distribution problems with Queen of Swords

I’ve had a few emails and messages today from people who went out to buy Queen of Swords and were unable to find it, even in big chain stores in urban areas. Some stores just didn’t have it yet, some had ordered very few copies. In two cases people went home and ordered from Amazon.

This is not good. I forward the information to my agent and my editor, and tomorrow I’m going to get some answers. Also, It seems to me that if brick and mortar bookstores want to compete with online vendors, they need to be more proactive.

If you’ve had a similar experience, could you please let me know in the comments?

Thanks.

28 Replies to “distribution problems with Queen of Swords”

  1. Oh my, what a Halloween Night. After a parade and two parties with my girls at school, I bribed my husband into passing out candy while I drove into the traffic (1 Hour round trip) to buy Queen of Swords, arrived at Borders, looked in new fiction and new romance section NO Book. Finally I asked and they said they didn’t have them and when I asked if they were sold out(which I hoped was the case) they said no they didn’t receive any and only had a single copy in ‘transit’. I was ticked off since I spend 100’s of dollars there a year and then the salesperson asked my if I wanted to order it from the net? I could have bought it from the net but I’m in your store willing to spend my money now!!!! This is a very populated suburb outside of Chicago, “What do you mean you don’t have a copy of a book that was supposed to be on the shelves today?” I just don’t get it? Do bookstores just want to close up shop and sell their wares on the internet? Well that’s the end of my rant, I will try to pick it up at Barnes and Noble, I am so looking forward to it that I was even considering driving the hour and fifteen minutes round trip to the mall to have it under my pillow for the next day. I will buy it regardless but I’m a loyal reader what about all the people out there who would have looked at the series for the first time because of the beautiful cover on this new book?

  2. Yep. Went to Barnes and Noble and no dice. They swore to me that I could get it tomorrow. We shall see. (I also live in a suburb of Chicago.)

  3. Hi Sara!
    I live in Arlington, VA. I started calling around last week.

    Borders at Pentagon City just placed an order last Tuesday.
    Walden Books at Ballston Mall had not placed an order.
    Ollsons Books (small shop)- no order.

    All of these vendors offered to order the book for me.

    Barnes and Noble to the rescue. They recieved the shipment yesterday at 4pm. I arrived at 6pm. The shipment manager went home early! I asked the Information clerk to go back and look through the delivery (100 boxes) . This is where I get desperate. I offered to go sit in the cafe and drink lattes. I realize that I am being unreasonable and compulsive. I consent to preordering QOS and left the store thinking I would not get a copy until Friday. The store manager called two hours later to let me know my copy was ready. 5 other pre-orders waiting.

    Am I a Donati freak or what? I feel like a kid on Christmas eve. QOS cover is eye catching! Vibrant shade of red- warm color.

    Sara Donati/Rosina Lippi- your books are always worth the wait! You bring so much joy to your readers.

  4. I love brick and mortar stores, but I can rarely find something I’m specifically looking for. They’re great for random browsing (and I keep spending $100 at a pop), but they never seem to think things should be shelved where I think they should be. Yes, I should ask, but mostly, I don’t like to ask.

    I can’t speak specifically to Queen of Swords — I have too much to read right now and have to lay off (I’ve just finished huge on-line and in-store binges and need to recover and read). I’ll get there.

  5. I haven’t been able to get QOS yet because we’re out of the country, but the same thing happened to me with Fire Along the Sky. I went to no less than three different bookstores on the release date only to be told that they either didn’t have it or it was still in a box somewhere. I finally found the one copy sitting in the general fiction section of a big Borders.

    I find this glimpse into the bookselling world a little disturbing. If a great writer like Rosina can’t get a book on the new fiction shelf/table, who can? How are people supposed to find out about new books if they’re not even on the shelves? We fans go to the trouble to track it down because we know it’s out there, but what about the people who don’t already know about the series?

  6. I bought QOS in Brisbane Australia today! Yippee I have been waiting soo long for this and thought I would just browse the shelves at Big W. I am already up to Chapter 3 and can’t put in down.

    Rosina you are truly a gifted writer, thank you for sharing your talent with us.

    Regards
    Gina

  7. looked for availability at local Borders stores in western Oakland Co, Ann Arbor, MI area using the online availability check. None were available. Put a hold on it at the local library on 10/31 in the am, had a copy in my hands by 330pm the same day. God bless libraries. Will purchase at a later date

  8. At Chapters in Ottawa, no stores had it, and they said they would get it(only 1!!!) but they couldn’t tell me when. I don’t understand! They’re not very organized. Anyways, I ordered it from Amazon yesterday. I should just do that from now on. It’s so aggravating. Oh, but when it’s a new Harry Potter book, they go all out, costumes and everything. Oh well, Amazon is cheaper anyway. Really looking forward to reading it!

  9. I went to Barnes and Noble yesterday at 7:00 PM scared to death that it would be sold out, especially after reading here yesterday that it had already been put in for a second printing. I was shocked that it wasn’t in the New Fiction section at the front of the store. Instead of searching all over for it, I asked immediately and they took me right to it but only had three copies on the shelf. I don’t know if it was because there were only three copies left or if that is all they put out, but, anyway, I got my copy. Durham, NC

  10. I’ve all but given up on finding books in stores on their release dates. My conversations with the managers often go like this:

    Them: “We don’t seem to have any copies.”
    Me: “I noticed. Any on the way?”
    Them: “Hmm, it looks like we ordered 2. They might turn up on next week’s truck.”
    Me: [goes to different store]
    [at different store]
    Them: “We didn’t order any copies of that book.”
    Me: “Why the hell not?”
    Them: [shrug] “We can order it for you now.”
    Me: “And when would it come in?”
    Them: “Seven to ten days.”
    Me: “Last time you said that it took four weeks.”
    Them: [shrug]
    Me, knowing the answer to this one: “Will your hardcover discount apply if I special order?”
    Them: “No.”

