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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old March 1 2013, 02:32 AM   #1
Sxottlan
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Barnes & Noble Reducing Orders of New Trek Books?

Has anyone else noticed this yet since the start of the new year? Last month I went to B&N on my first free day after the release of Allegiance in Exile. I went right to the MMPB shelves for new sci-fi releases. I first noticed there weren't as many shelves devoted to new releases.

Then I noticed that Allegiance in Exile was nowhere to be found. Not in new releases or the actual Trek shelf (singular). I go to the computer and it tells me "out of stock." This was only two days after its release. I ask an employee and I'm told the book was on order "only."

Finding that very bizarre, I drive to another B&N and find the lone copy available.

Fast forward to yesterday, I go to the first B&N again, this time to get Devil's Bargain. Not there. It took talking to two employees to get any idea of what was going on. I'm told that they are now just getting one copy of a new Trek book. If that sells, another will be ordered. If that sells, maybe another two will be ordered. And so on. Looks to be the same at the second B&N location, which I visited today.

The implication being that people are simply not buying the books.

At least certainly not in the amount that they used to order, which appeared to be only about four or five per month anyway. While the one seemingly knowledgeable employee told me they rip covers off the books that don't sell, I'm a bit at a loss to explain how the shelves at the local B&Ns still have ample amounts of the Destiny trilogy, Vanguard and Titan. Both stores have regularly had early Titan like The Red King.

I'm not sure if these are re-orders of popular titles or if they're simply just sitting there year after year. Yet other more recent titles appear to have come and gone. I can only assume that those titles are indeed new copies of older books.

Anyway, just real disheartening. I can't just walk into a bookstore and get the book I want anymore. And if I have to start ordering beforehand, I may as well go the Amazon route instead. In which case B&N is just screwing themselves out of another customer.

Yet I'd rather have a choice of which physical book to buy. It's admittedly a bit of an OCD thing, but I want the book that is in the most pristine condition. Some have dings and others have cuts from when they slice open the boxes.

I'm going to see if I can talk to the store manager and convince him/her to up the order to at least two or three a month. Five may be too much for them, but one is just ridiculous. However, I doubt I'll have much success. If the second store is the same way, I'm figuring this is a national move? I did not think local franchisees owned these stores.

So anyone else encounter this yet or is this just around me? Or is it that my local stores are just now starting to do what others have already been doing?

Edit: By the way, I was thinking of doing my annual "State of Trek Literature" thread again this year if there's any interest.
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Last edited by Sxottlan; March 1 2013 at 02:43 AM.
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Old March 1 2013, 02:37 AM   #2
Hartzilla2007
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Re: Barnes & Noble Reducing Orders of New Trek Books?

Sxottlan wrote: View Post
Has anyone else noticed this yet since the start of the new year? Last month I went to B&N on my first free day after the release of Allegiance in Exile. I went right to the MMPB shelves for new sci-fi releases. I first noticed there weren't as many shelves devoted to new releases.

Then I noticed that Allegiance in Exile was nowhere to be found. Not in new releases or the actual Trek shelf (singular). I go to the computer and it tells me "out of stock." This was only two days after its release. I ask an employee and I'm told the book was on order "only."

Finding that very bizarre, I drive to another B&N and find the lone copy available.

Fast forward to yesterday, I go to the first B&N again, this time to get Devil's Bargain. Not there. It took talking to two employees to get any idea of what was going on. I'm told that they are now just getting one copy of a new Trek book. If that sells, another will be ordered. If that sells, maybe another two will be ordered. And so on. Looks to be the same at the second B&N location, which I visited today.

The implication being that people are simply not buying the books.

At least certainly not in the amount that they used to order, which appeared to be only about four or five per month anyway. While the one seemingly knowledgeable employee told me they rip covers off the books that don't sell, I'm a bit at a loss to explain how the shelves at the local B&Ns still have ample amounts of the Destiny trilogy, Vanguard and Titan. Both stores have regularly had early Titan like The Red King.

I'm not sure if these are re-orders of popular titles or if they're simply just sitting there year after year. Yet other more recent titles appear to have come and gone. I can only assume that those titles are indeed new copies of older books.

Anyway, just real disheartening. I can't just walk into a bookstore and get the book I want anymore. And if I have to start ordering beforehand, I may as well go the Amazon route instead. In which case B&N is just screwing themselves out of another customer.

Yet I'd rather have a choice to which physical book to buy. It's admittedly a bit of an OCD thing, but I want the book that is in the most pristine condition. Some have dings and others have cuts from when they slice open the boxes.

I'm going to see if I can talk to the store manager and convince him/her to up the order to at least two or three a month. Five may be too much for them, but one is just ridiculous. However, I doubt I'll have much success. If the second store is the same way, I'm figuring this is a national move? I did not think local franchisees owned these stores.

So anyone else encounter this yet or is this just around me?
They probably don't stock many trek books because we'll either get the ebook or buy the dead tree version on the store site.
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Old March 1 2013, 02:39 AM   #3
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Re: Barnes & Noble Reducing Orders of New Trek Books?

