The Amazon Letters

Reader Logo by C.S. Lewis

I HAVE no intention of explaining how the correspondence which I now offer to the public fell into my hands....

30th June
Shouldn't The Ascent of Isaac Steward now be showing as in stock? Waterstones and The Book Depository show it as now available.

Dear Mr French. Your title is currently displayed as 'Temporarily Out of Stock' as we do not at present hold any physical stock of your title in any of our warehouses.
Customers are still able to place orders for titles that are shown as 'Temporarily Out of Stock' on the website and we will dispatch these orders once we receive new stock.

6th July
Dear Sir/Madam
 My book is currently on sale at Amazon here ...

and on the US site here ...

And on both sites shows as temporarily out of stock. On the UK site there have been quite a few advance-orders over the last month or so, none of which have been received by customers.

Hello Mike.
I'm sorry for any inconvenience caused. I'd like to help you about the availability of your book on and site. I've checked the inventory of your book "The Ascent of Isaac Steward" and I've confirmed we have not received inventory from your publisher, and have requested our buying team reach out to your publisher to submit a purchase order for your book. Once that purchase order is filled and we receive the inventory, your book will be listed as "In Stock."

Thanks - did the buying team ever reach out to the publisher for copies before as I would have expected them to do this ages ago to fulfil the advance orders - this is the reason I think it doesn't show as in any of your warehouses.  If this is the first time they've done so then something must have gone wrong and I have a lot of customers contacting me to ask where their orders from Amazon are.  If that's the case then I'd appreciate any speed the buying team can manage to place the orders  before people start cancelling their orders.

Hello Mike. I understand your concern regarding your book availability.
Please understand that our buying team already started their process to contact the publisher to submit a purchase order.At this point, I recommend you to wait till 2-3 days for an update from the publisher as well as from the buying team. I'm personally following up on this issue and email you back as soon as I hear back from the buying team within 1-3 business days. We really appreciate your patience and look forward to seeing you again soon.

9th July
Thankyou. Hopefully everything is now progressing to deliver the orders already taken and to show the book in stock? Mike

Hello Mike, I've confirmed from the buying team that the purchase orders will be generated in a very short time (since the item was recently released.)
Therefore, I'd recommend you to wait for few more days and also check our website and check with the Ingram Book Group or Lightning Source.
I hope this helps. We won't be able to provide further insight or assistance for your request.

Re your email on the on the 9th July...

"I've confirmed from the buying team that the purchase orders will be generated in a very short time (since the item was recently released.)"

Is a bit different from ...

"Please understand that our buying team already started their process to contact the publisher to submit a purchase order." On the 6th July.

How long does it take?  And the book was released on 24 June which was over 2 weeks ago.  Really this is unbelievable.  How do you want me to respond to all the people asking where their books from Amazon are - "well you have to be patient and understand that Amazon haven't even asked for your order ( some over a month ago on advance order ) to be shipped from the publisher to them yet." 


11th July
I see that my novel is still listed as out of stock and orders still haven't been met. Before I contact people that have ordered to update them on the delay can you clarify that this is a delay by the buying team ( which seems strange doesn't this just involve the buying team hitting an order request somewhere and the books would be dropped off to Amazon overnight? ) or is it more complicated than that and there is a problem at Lightning Source which means the buying team can't or are having difficulties raising the order?   If you could confirm as I don't want to misrepresent Amazon in any way when I blog about it at my literary magazine The View From Here.


13th July
The silence your side isn't that helpful I have to say and not what I'd expect normally from Amazon.  Can you at least give me an estimate of when the buying team will generate the purchase order?

Sometimes I am almost in despair. All that sustains me is the conviction that our Realism, our rejection (in the face of all temptations) of all silly nonsense and claptrap, must win in the end. Meanwhile, I have you to settle with. Most truly do I sign myself.

End note: 

Current status of The Ascent of Isaac Steward on Amazon ...

"temporarily out of stock"

It is in stock here ...

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Glenis Stott Interview

 by Shanta Everington

Hello Glenis and welcome to The View From Here.
Huge congratulations on winning the Cinnamon Press First Novel Award with Brother 'Lijah Built the Ark, a chilling, thought provoking story about Liam who turns to a religious community after going through hard times. What inspired you to write this particular story?

I was a member of a writing website and we were given a writing exercise using a list of criteria, one of which was to include a quote from the Bible. I googled, ‘biblical quotes,’, chose, “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?” and wrote a short piece in which there was somebody preaching and someone listening who was not very happy with it, as in, for example, “Oh no! Elijah's off on one again”. I posted the exercise and several people suggested I make it into a short story. Not long after, I took a short story course and I used the opportunity to expand it into a short story. The story was called, “And Pass the Ammunition,” – I threw in everything that I could think of, including a hidden stash of guns. There were two main comments on the story. The first was, as it was set in England, I should get rid of the guns and the second was that I should make it into a novel. So I did, although it took about eight years to do it.

Notes on How To Live in New York

by David Prete

When your family questions your sanity, you’ll say moving here is about needing to live and work beside other artists, which even to you may sound like bullshit. Move anyway and allow a reason to come. Don’t starve yourself. Don’t buy pizza in places that also sell falafel. Let people off the subway before getting on, and listen to the guy who sits outside the bodega because sometimes he sings. Work. Live in many different apartments. Have many roommates. Be open to their wardrobe even if we’re talking about umbrellas as dresses. Build a tribe of friends; eat brunch with them. Work. When visitors from out of town say they could never live here, an appropriate response is: No one is asking you to.

I Am A Writer

by Sophie Duffy

This has been a long time coming. For a decade, I’ve been trying. Really trying. I’ve written four novels, lots of short stories and even a (bad) poem and despite all the hundreds of thousands and words I’ve written, all I’ve wanted is to be able to call myself a writer. And believe it.

It started in 2001. I was 33 with a three-year-old, a five-year old and a six-year-old. I knew I was going to have to do something more cerebral than the swings and slides and Teletubbies or my brain would disintegrate. I decided to try an evening class and for some reason I chose fiction writing.