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Lusty Lady

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Why Amazon's book stocking system needs a major haul

Blog Blazers cover

If you've ever been a small publisher selling to Amazon, or an author/editor dealing with a small publisher dealing with Amazon (that's me! With Pretty Things Press and Naughty Spanking Stories from A to Z 1 and 2 and Sex and Candy), you know that their stocking system makes no sense. Or, well, it makes sense to them, but sucks bigtime for publishers because they are constantly ordering in extremely small increments. I had to deal with frustration as an editor with my books not always being in stock; I've also had other Amazon issues with them de-listing the rankings of books like He's on Top, but that's another story.

Stephanie Grenier's Blog Blazers: 40 Top Bloggers Share Their Secrets to Creating a High-Profile, High-Traffic, and High-Profit Blog! is one example of the flaws in the system. Today it's still showing "Temporarily out of stock" (and doesn't give potential customers a clue when it will be in stock). Bad Amazon. You deserve a spanking!

One commenter wrote:

Sometimes it’s good to be out of stock. It gives a certain degree of ‘get-it-now-before-it-runs-out-again’ perception to the buyers.

I respectfully disagree. What happened with me, full disclosure, is that Steph's reply to my comment convinced me to order it, but then the lovely Jennette Fulda (an interviewee) said she'd send me a copy, so rather than wait, I'm getting that one and will of course review it here and on Amazon. I really do look forward to reading it; I mean look at the bloggers who are interviewed: Dan Lyons, Jessamyn West, Seth Godin, Penelope Trunk, and onward. I think I found it via SEO Book, but I'm not sure.

My main point is, through no fault of the editor's, she lost a sale, and I'm sure more people will click through and buy a book on impulse if they think they're going to get it right away. One thing Amazon does well is shipping; I order from them often and usually get my book within 2 days, sometimes the next day (Manhattan delivery).

You can, of course, also order it directly from the author, and it does indeed exist:

Blog Blazers

I especially like the simple but informative blogger bios section, where you can easily find out more about these talented bloggers.

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