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The Missing Dead: Why Amazon Wins

halloweendisplayofbooksYesterday was the release date for the new hardcover prose novel The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor. I’ve been looking forward to the book for months.

I don’t buy NEW books in hardback often–usually I’m buying stuff from the used-books stores like Half-Price Books or M&P or using a coupon from Borders and picking up something recent-ish but not generally still classified as a new-release. But a few times a year, I’ll buy a brand-new hardback–usually the new Brad Meltzer book, or John Grisham in particular, or something that just really strikes me.

Rise of the Governor was to be one of those books. Go to the store, get the book, start reading, and I figure I’ll dive in right away.

BUT.

Two trips to Walmart–no luck. Target…no luck there, either. Walmart‘s offering it via their website–but I’d have to wait til at LEAST early next week for it to arrive, whether shipped to my apartment or using the Site-to-Store shipping.

Figuring despite my consternation over big retailers like that not having the book where I could expect a ~30% discount off cover price, I knew that surely Barnes & Noble, a dedicated book-seller, would have a new hardback novel based on one of the top cable television shows with a new season debuting in under a week. Surely, a new novel based on a hit comics-and-tv series about survivors in a zombie apocalypse would be available, given it’s October where horror and the like seem to get top billing genre-wise.

Nope.

Oh, you can order it through their website, and while offhand I forget the discount. But I didn’t want to order the book online. I wanted to buy the book in-person, have it already, take it with me upon handing over payment, and start reading the thing.

Even if I’d manage to find some independent bookstore (I don’t know of any near me) it’d likely be a “special order” and highly unlikely the store would be willing (to say nothing of whether or not they’d be “able”) to give me much of a break off the cover price, and I’d still have to wait for the book to come in.

So I was forced online.

Amazon wins. They had the best discount, I’m familiar with their services, and over the past decade they’ve successfully branded themselves as THE place to order new books online (and I’ve even had success with their 3rd-party sellers, but that’s a different post entirely).

Annoyed and frustrated from going to multiple stores, the simple fact no one seemed to stock this book physically, and the fact that I’d already resigned myself earlier to paying full price for the book to get it same-day, I noticed something rather interesting.

For $2 more than cover price, including SHIPPING…I was able to ALSO order The Walking Dead Chronicles, which I’d also been eyeing but was going to hold off on.

This morning I woke to an email saying my Amazon order has shipped, and ought to arrive Monday. The same wait I’d have ordering the book any other way…but here from a familiar brand/service, with another related book, and though I don’t get to read the thing “in preparation” for the new season of the tv show…I get to see the premiere, and on a Walking Dead “high” (assumably), get another “fix” the next day.

And I notice there’s a new Grisham book coming out soon, and a new Stephen King as well. Might as well order through Amazon–and save myself even the potential hassle of stores randomly not stocking it, or just to spite ’em (even if the only one who cares is me).

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