Friday, April 28, 2006

Banville on Roth's Everyman

at the Guardian; other good things include Patrick Ness mouthwateringly making me covet Jake Arnott's new novel Johnny Come Home. You know what, enough of this semi-penitential library-book reading, I'm ordering it from Amazon UK in spite of the exorbitant shippings costs and the book problem round here! I must have it--I can always take it to read in Philadelphia where I will go for my brother's wedding before coming back HOME to New York, my brothers are Jake Arnott fans and I can leave it with them there....


  1. Maybe we should do a virtual deal -- I often find books on US Amazon (especially via sites like Sarah Wienman's) -- and sometimes end up paying extortionate postage in the other direction as they never look as if they are going to make it onto the UK site! Recipricocity.

    There is something to be found out about or said, here, as I do buy US mass market paperbacks, or second-hand books shipped from the US at UK prices, from UK Amazon. So some books that aren't published here are listed (eg I recently read a thriller by Michell Martinez in a US mmp edition via UK Amazon at a UK price and with UK postage rate, ie zero if you spend in aggregate at least £15), the book was completely US when it arrived -- dollar price, US spellings etc.
    Yet other times, eg Maureen Dowd's latest, you just can't get it at all via UK Amazon, so the choice is to pay the US rate or wait until all the entries are well out of date (if it ever does get published here, that is).

    So why can you get some books via "Amazon crossover" and not others? I would imagine a publishers' cartel or single-publisher policy is at the root of it.

  2. I think it's case by case. Often what happens if a book only has a publishing contract for one country or the other, the distributor will do some limited distribution in the other place--so that, for instance, when Soft Skull published my novel in the US, I didn't have a UK deal, and there was some limited distribution (the US distributor was PGW, Publishers Group West, and they have some kind of affiliate--is it called Turnaround--that does overseas distribution in these cases) in the UK. Similarly I know that Serpent's Tail books often have some limited distribution in the US--they no longer have an actual NY office, but many of their books are available on US Amazon through what I assume is a relationship between the two distributors, or perhaps directly between the press and a US distributor. That is about the extent of my knowledge, though....

    If you really are curious about this, you might e-mail Sarah Weinman and see if she's up for doing a Galleycat or Confessions longer posting on this topic; it seems interesting and relevant, no?