NOTE: I don't post to this blog super-duper often anymore, because I'm busy writing, well, books. (Read more about that here.) For more up-to-date, day-to-day ramblings, visit my Facebook page.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Why You're Having Trouble Finding My Book

Yes, blogfrogs, the agonizing kerfuffle between Big Six publisher Simon & Schuster and Big One Bookstore Chain Barnes & Noble is still ongoing.

What? You didn't know about that?

Here's the short version: S&S and B&N are in some kind of negotiations. They aren't going well. So for the time being--yeah, that's since March--B&N has drastically reduced its stock of S&S titles. While you can probably still find Stephen King and Jodi Picoult on Barnes & Noble shelves, you aren't going to see us newbies. Midlist and newbie authors are just out of luck.

If this were 1983 instead of 2013, I'd say, "Eh, that's not cool, but who cares? There's still B. Dalton, Waldenbooks, Brentano's ..."

If this were 1993, I'd say, "Eh, there's still ... Borders."

But the upshot now is that a lot of towns in America have just one bookstore. And it's a B&N. Once megastores like Borders and B&N got done mopping up the indie bookshop blood off the streets, there weren't a lot of other places for book lovers to go. But now the choice is even smaller. True, lots of indies--and bless you all!--were able to stick it out, and some have even started up since. But sadly, with that other behemoth (shhh: Amazon) staring them down, indies have to be made of tough stuff to stand their ground.

How long will this go on? I don't know. I do know that Simon & Schuster authors trying to set up events at B&N are having no luck, and book buyers won't find The Key & the Flame on the shelves. You can still order it through the B&N website or from the store counter, but whether they'll let you pick it up in the store versus shipping it to your home is questionable. (The "Pick Up in Store" option was gone from my page for a while; now it seems to be back again.)

That said, I don't get into the fine print of financial wranglings and have nothing against B&N. I'm not saying anyone's right or wrong, nor that I understand even a little bit what this is all about. But I will say it's hurting us authors, and it's not doing you readers any favors, either.

In the meantime, you can get The Key & the Flame from

Powell's Books (in store or online)
Books a Million (in store or online)

Look for more updates as they roll in!

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