Thinking Out Loud

September 14, 2015

When is a Book Actually Sold?

photo essay - newark

I had a book review scheduled for today, but then noticed the publisher’s instructions to post it within a specific time frame. Much of this has to do with ‘street dates,’ a system in place that allows publishers and distributors to ship books to retailers ahead of time, which are then held in stockrooms up to a specific ‘lay down’ date which ensures that no single store has a competitive advantages. Stores which are caught not complying are then not allowed to have their future street-date products shipped until the day before or day of release.

The system seems fair until you consider that online vendors can sell the product days, weeks or even months ahead of release. The key here is what is meant by sell. A prepayment means that there has been an actual transaction of funds, but some online sellers don’t run the credit card until the book is actually shipping.

Still, pre-ordering is a huge advantage to internet vendors. Having said that, I realize there is nothing stopping a local store or retail chain from taking advance orders as well. Some are successful at locking customer orders in, and with “A” list titles, sometimes the publisher will go to the trouble of printing up pre-order forms and displays for the stores to use.

But I would argue that if the online vendors are selling the product ahead of time, the delivery to the customer is a moot point.

However, the counter argument is that with a major, much-anticipated release, having the book in the hands of some customers but not others would mean the leaking of major spoilers involving key plot and character details. So the street date system has the advantage of building suspense and creating a theoretical equal footing for all retailers.

Generally, I like my reviews to run the week of the release in physical, brick-and-mortar bookstores. To me, earlier reviews only give the internet sellers an unfair example. People read my reviews, like what I said about it, and then often respond without having to leave their computer. (I generally only review books I am predisposed to like. Despite the blog’s popularity and the number of titles I am offered, I only have so much room on a limited number of bookshelves; ten of the Ikea-style shelves to be precise.)

I do think that physical stores could go a long way toward adopting the pre-sell model, but it can be an administrative burden if you don’t have the staff, or if, in our uniquely Canadian situation, currency fluctuations mean the book might have a different retail price by the time the copies hit the sales floor.

If I weren’t connected to retail, would the blog be an A**zon referrer? I’ve often thought about that. I do love books and connecting people and products I think will be useful in their lives. When that day comes, and it will, I would be more likely to be a referrer to Christian Book Distributors.

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December 22, 2010

Wednesday Link List

Twas the night before the night before the night before Christmas, and all through the blogs…

  • Here’s a series of four television commercials produced by an online counseling ministry, Groundwire.   And here’s the page containing hundreds of mostly 60-second radio spots.   The spots encourage you to go to a website where you speak with a “spiritual coach.”   If anyone knows more about the doctrinal affiliation of this org., I’d love to learn more beyond what’s on the webpage.   The voice of Groundwire is Sean Dunn, but you can learn more at Daniel White’s blog.
  • With another Narnia movie on the big screen, the CNN Belief Blog notes that C. S. Lewis is more popular than ever.
  • At a deeper level, here’s an excellent piece by Jared Wilson at The Thinklings indicating clearly that Lewis did not regard The Chronicles as allegory.
  • With people lined up at airports across western Europe for the holidays, and children lined up to see Santa; it’s a good time to join Royal Ferris in asking, Where is the Line to see Jesus?
  • So is religion good or bad?   Depends who, and more accurately where you ask apparently, as this ipsos survey found out:

  • And while we’re running charts, here’s an interesting one.   While getting bogged down in a read of Revelation, Daniel Jepsen notes, “I know that ‘all scripture is profitable’ but that doesn’t mean it is all equally profitable. ”   Uh, okay.   So here’s his Bible Book Matrix graphing both his take on the importance of each Bible book with its level of difficulty.   Do you agree with his positioning of your favorite book?

  • Apparently there’s no extra charge for the extra white space.   And since we’re now on a chart roll, it’s time to flash back to the famous “I’ve got a thing for charts” edition of the Wednesday Link List, the “Millenium Matrix.”

  • Here’s a link to a blog called the SexRev blog.    Hey, we like to link on the edge here.    This is a post about a cool new acronym the youth guys at Willow Creek thought up to teach their kids how to pray.
  • And speaking of kids — well, younger ones — who says the present generation is Biblically illiterate?  The kids in this video, seem to have the basics — well, some of them — of the Christmas story.  (Major high speed internet connection; or lots of patience required.)
  • Some of this blog’s best work happens on the weekend, when some of you are away.  So here’s a reminder to visit Saturday’s When ‘OMG’ and ‘WTF’ Come to Church.
  • Canadian readers:  Only a couple of days left to respond to our Salvation Army ikettle.
  • Our cartoon this week needs no introduction… [HT: Trevin Wax]

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