more likely to come if a book is on the shelf instead of sitting in a warehouse waiting for someone to click a button. If you cannot get it and you want it, definitely order online, but say something to the manager of the store about getting the books you think are good in. And definitely say something to the manager as an employee likely has no say in the ordering and is probably overworked due to staffing issues.
Speak up! Save Amanda (or Cal, or Sabina…), Save the World!