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Dear Bookstores - Michael M Jones

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July 12th, 2011


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01:34 pm - Dear Bookstores
Dear Local Brick-and-Mortar Bookstores,

I am gravely disappointed in you. More and more, you don't have what I want, when I want it. As a voracious reader (and a professional reviewer), I've come to demand a certain amount of timeliness from my new releases. That means, if I go into a store and look for a new release on its release date, I expect to find the book. That means that when a bestselling author from a major publisher has a new book, I would like to go to your store, find the book in question, and buy it. Immediately.

But we have a problem. Several, actually.

1) You don't have the book. Why? Maybe the chain buyer didn't think you needed it. Maybe the distributer didn't send it in time. Maybe there was a mix-up in the warehouse. So it could be days, weeks, maybe even never before that book shows up on its own accord. So maybe I order it through you, hoping to support you in that fashion. The book shows up a week later, sometimes damaged in transit. (Of course, -after- I order the book, you get in fresh copies on the shelves....)

2) The book is often much cheaper if I order it online. Cheaper, and quicker. Amazon, for example, can give me the book for 38% off, and have it for me a lot sooner than if I ordered through the store.

3) Heck, I could download the ebook version, and have it in 10 seconds for half the price. If I was into ebooks. I'm considering it strongly for books I want to read but don't necessarily want cluttering up my shelves.... YA hardbacks, I'm looking at you.

So you see, local bookstore who shall remain unnamed even though you're practically the only real game in town, you're not making it easy for me to continue supporting you. Don't get me wrong: I love nothing more than to walk into a bookstore, bask in the presence of the books, browse the shelves, and pick up the new releases. And while I'm still willing to pay full price - whatever discounts you offer - member card discount ... it's becoming very hard to justify that when you're no longer holding up your end of the bargain.

Today, I choose to place my order online. I'll still drop in to see what else might be new, but consider this a warning: I only go to the local bookstore because I'm old-fashioned and like shopping for books in person. If you stop making it worth my while, I'll just have to adapt. I'll miss you, though....

Love,
Me.
Current Mood: bitchybitchy

(12 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:seawasp
Date:July 12th, 2011 10:33 pm (UTC)
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And sometimes the authors send them to you for free. :)
[User Picture]
From:oneminutemonkey
Date:July 12th, 2011 11:48 pm (UTC)
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Yes, yes they do. And sometimes I really enjoy those books, and they they go on the towering pile o' To Review for when I find the brainpower to tackle them properly. And I never get distracted by websites dedicated certain books and the homages contained within. :)

[User Picture]
From:seawasp
Date:July 13th, 2011 12:46 am (UTC)
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It's good that you don't get distracted. Distractions would be bad, when there are so many reviews to write! :)
[User Picture]
From:alemya
Date:July 13th, 2011 02:24 am (UTC)
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He's the king of talking about something, getting halfway through, then going "OOOH, SHINY!" However, it's more along the lines of "Oh, wow. This author is awesome. Do they have a web presence? Do they have a backlist? Oh, COOL! Here's the author's blog! Wow, I wonder where they got the idea for..."

He calls it "research" for the reviews. ;)
[User Picture]
From:seawasp
Date:July 13th, 2011 03:11 am (UTC)
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Well, as Uncle would say, "Research is important!"
[User Picture]
From:nicci
Date:July 12th, 2011 11:20 pm (UTC)

commercial booksellers...

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my life is at once less stressful, yet empty certain delightful tactile experiences, because i order digitally these days. my ipad has 18 archived novels, of the 27 i've read for fun since my eye-blinding grad courses began. a sad 2 are paper books. and those? well, they came from the library.

=(

i miss the indy bookstores we used to have. siiiigh.
[User Picture]
From:seawasp
Date:July 13th, 2011 12:51 am (UTC)

Re: commercial booksellers...

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Maybe they're different elsewhere, but I was never half as impressed by any indy bookstore as I was by Borders before it decided to machine-gun itself in the feet. Most of the ones I encountered I actually couldn't ENTER without major preparation the day before, as they kept CATS -- actually IN THE STORE. Even Flights of Fantasy, our local gaming and SF store, does this, and though I love its proprietor Maria, I just can't GO there very often; I pay for the few hours doing a signing in her store with a day and a half of Feeling Like Sh*t.

Those I COULD enter easily never had anything like the selection of one of the larger stores, nor the cleanliness or ambience. The closest is probably the Book House in Stuyvesant Plaza, which has a sort of living-room ambience to it, but while not at all small, it's far from what one of the chain stores was like.
[User Picture]
From:nicci
Date:July 13th, 2011 04:37 am (UTC)

Re: commercial booksellers...

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hmmm. around here (Cincy), the indy bookstores didn't so much have pets as bunches of hippies. =D i mean, as long as you're not allergic to incense, you were pretty much ok.

(i actually am allergic to a few types of smokabl--i mean burnables, so sometimes i had to do a dash past the front counter...)
[User Picture]
From:seawasp
Date:July 13th, 2011 12:13 pm (UTC)

Re: commercial booksellers...

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Unfortunately I *am* sensitive to most incenses and perfumes; my wife wears none for that reason.
[User Picture]
From:minion
Date:July 13th, 2011 04:25 am (UTC)
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Ugh. Amazon. At the con last weekend we had a guy come up on Friday night saying he could get our rules much cheaper on Amazon. Us and our publisher were, like, "Sure, buy from the giant corporation. We don't care." Now, if he'd tried SUNDAY we might have cared and cut a deal. But the middle of the con? Sheesh.

That said I hate Amazon so am totally biased. :)Thank goodness for my Nook or my house wouldn't have room for us to live in. I really thought I'd miss an actual book, but I find I don't. Especially on release day when I can preorder and it's right there.
[User Picture]
From:oneminutemonkey
Date:July 13th, 2011 04:34 am (UTC)
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Amazon really is my last resort, most of the time. I'd rather support a local store, even if it's a chain, because I want to keep the business at home. But I just get so frustrated sometimes when I go in looking for things and can't get them for one reason or another. It's been a series of little aggravations, like not knowing a book was out because they never got it in (and never would have, had I not asked) and that sort of thing.
[User Picture]
From:madwriter
Date:July 13th, 2011 03:13 pm (UTC)
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All of these are reasons I'm considering publishing my stuff as e-books more and more seriously. If I can figure out the inherent "distribution" problems--particularly marketing--in that format.

BTW, is this the same bookstore which, I discovered recently, dropped all of its specfic magazines?

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