Back on Amazon
So the book is finally back, available for order on Amazon. Here’s the saga –
A lot of people emailed me saying that Amazon had told them that they weren’t getting their copies until mid-October, and asking where they could get a copy more quickly. This upset me, since many of them were the same people who had emailed me to say they were really excited to receive it. Of course a delay of two months requires customers to confirm they want to keep the order, which undoubtedly led to a number of cancellations.
I emailed Amazon myself, through their regular customer service channel. The answer I got was that the book was never published and didn’t address the fact that it had shown as published and been selling very well two days earlier.
Eventually I got an email from the Amazon sales rep at O’Reilly, who said that the problem was due to a glitch in Amazon’s inventory system. Apparently all the copies of Programming Collective Intelligence sold out as soon as they arrived (due to a wonderful endorsement from Tim O’Reilly), and this caused their system to believe to that they never received it. This seemed a little strange to me, but wasn’t inconsistent with what had happened.
Anyway, I looked yesterday (I’m on vacation in the Outer Banks right now) and it was available again. The reviews had also reappeared. The rank has fallen to about #2000, from a high of #192. It’s interesting to see how much momentum helps sales — I’m sure that several orders came from people who found the book via the top 10 category lists, so it’s a bit sad to have lost that particular channel. It’s my understanding that, at this point, Amazon really drives the computer book market.
I was very lucky to get such a great endorsement on my launch day, so I’m not complaining. I just hope that everyone gets their books soon. And likes them, of course