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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2008-12-30 16:56
Subject: [books] Yikes
Security: Public
Tags:books, publishing
I was in the Clackamas Town Center Barnes & Noble today and saw a very frightening thing. All the books in the Science Fiction section were faced. Even, then shelves had gaps. This means they had less than half the normal inventory. (Including nothing of mine.)

I know Borders is going under in the next month or two, but I didn't know B&N was playing the cutback game. Anybody else seen this at B&N?

Originally published at jlake.com.

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User: joycemocha
Date: 2008-12-31 01:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I had seen a lot of faced books at the CTC B & N, but that was during the storm, when I was buying paperbacks to fly with (and I did see Mainspring at that time). Maybe we're still seeing some shipping lags after the Christmas season? At that time, it was just the first set of shelves that were faced--I went back into the "S" section (looking for Linnea Sinclair and Sherwood Smith) and some of those books were not faced at that time. Makes me wonder about how weather and shipping are interacting.

Scary thought, though. I've been following several agents who do follow the market trends, and it's scary. Following Joshua Bilmes's reports of his visits to various B & Ns and Borders is quite the eyeopener. I'd been hoping we'd avoid it here (though I have to say that I had already figured out that the Gresham Borders was rather--um, pathetic, when it came to sf).
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Laura Anne Gilman
User: suricattus
Date: 2008-12-31 01:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Just as likely everyone came in with their gift cards and did a post-holiday shopping blitz. If it's still bare after a suitable restocking time has passed, then it's time to freak.



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Livia Llewellyn: Little Miss Editing Pants
User: livia_llewellyn
Date: 2008-12-31 01:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Little Miss Editing Pants
What Suricattus said. Also, B&N's fiscal year ends on December 31 - chances are they're making sure they have as little taxable inventory and income as possible, and will restock after the new fiscal year begins.
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Sally Cinnamon: bucky writes
User: elizawrites
Date: 2008-12-31 01:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:bucky writes
At a B&N in the NW Chicago burbs, I didn't notice a very low level of stock in SFF this weekend. Hopefully your experience is an anomaly!
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kzmiller
User: kzmiller
Date: 2008-12-31 02:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yes, don't forget the weather is a factor. I have stuff I ordered a long time ago that has been delayed due to weather by a significant amount (it's now over a week overdue and listed as still in transit.) Some areas, like the coast of Oregon, ran out of milk and fresh produce. I heard Bend was short on flour and sugar briefly. So, yeah, give it a little time and then we'll see.
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sourceoftrouble
User: sourceoftrouble
Date: 2008-12-31 03:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Some stores (not just book stores) have to have as low an inventory as possible at the end of January as they can because that's when the states take their cut on their inventory balance.
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bram452
User: bram452
Date: 2008-12-31 04:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Not seeing it in Albuquerque. Normal levels of stock here.
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User: autojim
Date: 2008-12-31 05:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
No problems noted at the Copperfield store in Houston (TX-6 and FM-529). Suitable numbers of Lake available. Suitable-minus-one copies were faced after I came though.

All part of the service, Sir. :)
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Jay Lake: writing-Escapement
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-12-31 13:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:writing-Escapement
Thenk yew!
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User: ex_camillea
Date: 2008-12-31 06:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:don't even
I don't know, but I did see a copy of your book prominently displayed in the front window of the Hawthorne Powell's yesterday!
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-12-31 13:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Does that mean you are back?
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User: ex_camillea
Date: 2008-12-31 15:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Just barely. My head's still spinning.
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Willis Couvillier
User: will_couvillier
Date: 2008-12-31 15:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Better answer Jay, Camille. He has the stern-faced icon up...
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ericgregory
User: ericgregory
Date: 2008-12-31 19:08 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The B&N in Erie, PA always has a pretty strong SF selection, and it was roughly the same as usual on boxing day.

If I understand correctly, managers at B&N have a little more influence over their stock than those at other big boxes. Managerial commitment to SF seems to make a big difference.
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User: myaineko.blogspot.com
Date: 2009-01-01 01:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Actually now that you mention it I've noticed this a few times. The first time at a B Daltons I usually don't go to in Laguna Hills, and then at a Borders in Southcoast Plaza. I swear I thought it was a new "book display fashion." D'oh!!

Your books, in both instances, were in supply :)

Alvaro
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