So far, I've been able to observe some patterns... So here are my secrets:
1. Mira/HQN books have a release date of Month 1st. However, they usually show in the bookstores 10 days early.
2. Berkley books are also available early. Start checking the stores the Thursday-Friday before the release date. For example, if the book you want is going to be release next Tuesday, April 28... well start looking now :)
3. Simon & Schuster books usually come in 2 weeks early - well at least, Kresley Cole's books.
Other publishing houses are more tricky or I haven't been able to pin-point their shipping patterns yet. However, my best friend, the online stock indicator, is there to help LOL!! I even know the shelving patterns of the bookstores I go to :P I told you, obsessive.
Anyhow, as you've read in this post, you know that I've been looking forward to Summer on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber, Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder and Visions in White by Nora Roberts... well guess what? The Macomber and Snyder are both Mira/HQN releases and the new Roberts, Berkley. So yes, I've been on the look out for them...
Yesterday (April 21)
Target: Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder and Summer on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber.
*Nath checking the online stock indicator for Storm Glass
7.30am - 0 in all bookstores (I have a list of 5 bookstores, all easily accessible, except for 1)
9.30am - just got to work, 0 in all bookstores. All right, I know the bookstores only open at 9am, but hey, you never know! Maybe the updates are done during the night
12pm - 3 copies at Indigo Dix30! Yay!! However, Indigo Dix30 are usually slow to put out the books. Check Summer on Blossom Street - 10 copies at Indigo downtown!!! Yay! But damn, that's not the bookstore I want either - that bookstore is majorly under-staff... it's going to take forever before they have the books out.
2pm - Storm Glass: 3 copies at Indigo Dix30, 0 everywhere else
Summer on Blossom Street: 10 copies at Indigo Dix30 and 10 copies at Indigo downtown!
3.51pm - Storm Glass: 3 copies at Indigo Dix30, 6 at Indigo Downtown and 2 at Coles!! LOL, I immediately rushed to the phone and called the Coles. Coles are usually smaller bookstores and received less books... so they put them out faster :D Called and asked for Storm Glass - yes, they have it and they'll put it aside for me!! Yahoo!! Check for Summer on Blossom Street, they also have 10 copies!!
4.15pm - Get to the Coles and found Summer on Blossom Street on the shelves, as well as new Susan Mallery, Under Her Skin. Basically, all the new Mira/HQN releases were there... but I restrained myself :P In addition to those two, I picked up Edge of Hunger by Rhyannon Byrd and of course, Storm Glass.
Get to the cash, tell the clerk that I have Storm Glass put aside for me.
Clerk: "I noticed that you often call to put aside books."
Nath: "Ummm, yeah?"
Clerk: "I've never had time to offer it to you, but if you want, you can give us a list of upcoming releases that you want and we can put it aside for you when we received it. We can give you a call when we get a book or you can drop by when you want." Clerk shows Nath the folder with people's list. "These people mostly put aside romance books. I have no idea how they know what's coming, but they do and they give us a list. It also helps us know how many books to order and that way, you're sure to get a copy of the book you want. For example, we only received 2 copies of Storm Glass and 1 of them were already reserved. So you were lucky."
Nath: "Thanks, I'm going to think about it."
Clerk: "It's up to you."
LOL, how to tell him that I stalked the online indicator and calls as soon as I see the numbers showing up? Also, I like the Coles because they usually put the books out fast, but it's a small bookstore... Opening hours are not as advantageous as others and selection is more limited - although, they do get all the Mira/HQN. I guess I'll give them only the Mira/HQN books that I want :P
But hey, was I happy? LOL :) So excited and it really cheered me up :) I already finished Summer on Blossom Street. My only complaint though is that he didn't take my 15% coupon that I got the other day because one of the clerks at another bookstore couldn't find Close Encounters - and they had it in stock. This clerk said that the coupon was only good if I wanted to buy Close Encounters, but I knew that it could be used on any other books... However, I didn't argue, because I couldn't find the proof in the fine prints... I re-read the coupon on my way to the car and there it was, in big bold: valid on any other book in-stock. Ah well, I'm going to use it on another book.
Today (April 22)
Target: Visions in White by Nora Roberts
*Nath once again checking the online stock indicator for target
7.30am - 0 in every store. *I know, I know. They do not work in the middle of the night ^_^;*
9.30am - 0 in every store.
2pm - 189 copies at Chapters downtown! Yay! However, it usually takes Chapters one or two days before the books are on cart. Hmmm, will probably have to wait till tomorrow at the soonest.
3.30pm - 189 copies at Chapters downtown, 96 copies at Indigo Dix30 and 151 copies at Coles!! Jackpot!!! The only fear is that it's a strict release date and even Coles won't put it out early, but it's worth a chance.
3.45pm - Power outage. Noooooo!!! My experiment!!! Luckily, there's emergency generators.
4pm - Emergency generators are dead. Noooooo!!! I have samples in the stupid machines and now, it's locked and I can't open it without electricity!
4.15pm - Electricity. Yay!!
4.45pm - Done first step.
5.10pm - Done second step. Shit, Coles closes at 6pm!! Rush to show supervisor the results.
5.30pm - Leave the lab. Crap, it's going to take me at least 5 minutes to get to the car and then, 15 minutes to get to the bookstore. Cutting close.
5.40pm - Lost a stupid glove on my way to the car. Where is it?!?
5.45pm - Dum, dum, dum, dum. Will never make it ont time :( Okay, let's go to Chapters then, on the off chance :P
6pm - Get to Chapters. Look on every cart - not there. No boxes... Sigh.
6.15pm - Give a call to Indigo Dix30. Maybe a miracle happened.
Clerk: "Indigo Dix30. How may I help you."
Nath: "Hi, I'm looking for a book - Visions in White by Nora Roberts."
Clerk: "All right, let me check in the computers. Sorry, it's taking a while, but must re-boot system."
Nath: "No problem."
Clerk: "What's the title again?"
Nath: "Visions in White by Nora Roberts."
Clerk: "Okay, here it is. What format do you want?"
Nath: "It's trade-size. Bigger than paperback." With French books, there are no hardcovers, only paperback and trade-size... However, I don't know how they call trade-size in French.
Clerk: "Let me check the format..."
Nath *Who cares about the format?!? There's only one anyway!! Other options are audio-books!* Of course, I'm too polite to tell her that.
Clerk: "All right, here it is. We have 48 copies in-store, it shouldn't be a problem."
Ugh, she didn't even offer to check on the shelves... Of course, with 48 copies, it's almost assured that the book is on the shelves... Unless, the customer is asking about a book that is not supposed to be released yet. Ugh, isn't it sad when you know the job better than they do? In the end, I didn't go to Indigo. Figured that I had books to read and could wait till tomorrow to try out the Coles :P
So there you have it, my booking adventures of the past two days. I know, I'm obsessed LOL, but it's one of my small pleasures. By the way, I've decided to buy these trade-size/HC books this month in-store instead of wait to order online... because I'm just not patient enough. Hey, consider it... I'm kind of saving money since what most probably would have happened is that I wouldn't have been able to wait till I get the books by the mail (especially considering that I'd have to wait at least till next Tuesday to order the books so not to pay the pre-order shipping fees) and would have bought a copy in-store anyway... So I would have wounded up with 2 copies and I don't mind returning one book from time to time, but 2 or 3? Nah. And it had happened in the past! So yeah, in a twisted way, I am saving $$$ LOL :)