Monday, April 25, 2011

SHIFT launch party, and an easy peasy way to get books on release day

Shift comes out a week from tomorrow (yay!), and the launch party, as usual, will be at the appropriately named Constellation Books here in Reisterstown, MD. I'm especially excited about this launch party (Friday, May 6, 6-9pm), because there will be pizza. OH YES, there will be pizza.

The bookstore will also be holding their usual First Friday wine tasting, with sparkling cider and sodas for the under-21s. Probably the nom-alicious cookies and brownies from the thematically named Starry Night Bakery, too. And did I mention pizza?

Don't fret if you can't make the signing--you can still get an autographed copy! Pre-order Shift from Constellation Books, and I'll pop over there and sign it for you as soon as the books come in, hopefully in a couple days from now. That way you'll get it on or near the release day, personalized to you. I'll sign another batch on the night of the launch party.

When you place your order, be sure to let the nice folks there know (in the order form's comment box) whether you want it simply autographed or if you want it personalized (i.e., "To [name of awesome reader who supports indie bookstores and is therefore, at this exact moment, my ultimate BFF]").

If you're planning to pick up Shift at your local store, please read the second part of this post,


Has this ever happened to you? You walk into a bookstore on any given Tuesday (the usual day for new releases), giddy with excitement over the book you've been dying to read for weeks. Within a few hours you'll be curled up on your couch with your favorite hot drink, or stretched out in the sun with your favorite cold drink, reveling in the printed word.

You search the store's shelves, the tables, and endcaps. But the book isn't there. If you're feeling intrepid, you check the computer or go to the information desk and ask for it.

Nope. It ain't there. Maybe the store only ordered a few copies and they're already sold out. Maybe the books haven't been delivered yet. Maybe the store simply hasn't ordered any at all.


You go home, disappointed, and write the author an e-mail, or comment on their blog or Facebook or Twitter, telling them the store didn't have their book.


Now two people feel bad, but there's a difference between these two people.

Because authors have no control over which stores sell their books (oh, how we wish we did). Even publishers don't have that control (oh, how they wish they did).

But readers do. By making one phone call, you can be sure your favorite store will have a copy of Shift waiting for you on or near release day.

After all, your store wants to sell books. An order is a guaranteed sale, so they are more than happy to get a book in for you. Everybody wins!

There are two ways to do this, in order of certainty:

1. Phone your closest bookseller. Here are links for store locators for independent bookstores, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Books-A-Million. Tell them which book you want. They'll call you when it comes in. No wasted time and gasoline on your part--yay!

2. Sometimes you can pre-order it online for in-store pickup, or order it online for pickup once it comes out. But if it's not in stock to begin with, the website might disable this option, and the only way to get it is to call. Here are the links for Shift:

Independent bookstores
Barnes & Noble

These days, bookstores are buying smaller initial amounts of each book from the publishers than they used to. It has nothing to do with the individual books--it's across the board (not including huge bestsellers, of course). If a book sells out fast, they might reorder it, they might not.

So if you really want to help to an author (and help yourself), pre-order their book at your local store. It will not only help get that copy where you want to buy it, it'll also encourage the bookseller to buy more of that author's next novel. And thus, we get to stay employed. Everybody wins again!

There's certainly nothing wrong with preordering from Amazon or another online bookseller. Authors still earn royalties on those sales. We love you for buying our books anywhere and any time.

But each pre-order on Amazon results in one sale. If enough people pre-order a book from their local chain or independent bookseller, that might convince the store to order extra copies to put on their shelves. Clearly people want this book! So a pre-order (or an order) to your neighborhood store might ultimately result in two, three, five, or ten sales.

I know, the business of bookselling is really confusing, and it's changing every day. I can't guarantee that your store will be carrying Shift next Tuesday, or at all.

But you can. You have the power. USE THE FORCE, LUKE! Or, you know, the telephone.

Thanks--you rock!

Labels: , , ,


My local Borders NEVER has my books on release day. They're usually a week late and only get two copies. I complain like crazy and it does very little good. I've resigned myself to just order on line and wait it out.

Posted by: Blogger Victoria at 4/25/2011 2:35 PM

I know, it's frustrating. But I've learned recently that stores will place separate small orders specifically to fill customer requests, so pre-ordering in-store (or over the phone) is the best bet.

I am way too lazy to drive from store to store (or even to one store) if I don't know they'll have what I want. I have been known to change entire recipes just so I don't have to go to a separate supermarket! :-)

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 4/25/2011 2:42 PM

Being an avid reader and a lurker of the local B&N, I have an idea of what will and won't be on the shelves, so I tend to make sure that I pre-order a book that I'm dying to get my hands on, even if I know it will be on the shelf...want to know that I will be guarenteed a copy of my own. :)

Posted by: Anonymous Danielle at 4/25/2011 4:03 PM

Great post, Jeri! I'd love to share some of this info on my blog later in the week.

Posted by: Blogger Denise Jaden at 4/25/2011 4:06 PM

I don't even have a borders anymore the local one closed down. While I do miss it, I enjoyed the store closing beastttyy sales. I'm always looking for a good deal! :) the bookstores near me are only antqiue book stores, walmart and target. *sadface* and I don't think that I can preorder books because I don't know how that works and I don't have a credit/debit card. And my mom won't let me use hers even when I tell her i will pay her back. :( so I don't know what to do. :(

Posted by: Anonymous Kristina at 4/25/2011 11:52 PM

I can't even begin to count the times I've had to ask stores to order books for me. But that's fine, as long as I get a copy. What bugs me the most is trying to get the darn books at the library. I make request after request and nada! Although your bookmarks fly off the circulation desk every time I drop some off. Go figure.

Posted by: Anonymous Andrea at 4/26/2011 1:26 PM

Danielle, that's great! I do the same, because I'm way too lazy to drive all the way there for nothing. ;-)

Denise, yes, please do share on your blog. A lot of people don't know they can order from their local store.

Kristina, usually bookstores will let you pay for the books when you pick them up. I know that's what my local Borders used to do, anyway, when I would order a book from them.

Good luck!

Andrea, thanks for giving the libraries my bookmarks! Sorry they're not ordering the book. It's been reviewed by both Publisher's Weekly and School Library Journal, if that helps (some libraries require two major reviews to order any book).

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 4/30/2011 6:28 PM

Post a Comment


This Side of Salvation

This Side of Salvation, Jeri's new contemporary YA novel!

Now available in hardcover and ebook.

“A smart, well-rounded, and unpredictable tale...bringing to light issues of belief versus free will, spirit versus body, and family versus self.” —Booklist, **Starred Review**


Order from Indie Bound, Barnes & Noble, or



"Shattered," a Shade novella!

Available here on this website as a free download in all major ebook formats, as well as a printable PDF (now with photos!).

More about "Shattered"

About the author

Jeri Smith-Ready

Jeri Smith-Ready is a Maryland author of books for teens and adults.

Learn more about Jeri...

Photo © Geoffrey C. Baker

Sign up for Jeri's newsletter

  • First draft of secret new project

Current Reads