"Barnes & Noble confirms they can and will order WHITE LIES for any reader who asks at any B & N store. It's in their warehouse (they're actually on their second order from publisher's distributor), but they won't stock it right now. They will have it in Charlottesville store for the February 21 author's talk and reading."
Of course any additional distribution is always good news (especially for smaller publishers), but I'd like to take a closer look -- and not to knock Barnes & Noble (although creating the headlines has been fun). It can, though, show the difficulties of a large retailer trying to match swift changes in the market.
First off, the book was released on November 30. On the second of January I get word through Sally's post that B&N is finally "officially" carrying it. Well, there goes the holiday buying season.
Secondly, B&N says they'll order the book for any reader who comes in and asks for it. So.... you can't find it on the shelves, but if you know the title and author, you can order it at the help desk. Well, if you know title and author, why not order it online? I suspect most already have.
Thirdly, the Charlottesville store will have copies in for the author's reading on February 21. But apparently not one second sooner than they have to (at least that's the way I read it).
B&N seems to be doing the absolute bare minimum they can with this book. And that's the point. Even with their whole-hearted support, "White Lies" probably won't do the numbers of "Hannibal Rising" for B&N. The big retailers can only put their support behind the big titles -- which is why the Internet is good news for authors and readers alike. B&N isn't the bad guy here. They're just too big to react quickly or appropriately.
The Charlottesville Barnes & Noble won't have Sally's book in stock for another full month -- at which time Amazon will have enjoyed three months of healthy sales. And that's what this post is really about.
BTW: Ken brought up an interesting point. I haven't had a chance to check local bookstores. If any reader goes to the New Dominion Bookstore or the University Bookstore in Charlottesville, please let us know in a post if "White Lies" was in stock.