There has been a blogging frenzy at the moment on the topic of Borders (the bookstore) – in particular, their penchant for “skipping” titles. "Skipping" means that a bookstore does not order in a particular title; they "skip" it. Gregory Frost talks about having his new book Lord Tophet “skipped” by Borders on the Wild River Review, despite it being “the lead title from Random House’s fantasy/science fiction imprint, Del Rey Books [and] the sequel to Shadowbridge, a novel that Borders did carry”. Go read it here (cause it’s quite long). While he is aware that Borders is a business and that it can’t stock every title ever published, he thinks the solution to Border-skipping is to skip Borders and head over to your local independent bookstore.
Tobias Buckell also had his book “skipped” but he doesn’t seem as peeved as Gregory. He explains how a Borders store works: “Borders central chooses what books to roll out across the entire chain…Borders stores for the most part aren’t allowed to respond to in-house movement, and are not very independent. When I go around and sign stock (copies of any book stores happen to have on hand) and talk to managers, individual Borders are not able to change their orders.”
So while having Borders skip your book isn’t ideal, he understands it is a company decision. Also, they seem to have been losing money lately and selling the stores, now that could be a glimpse at the industry as a whole or it could be s sign of mismanagement. Other people’s comments on this have been that Borders does stock their books, while Barnes and Noble (another American chain) doesn’t so when it comes right down to it, it is every bookshops right to choose which book they want to sell.
From my point of view, the books that Borders sells aren’t necessarily the ones that I want to read, however you might love the Borders range.
This is just a catch-22 though isn’t it? While a bookstore can never predict how well a book will go, if your book is marketed well and extremely popular bookstores like Borders will want to stock it. But if your book isn’t in Borders, it might not become extremely popular. But that’s publishing for you. You all knew that when you got started didn’t you? If you want a really fantastic post on it all visit Andrew Wheeler’s blog, antickmusings.

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2 Responses to “Is your book in Borders?”

  1. tobias s buckell,

    Thanks so much for reading my original blog post and noting that I wasn’t peeved and not part of a Borders boycott. The ‘word’ has spread that I was, much to my own amazement, due to second and third hand reports on this!

  2. nancy,

    I can’t seem to find the address where to send my book so that Borders MIGHT want to carry it, or at least get it into their system. I am in Barnes & Noble and thought a little competiton would be good for them. :) Good luck.


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