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Topic: Publication dates: PBS or Amazon?

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Subject: Publication dates: PBS or Amazon?
Date Posted: 8/20/2009 10:31 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 4,953
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Who is right, PBS or Amazon on a book's publication date? On my wishlist I have been placing books on it that aren't going to be out until later this year or early next year. The last three times that I have placed a book on there, the publication dates for PBS and Amazon aren't the same. My thoughts are that Amazon's publication dates are the correct ones. If so, who do I contact on here to get the dates to be the same?

Date Posted: 8/20/2009 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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I've also noticed more of that recently Connie, IMO go with the Amazon date.  I've looked for books in the store based on PBS dates and been disappointed, then gone home and checked Amazon to find out the date has been moved back.  It's possible that once the information has been 'pulled' into the PBS database, it cannot be automatically updated but requires manual editing on a case by case basis? 

Date Posted: 8/20/2009 10:46 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,384
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Book dates often change.  DVD and CD dates are set and don't wiggle.  Books do.  Some of it has to do with if a book gets edited on schedule.  And some is because the bookstores can get away with putting it out as soon as it arrives.  The date is the planned marketing date.  I just bought a book today with a release date two weeks from now.  The big promoted releases are required to be held until the release time, such as Harry Potter.

Date Posted: 8/20/2009 10:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,185
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Release dates change. PBS gets a lot of its info from Amazon, but some of those unreleased books get entered by members too. One thing I noticed the last time I set up a new book was that 2010 was not an option in the setup, so I had to put it in as 2009, and then submit a data edit to get the release date right. Maybe thats been fixed, but it could explain a few books being entered incorrectly.

If you know a release date is wrong in the system, you can submit a data edit from the books detail page for it. I would suggest confirming it with another source like the author's web site or the publisher's and not just using Amazon as a source, they are wrong quite often too.

Date Posted: 8/20/2009 11:00 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 4,953
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Melanie, I also have noticed book release dates being different from both PBS and Amazon by going to the author's website. I would assume the author's website would be more reliable than others.

Date Posted: 8/20/2009 11:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,384
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I recommend putting a note on where you got the info when you go to the edit book info page.  Makes it much easier for the volunteers.

Date Posted: 8/20/2009 11:50 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 4,953
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Thanks, Emily, I will be sure to do that!

Date Posted: 8/21/2009 1:17 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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Emily, A Barnes & Noble employee once told me that when books are offered for sale depends on their contract with the publisher.  Some publishers require books not be offered for sale until the lay-down (official release) date.  Other publishers do not specify, and books are placed on the shelf as they arrive in the store.  Don't think big promotions effect the release date, except that major names are more likely to be represented by a publisher with specific dates contract, and the legal team to back it up.

Date Posted: 8/21/2009 1:43 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
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The big releases have the legal power to enforce it.  Our local bookstore said that there is often a date specified, but there isn't any enforcement.  The big names have the force to threaten to withhold books.  It's a power issue.  The DVD companies have enough control and power.  The book publishers often don't.   And bookstores are run on a very small margin; they can't afford to withhold stock.

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 8/22/2009 1:11 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,088
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I was checking on a specific book and found that Amazon, PBS and the author's web site all had different dates.  The most wrong in this case was the author's web site.  I went to the publishers site and felt I got the most correct date there and it was different from all the others.

I have one book that I ordered from Amazon back in March and the date of publication has been changed three times so far.  First it was coming out in June, then September and now hopefully November.

Date Posted: 8/22/2009 3:31 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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Share your frustration Geri, it seems alot of publication dates have been moved back lately.  Dunno if I'm just noticing, authors are missing deadlines, or the economy is affecting the publisher schedules.

Date Posted: 8/30/2009 10:51 PM ET
Member Since: 8/29/2009
Posts: 9
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Almost all of the new releases that come into Barnes and Noble are set to sell the minute they come through the receiving room doors. The only reason to hold back those particular titles is to ensure that the store has enough to set up new release tables every Tuesday.

The few books that have SOS (Strict On Sale) dates have to be kept off the sales floor until a predetermined date is reached. There are as many as 20 or more titles every week that are marked SOS from publishers. Think Harry Potter, any new James Patterson, etc.

Sometimes a title will have more than one release date if the Trade Cloth and CDs come out at one time and the Trade Paper comes out several months later. Stephanie Meyer's New Moon series is like this. Eclipse has been out for a long time, but the Trade Paper version just released. It had a SOS date so it had to stay off the sales floor until that date came. It is very common for Trade Paper versions to have an SOS date, even though the Trade Cloth version has been out for a long while.

Hope I didn't ramble too much.