Saturday, June 20, 2009

Waterstones suspends pre-payment for books from hub

For several weeks, members of the book lovers forum, of which I am now a fully paid up member, have been complaining about the length of time it takes to receive books that they have ordered via the Waterstones website. The forum is filled with tales of how members have ordered books that are supposedly in stock, only to receive an email one week later, telling them that Waterstones are now out of stock, and cannot give any idea as to when the book(s) will arrive. Not surprisingly, members have cancelled their orders and gone elsewhere.

It seems that these problems are not confined to the website, but are also affecting stores. The reason - the new distribution hub in Burton upon Trent. Waterstones have, so The Bookseller says, stopped taking prepayments for orders in stores supplied by said hub, as delivery dates cannot be guaranteed. The decision had been made, so the company says, to help provide "the best in customer service". Staff are urged to assure customers that the company are doing all that they can to resolve these issues, and to reassure them that it is business as usual.

Originally due to launch in early 2008, the hub seems to have caused nothing but problems, despite this, the retailer has increased the number of stores supplied in recent weeks.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sharing another authors success

I had an email from my writing buddy in Spain today, Tracy Saunders. Tracy published her book "Pilgrimage to Heresy" with i-universe last year, and after securing an agent has recently published a Spanish edition, now available in Spanish book shops. She has radio interviews lined up in four Spanish cities, and is nervous as hell that the book is about to become something really big. Actually I am a teeny bit envious, in the best possible way, and naturally I am pleased for her - she has worked damned hard to achieve this and deserves all the success that will come her way. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

The English language edition is still available through the usual outlets - Tracy has been trying to get through to i-universe she tells me, for the last week to order a further 60 copies. If you are considering publishing with this company, who last year were taken over by Authorhouse, take note.

Seriously though, this is one of the best books I read last year. Part fact, part fiction, the book is borne from Tracy's own experience of walking the Camino, the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostella in northern Spain. Interwoven within the text are two love stories, that of the two main characters, Felix and Miranda, and that of Priscillian, the last Christian martyr, and his maybe fictional love. Comparisons to Dan Brown are inevitable and unfortunate, as they were with my own work, but like mine, Tracy's book is nothing like Brown's work, but much more in depth. I won't say too much, as it will ruin the surprise, but this is a tale of love and beauty, of triumph over adversity, but most of all, a tale of intrigue, which I heartily recommend.

For more details see Tracy's website here. She also has a new blog which can be found here.