Friday, 9 January 2009

Tearing my Hair Out - aka UK vs US release dates

So I've just been at Lynn Viehl's Pback Writer Blog. And YAY! Stay the Night is out, and somehow I'd managed to forget this crucial fact but never mind I'll just pop along to Amazon UK and order it - right?

Right? I ask plaintively. once again there is a disparity between the US and UK release date. We in the UK are going to have to wait until March. Now whilst this coincides nicely with my birthday I can't help feeling a little p'd off. This is not the worst release date wait. I think when Gollancz in the UK got the Charlaine Harris Sookie series they decided to release all the books in the series first. Fine for those people who hadn't been faithfully following the series, but over a twelve month wait for faithful fans when then latest book in the series was already available in the US?

But Stay the Night is not alone, I'm currently waiting to get my hands on Devil's Due by Jenna Black not available in the UK until 15th January.

I am addicted to books and I don't use that word lightly. This means that for certain series I am not prepared to wait three months, four months, whatever, for a book to be released when I can already get my hands on it, either by ordering direct from the US or from booksellers in the UK who import. I would guess that the fans who realize books are already available in the US are perhaps in the minority and therefore UK publishers aren't bothered by a few lost sales.

But in some cases this has been the tipping point that has stopped me following a series. When the following authors books were taken up by a UK publisher I stopped buying them because it became such a faff to get hold of them. Jim Butcher, Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris. I'm sure there are others but these are the first three that spring to mind. Where is the logic in having such a large gap between release dates?

And while I'm having a rant. What on Earth is happening to Amazon UK? Books which should be available just aren't. I mentioned Jackie Kessler's Hotter Than Hell in a previous post.

But these books from my wishlist are also showing as not available - surely they aren't out of print already. The Darkest Pleasure by Gena Showalter, Hands of Flame by C.E.Murphy, Black Magic Woman by Justin Gustainis. This situation sometimes occurs when UK publishers acquire the rights and the US version is no longer available. But that doesn't seem to apply in these cases.

Lol - anyway thanks for 'listening', and I will be getting Stay the Night before March, even though it would have been a great birthday present.


JustinScribe said...

I was dismayed to hear that my novel BLACK MAGIC WOMAN isn't available from Amazon.UK. However, upon checking, I see that the recently released mass market paperback edition IS available. My guess is that Amazon.UK stopped ordering the trade paper edition when the smaller version came out -- although I also see that several "Used-Like New" copies of the trade edition are still available from their affiliate dealers in the UK.

I hope you're able to get a copy soon, Lesley. I also hope you enjoy it.

Justin Gustainis

LesleyW said...

Justin - lol virtual blogging kisses coming your way from a book addict. I don't know why the mmp didn't come up when I looked before I posted the blog as I searched under your name. But I am going to snaffle a copy now before Amazon suddenly decide not to stock it.

PopinFresh said...

I use to have this problem with not as bad as you've described it. So I just get all my books from Would you be able to just buy books from and have them shipped to you through that?

I've tagged you for a meme, if you are interested.

~ Popin

LesleyW said...

Popin, for the books that I absolutely cannot wait for - Patricia Briggs for example I will order from But with the exchange rate being the way it is, it's now much more expensive to do that.

For the majority of series I follow I'll try and pick them up elsewhere or wait for to stock. The great thing about Amazon is the convenience, it's my one stop shop for books, and because I have Prime I get them virtually the next day. Whereas when I order from somewhere else it can take a lot longer. I guess I'm spoilt.

And I'll have a look at your meme and hopefully have something posted in a couple of days. :)

DonnaB said...

I'm reading Stay the Night now.

Does that help?


Seriously, I've read rants about this before and the answer is never satisfactory. I say the release in all English-speaking countries should be the same.


LesleyW said...

Donna - Erm, let me have a little think, lol - No.

I'm probably going to look at getting Stay the Night from a UK bookshop that imports rather than wait. Will just have to try and avoid spoilers between now and then.

LesleyW said...

Should just add, that's one thing I love about Kelley Armstrong's books, the UK and US release dates are the same. :)

Nicole said...

That's really frustrating. It sounds worth it to find a US reading partner who's willing to ship you the US copies if you're willing to pay shipping. :)

LesleyW said...

Nicole - for the books I really want I'll probably order from the US. It's frustrating more than anything. On the positive side it might mean I start to make inroads into my TBR pile.