The Ways Things Can Go Wrong

An old black and white photo of a train-wreck

Two days ago, on Displacement‘s launch day, Amazon removed the listing and told people who’d preordered it from them that their shipping estimates had changed and that they’d get it in 4-6 weeks(!). Anyone trying to order it from Indiebound or from their local bookstores found that there wasn’t really any firm commitment to when it would show up. Add to that the site-level setting on the press’s shop site saying it’ll ship “within 60 days” (because some of their titles need that long—not mine. Displacement ships MUCH FASTER THAN 60 DAYS FROM THE PRESS), and I got a lot of folks contacting me wondering what was going on.

So here’s what happened, as far as I understand it.

My publisher prints and distributes through a large company called Ingram. They supply the printed books to everyone who sells it. Somewhere along the line, Ingram somehow lost the availability date tied to Displacement. When publication day hit, Amazon saw that it had no idea when it could fulfill purchases by, and delisted the title, leaving only the grifters at Book Depository selling it for 142% of the list price. When indie bookstores looked it up, they couldn’t tell anyone when it would ship, because Ingram didn’t seem to know.

One little mistake can really fuck things up.

As of right now, Amazon still doesn’t have it listed. Barnes and Noble still does, and if you order through them or Indiebound or Prospective Press it will ship relatively quickly. If you ordered through Amazon you should still get it pretty soon, even though it’s not listing it. I don’t know if or when Amazon will bring the listing back, which means I don’t know if or when we’ll get a kindle edition. It’s supposed to happen automatically, but…well none of this mess was supposed to happen automatically and yet here we are. So I’ll make a lot of loud noise if and when that happens, because I know hardcovers are expensive.

I’m a writer. All I really know is how to put words next to other words in ways that make those words say things, and if it weren’t for other people, whose job is to get those words to you, you’d never get to read them at all. But even so, I’m sorry for all the confusion and frustration you all must’ve felt, and I’m sorry I didn’t have answers for you sooner. I hope, when your copies of Displacement arrive, you’ll love it enough to forgive the mess, and maybe still share your love of it with others.

Your fellow Misfit-in-Arms,

~RFB

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