I've noticed this as well. They still usually seem to have many copies of the latest Star Wars title on-hand, though.
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Old March 1 2013, 02:49 AM   #4
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Re: Barnes & Noble Reducing Orders of New Trek Books?

Sxottlan wrote: View Post
Has anyone else noticed this yet since the start of the new year? Last month I went to B&N on my first free day after the release of Allegiance in Exile. I went right to the MMPB shelves for new sci-fi releases. I first noticed there weren't as many shelves devoted to new releases.
It's not just you. It's everyone who uses B&N. Barnes & Noble and Simon & Schuster are feuding over money at present.
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Old March 1 2013, 03:44 AM   #5
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Re: Barnes & Noble Reducing Orders of New Trek Books?

^That probably has a lot to do with it, I also have a feeling that at this point the majority of sales for Trek books are probably online.
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Old March 1 2013, 10:57 AM   #6
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Re: Barnes & Noble Reducing Orders of New Trek Books?

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
It's not just you. It's everyone who uses B&N. Barnes & Noble and Simon & Schuster are feuding over money at present.
That would certainly explain it.

These disputes between producers and distributors (like channels and cable providers etc.) never seemed to be so high profile as they are now. They must of realized how they can draw in the customers into the crossfire and use them for their own ends. I'm not sure that that's exactly the case here, but it feels like this is happening all the time now.
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Old March 1 2013, 11:45 AM   #7
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Re: Barnes & Noble Reducing Orders of New Trek Books?

I buy all my Trek online, and have done so for the past two years. Money's tight, and they're usually about £2 cheper than the in-store prices.

That said, it would be interesting to see Trek novel sales figures. I know Pocket guard them with all their might, but it'd be nice to have an idea how our Trek Lit is doing in general.
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Old March 1 2013, 12:55 PM   #8
Lunarflower
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Re: Barnes & Noble Reducing Orders of New Trek Books?

Yeah. I have noticed they seem to be stocking even less these days.

One store didn't have Allegiance in Exile, so I picked up the lone copy at a different story. They did have Devil's Bargain when it came out, but only one copy and not on the new books shelf (for some reason they had several copies of books two and three of the Destiny trilogy out on the new books shelf).
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Old March 1 2013, 01:05 PM   #9
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Re: Barnes & Noble Reducing Orders of New Trek Books?

For the past few years my local Chapters-Indigo outlet, Coles, has been doing he same, to the point where they only have half a shelf for Trek (and the pile them horizontally in this section wih two or three standing up). But all the Chapters-Indigo stores have kiosks that are linked right to the chains website for quick ordering, so I usually pre-order from there and then wait till the book comes in.
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Old March 1 2013, 03:13 PM   #10
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Re: Barnes & Noble Reducing Orders of New Trek Books?

My BN has a lone Trek shelf on the very bottom, while Star Wars still has a whole shelf to itself, Honor Harrington has more shelf space than Trek.
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Old March 1 2013, 03:49 PM   #11
Garrovick
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Re: Barnes & Noble Reducing Orders of New Trek Books?

For what it'[s worth, my local B&N had three or four copies of Allegiance in Exile when it was first released, all of whch have since been sold (including one to yours truly). I usually get over to B&N on Fridays so I'm hoping to pick up Devil's Bargain today. But yes, my store also seems to have lots of copies of the Destiny books on the shelf.
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Old March 1 2013, 05:07 PM   #12
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Re: Barnes & Noble Reducing Orders of New Trek Books?

Threads like this one are always leaving me a bit puzzled. Here in Germany, when I go into a bookshop and they don't have the title I'm looking for (Which happens quite often with SF-titles, since that genre isn't that popular anymore), I ask one of the employees and they simply order it for me and I can usually pick it up within 24 hours. And thats not just the case in the big chains like Thalia, Germanys biggest chain of Bookstores, which would be pretty much the equivalent to your Barnes and Noble, you can take that kind of service for granted in even the smallest village-bookstore out in the middle of nowhere. And most stores accept your preorders if you want something exotic they ususally wouldn't order and give you call once you can pick it up.
Aren't services like that not common in the US? If they are, I'm a bit lost of where the problem actually is.
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Old March 1 2013, 05:44 PM   #13
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Re: Barnes & Noble Reducing Orders of New Trek Books?

Kopernikus wrote: View Post
Aren't services like that not common in the US? If they are, I'm a bit lost of where the problem actually is.
What I find in Australia is that, if a shop gets a few pre-orders for a certain book, they tend to order extras for the open shelves because they know the book is seemingly of interest.

I've been regularly pre-ordering ST novels since about 1990.
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Old March 1 2013, 08:23 PM   #14
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Re: Barnes & Noble Reducing Orders of New Trek Books?

My barnes &Noble had Alligence in exile on the shelves but because of the contractual dispute with Simon&Schuster they don't have a very large selection of Startrek books.I did buy a few of the new books I've been looking for the last few months.Brinkmanship.Children of the storm and Alligence in Exile.
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Old March 2 2013, 02:41 AM   #15
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Re: Barnes & Noble Reducing Orders of New Trek Books?

Same thing happened to me. I went to B&N to get Devil's Bargain on Tuesday and I got the one and only copy they had.

I seem to remember the same thing happening at Borders not long before the end.
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