Monday, June 13, 2005

BAM Delivers

Remember when I went to get Mr. MacBride's book back in May, and that BAM clerk said uh-uh won't be here until July?

I called my local BAM today to check again. Still not there. I whined about moving and how St. Martin's is shipping it tomorrow. My plight and my intel didn't impress the clerk, who stuck with "Mid-July is what the computer says, ma'am."

I knew someone had to have it, so I did a little digging online today and found out I can have Cold Granite shipped to me in three to four days right here from BAM. Not even Amazon and B&N online can beat that ship time, btw.

I'm not going to try to fathom this distribution system.


  1. According to my publisher's info page, "Finished books must be in our distributor's warehouse two months before release date."

    As I understand it, they print early and distribute to an artificial date (the release date given to reviewers) My book is due in September, but the publisher's catalogue entry says August and I think it'll actually be out in July. Unless it's a Potter-style blockbuster shops can whack them on the shelves. (Someone who works in a store will have the gen on this, but I've seen a few book cartons with 'release date' stamped on the side. I don't know whether that's 'open after x/y' or 'there won't be any publicity until x/y so shelve at your own discretion')

  2. Simon, I think the main issue is that "Cold Granite" has already been on the shelves here in the UK for a month or so (and indeed is featured in the window of my local bookshop, I was interested to see), but apparently is unduely hard to get hold of in the US still.
    Sheila, I know you hate Amazon, but can't you just order UK books from as soon as they're released over here? I got Holly's and Monica's latest from Amazon with no problems, and have accounts with both the US and the UK sites.
    Alison S

  3. Anonymous6:27 AM

    I try to buy from bricks-and-mortar stores as much as possible, Alison, because it's better for the book. I flatly refuse to buy anything myself from Amazon. What I need to find is a reliable independent UK bookseller who ships to the US. Anyone have some suggestions?

  4. Anonymous10:54 AM

    Thanks for the rec, Sarah. Giving them a whirl right now.

  5. Anonymous11:45 AM

    To update: I ordered two signed copies via Goldsboro Books Ltd.'s website, but for some reason (probably my evil browser) couldn't transfer to the payment server.

    I e-mailed Goldsboro, received an immediate response and then FAXed my order over to them. They e-mailed back to confirm they'd received my FAX. Great customer service.

  6. Anonymous12:02 PM

    BAM is based out of Birmingham, AL, so those in the South usually have a better distribution and delivery time than from other ordering sources.

  7. The secret behind the release date is to tie the physical availability to the advertising campaigns so the stores are stocked when the push goes out. I think there was a recent case in the UK where a newspaper jumped the "not to be mentioned until" date and got sued over it. They settled, but it was still a big issue.

    So, that might be what's happening here with the US release tied to a US marketing plan separate from the UK. Not sure, but sometimes there is some sort of logic behind this thing ;).

  8. Anonymous1:42 PM

    Some books have an absolute "do not shelve before" date on them. If you shelve early or sell from the box ahead of time, you don't get the hot bestsellers from that publisher in the future. So, that's why some books are never available prior to the official release date. Something I learned working at a now-defunct bookstore. :)


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