Tuesday, December 19, 2006

"White Lies" revisited

Sarah Collins Honenberger left a nice comment on my recent post titled “Publishing Pariah.” As you’ll see in her comments, she felt the title was a little off-putting. I assured her (and you, gentle reader), that it wasn’t a characterization of either her or her publisher, but rather where I believe independent publishers stood in the eyes of bookstore chain buyers.

To test my premise, I visited the websites of the three major bookstore chains.

Borders.com had the title available for sale on their site, and it was easy to find.

Barnes & Noble had a listing for the title as well. But you couldn't purchase it there. According to the site, "A new copy is not available from Barnes & Noble.com at this time."

Walden Books had “White Lies” available for sale on their site -- but only because they pull their website content from Amazon.com.

So one chain has “White Lies” for sale; another doesn’t. And a third has it only because it was already available on Amazon.com.

If we were to search for the latest John Grisham tome, would the results be the same?

I’ll swing by the Charlottesville Barnes & Noble tomorrow and see if I can find “White Lies” in the store. And while we're at it, let’s try for a little interactivity. If you happen to go into a bookstore anywhere anytime soon, look for “White Lies.” Post a comment to the blog and let us know what happened.

- Ralph

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