Monday, December 6, 2010

Rants: Release Date & Stocking Issue

I have an issue. It requires a rant. So here we go…

Basically it stands like this. Ian C. Esslemont’s 3rd book set in the Malazan world STONEWIELDER was released November 29th 2010. So it says on Amazon, and Chapters/Indigo, amongst other bookseller websites. Since that date, I have frequented my local bookstores, and those online sites in search of said title. To no avail. Though the release date is correct, and the book should be in stock. Tis not, and doesn’t appear to be showing up soon either.

This is not the first time I have run across this issue. Funnily enough this happened with Erikson’s last few Malazan books. I’m not going to blame Esslemont and Erikson’s publisher Transworld. For although the Canadian authors’ publisher is a UK one, the booksellers who list the release date on their sites ought to actually HAVE those items in stock on the release date for purchase.  If this means placing your order for however many copies early so they arrive on time, then so be it. Do so.

This is not a time of year issue either as the last Erikson book was meant to come out in summer and this new Esslemont one is clearly fall-winter.

If you go to and look to order a copy, it says it will be 2-3 weeks to send it out. If you go to Chapters/Indigo it says it is in stock but if you try to order it the shipping time is way in the future, not to mention the stores don’t have it in stock anywhere. So basically, if I want this item shipped from a Canadian company I will be waiting a long time, between 2 weeks to maybe even a month all told to my doorstep.

Then there is another option. Ordering it from, and pay a tad extra in shipping. Their website says it will ship to me tomorrow, and be here in less than 2 weeks. So explain to me how that makes any kind of sense.

I try to order it from Canada, but Canadian companies have decided to not order copies ready to dispatch, but rather seem to have to get it shipped to them on a case-by-case or order-by-order basis from the UK and THEN ship it out to the customer. This makes for a very long ended order and to me makes zero sense. It’s not like these titles don’t sell, cause if they got even 5 copies of STONEWIELDER at my local Indigo, I guarantee they’d sell out in a week. The Erikson ones always seem to sell out most copies and they have the same issue.

So instead of making it easy for customers to get a hold of a book title by having at least a few in stock ready to either be shelved at stores or ready to dispatch from online, they make it difficult enough that either the reader will wait until the store finally decides to put them out on the shelf, or they will go to the other route and order it from the website that will get it to them on or near the release date.

I’ve said it before, but Chapters/Indigo’s ordering system and cataloging system is fairly bad. I love the store, don’t get me wrong, I spend oodles of time there clearly, but it pisses me off to no end that their customer service on this sort of thing is sketchy at best. With both the two last Malazan books by Erikson and now with this latest ICE title I have gone into the store (or phoned) and the CSR looks, finds the same info I found….the computer says it’s been released but they don’t have it on the premises. What’s funny is I could tolerate a week or so delay…but with the DUST OF DREAMS by Erikson it was somewhere in the realm of TWO MONTHS before the store had it. I mean, this is a company I spend a lot of my money at and they lose my custom for something so ridiculous as poorly managed catalogs.

It’s been a week since the release of STONEWIELDER and I got fed up today after speaking with a CSR at my local Indigo who, as usual, had no way of telling me when they would have it in store OR online, so I ordered it from….it will be shipped tomorrow and get to me before Dec.17th. Which makes me happy, but I wanted to rant about it.

Chapters/Indigo have issues with this, and just seems to not bother stocking it on this side of the pond unless someone orders it, at which point they become a middle man you can avoid. Well sorry I don’t plan on waiting a month for an order to ship, that’s ridiculous.

These are CANADIAN authors both, and two of the most prolific fantasy authors we've produced, yet finding their books anywhere close to a release date it nigh impossible. Meanwhile, you can find 200 copies of any given books by Margaret Atwood out on the shelves the morning they are released...which adds a whole other level to my upset, but you get the point.



  1. Which is why I like The Bookdepository Free shipping to lots of places on the globe too ;)

  2. Agreed. If it wasn't for the fact that they were out of stock for Stonewielder, I would totally have used them. I have before, because of the free shipping anywhere in the world thing. It's great!

  3. I've been trying to order Stonewielder from Book Depository, but they're always out of stock. I keep filling in the "email me when this item is back in stock" form, but by the time I get their email alert, it's back out of stock again...

  4. I pre-ordered from BookDep and it arrived last week here in Melbourne, Australia. I've not gone into a physical book store for about 2 years I think, I absolutely LOVE BookDep - buying books on there they are about half price what they are in book stores here and they get delivered to my door.



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