    So yeah, they pretty much give me every reason to preorder on Amazon. Which I did, btw, and QoS is on its way.

    I did go to a couple of stores last night looking for Jenny Crusie’s new Christmas novella, which was also released yesterday. I did eventually find it at Barnes & Noble, but I didn’t see any copies of QoS in any of the stores I went to (and I was scouring the new release areas pretty thoroughly, since they stash the paperbacks in all sorts of bizarre places).

    I have better luck finding new paperbacks, in general. I’m guessing that’s the magazine distribution system at work.

  11. I bought QoS on Monday morning, 10/30, at Borders in Wayne, NJ.

    I called around last week to find out who was going to have it and when, and even though Barnes and Noble (in West Paterson, NJ, for the record) assured me they would have it on its release date, they did not, and as of yesterday, the 5 copies they ordered were still “in transit.” Luckily (and when I say that, I mean for the employees of Borders, because I would have been a very cranky customer had things developed otherwise) Borders had several copies sitting on the New Romance shelves at 10AM on Monday morning.

    I finished the book this morning, and would like to extend my abject sympathies to all those who haven’t gotten their hands on a copy yet. It’s worth the wait though, I promise. :)

  12. I preordered from Amazon. I have been to the site 5 times today to see if they have shipped. They haven’t. I am not nervous. I have a rather good new book of short stories by Margaret Atwood. I am not nervous.I have that book that Hugo Chavez recommended when he was speaking to the United Nations by Noam Chomsky. I am trying to be not nervous.
    Cynthia in Florida

  13. I had to go to three major book stores to find it. And even then it wasnt on the shelf, I made them go search the back room for it and bring it to me. I am in the Portland, Oregon area.

  14. I live in Kansas Dorothy and when I went to Barnes and Noble on Halloween it wasn’t there. They even looked it up and said it wasn’t published/released yet. So, I went home and ordered it off Amazon (because I knew better). The bad part is I want it NOW, but I have to wait a few days.

  15. My local Borders website indicated QofS in stock a week ago. So, of course, when I went today it wasn’t there. Only TWO had been ordered for the store, and they were in boxes “out back” if we really believe that. Anyway, if they find them they’ll put 1 on hold for me and call. Grouse, grouse!!!

  16. I have gone to every store near my house and no one has it. So far I went to three Borders, 2 Barnes and Nobles. one Bordes said they had one copy and it must have already sold because they haven’t updated their inventory in two days. I would have ordered it online but thought it would be faster if I just got it at the store. I’m almost giving up on reading the book altogether.

  17. Dear Rosina,

    I bought Queen of Swords on Friday at Dymocks, Brisbane, Australia. It was in the New Releases section, which has seven shelves. On each of those shelves was a stack of four/five copies (I counted). My only disappointment was that it seems to be available in trade paperback only, not in hardback which is my preference with books I know I will be rereading over and over. One more thing, the web address given for the author on the last page is the old one, http://www.saralaughs.com.

    I finished it last night – I tried to stretch it out as long as possible over the weekend, but to no available. My only consolation is that I will be able to start again from the begin and reread all the Wilderness series. It was completely satisfying – beautifully written and absorbing as usual, and a wonderful story. My impatient waiting for the end of Strikes-the-Sky’s story was rewarded, it came in exactly the right place. At the moment I am still in the afterglow, happy to leave all the characters where they are, but alas I know it won’t be long before I begin yearning for the next book. Thank you, Rosina, for such a fully-rounded and superlative book in my favourite genre.

  18. Yoli — please don’t give up. It’s out there, I promise.

    Sheena — http://www.saralaughs.com is still valid. It’s the gateway page. At the time the book went to press I didn’t have http://www.saradonati.com (I do now, as a kindly attorney wrested it away from the cybersquatter who had it).

    Saralaughs, Inc. is my corporate entity and thus the url will stay as primary.

  19. I too can not find a copy of Queen of Swords. I live in rural Michigan so perhaps ordering on line at Amazon is my only choice. Sigh…I hate waiting.
    Love your books though…My favorite!

  20. Yikes! I went to Amazon.com and it says that Queen of Swords is currently unavailable. How does this happen???
    Sulking off to stew is my misery…will check back later.

  21. Linda — I just now checked at Amazon, and they say (to me at least) “in stock” — could you check again?

  22. I got an email from Amazon Sunday afternoon saying that QoS had been delayed, but the rest of my order had shipped. Got another one three hours later saying QoS had shipped. Weird.

  23. Yes, I checked today and it now states “in stock”. Not sure what happened yesterday when I looked for it but I am 100% sure it said “not in stock”. Anyway, good news for those of us who can’t find it on the shelves.
    Thanks…

  24. For those in New Zealand I know QOS is advertised as a new release in the latest Warehouse mailer (and I’m pretty sure I saw it in Whitcoull’s one too – Warehouse being cheaper…) so you’d think it was available but I haven’t had the chance to actually go into the stores yet – although I’m dying to read the book but waiting for payday, damn being broke!! :D

  25. Checked today in Borders in center city Philadelphia–they had ordered one copy. Gone. Barnes & Noble downtown –no copy in sight. Sigh.

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