Barnes & Noble Reducing Orders of New Trek Books?

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sxottlan, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. Sxottlan

    Sxottlan Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013
  2. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  3. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I've noticed this as well. They still usually seem to have many copies of the latest Star Wars title on-hand, though.
     
  4. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's not just you. It's everyone who uses B&N. Barnes & Noble and Simon & Schuster are feuding over money at present.
     
  5. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    ^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.
     
  6. Sxottlan

    Sxottlan Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  7. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  8. Lunarflower

    Lunarflower Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    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).
     
  9. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  10. ProwlAlpha

    ProwlAlpha Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  11. Garrovick

    Garrovick Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  12. Kopernikus

    Kopernikus Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  13. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  14. Reanok

    Reanok Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  15. Cuhl

    Cuhl Captain Captain

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    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.
     
  16. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    There are just as many Star Trek eBooks on the website shelves as there have ever been.

    But one thing I do notice about B&N and Star Trek eBooks. BooksOnBoard and Amazon have Star Trek eBooks at a discount (BoB usually cheaper) and B&N is full price.
     
  17. E-DUB

    E-DUB Captain Captain

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    I haven't had a problem.............yet. Mrs. Dub worked for Borders for 18 yr and every time I buy a book at B+N I still feel vaguely treasonous.

    I know the whole "free market" thing is supposed to be "supply and demand", but if I go to a store looking for a particular product and they don't have it, how is that "demand" being calculated?

    Maybe we should demand "equal space" with the SW crowd. Anybody know any of those "flash mob" folks?
     
  18. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    In the weeks before "Star Trek" (2009) premiered, I posted several pics here of the situation in several Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane bookshops (both specialist SF and general).

    "Star Wars" shelfstock was reduced and "Star Trek" shelfstock increased. In several places, amounts were reversed. Simon & Schuster Australia even started air-freighting ST titles - and absorbed the extra costs - rather than previous dependence on sea-freighted supplies.

    A few months later, "Doctor Who", "Twilight" and "Star Wars" clawed back some space.

    Marketing is cyclic. I expect ST to build again soon. "Star Wars" may dwindle yet again, but it'll be back, with the announced of an eventual new movie installment.

    [​IMG]
    Galaxy Bookshop, August 2009 by Therin of Andor, on Flickr
    (There was also a giant stack of the then-new novelization at the friont entrance!)
     
  19. Ktrek

    Ktrek Captain Captain

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    I assume that dwindling copies of books in the retail store is because many Trek fans buy ebooks or order hard copies online. I used to make the monthly trip to my local B&N to get the latest book and for the last few years they have never had more than two copies in stock. Quite often when I went in the store the copies were not on the shelf but in the back room and I had to ask an employee if they could find me a copy. To save myself the aggravation I started buying from B&N online. Since I am a member I get free shipping. I don't get the 10% discount online but if I look at what it cost me in gas to the store and back I save more by pre-ordering online and have it nicely packaged and delivered to my door. I used to like to hand pick my copy but when you only have two copies to choose from and they are both usually nicked up it's just not worth it to me anymore. Another thing I like about pre-ordering on B&N is they ship it as soon as it arrives in their warehouse and thus I get my copy before the local store does these days.

    Kevin
     
  20. Sxottlan

    Sxottlan Commodore Commodore

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    I called the Barnes & Noble back tonight and asked if I could order a copy of Devil's Bargain for pick-up. I was refused. The employee told me the store computer system did not give her that option. I did not ask, but I assumed it had to do with this feud with Simon & Schuster.

    All she could do was order it for home delivery. When I asked when the next copy would be in, she did not know. I was told to call back in a couple days. Useless.

    I figured I would just go to Amazon tonight to, I kid you not, buy my first book off the internet. I dissemble a little bit. I've bought CDs and blu-rays off of Amazon before, but never an actual book.

    The S&H brought the total to nearly $13, an extra five dollars for a book that I wasn't even really excited for. No thanks.

    So I guess I'll just wait and keep calling B&N and reserve it once it actually gets in.
     

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