Monthly Archives: June 2011

Update on Shipping Times for Books from Amazon.com

The problem with availability and shipping times on Amazon is still not completely resolved.  The three most current books (on the Panasonic Lumix LX5, the Leica D-Lux 5, and the Canon PowerShot S95) are all shown as in stock at Amazon.com, but all three are shown as shipping in 2-3 weeks, rather than immediately, as they should.  I have contacted the print-on-demand company, Lightning Source, twice about this issue; most recently, they said they are aware of the issue and are working on resolving it.

To investigate further, on June 25, I placed an order on Amazon.com for the Lumix LX5 book. When Amazon first confirmed the order, they said the expected delivery date was July 14.  Then, early today, Amazon sent me a message saying they had updated the status, and the book now would arrive by July 6.  Then, a short time ago, Amazon sent me a message saying the book has shipped; it is expected to arrive tomorrow, July 1.  So, the book was ordered on Saturday, June 25, shipped the following Thursday, June 30, and will arrive within one week.  That is not terrible, and is much better than 2-3 weeks, but if conditions were completely normal, the book should ship sooner than this.

Anyway, it does appear that, at least based on this one experiment, the 2-3 weeks shipping time listed by Amazon for these books is not accurate; it seems that about a one-week arrival time is closer to the truth.

Investigating Amazon’s Shipping Time

If you’ve been following developments on this site over the past week or so, you know that Amazon.com, which is the primary retailer of the paperback versions of my camera guide books, has been having some issues. For a while, two of the books were listed as not in stock except through 3d-party sellers.  Now, all of the books are shown as in stock, but the 3 most current ones (on the Panasonic Lumix LX5, the Leica D-Lux 5, and the Canon PowerShot S95) are shown as shipping in 2-3 weeks, instead of overnight, as they should.  All of these books are printed by Lightning Source, a major print-on-demand company located in Tennessee. Normally, when someone orders a copy of one of these books from Amazon, if the book is not physically in stock, Amazon orders it from Lightning Source, which then quickly prints a copy of the book and ships it to the customer. This may take a day or two, but it should never take 2 or 3 weeks.

When I asked my representative at Lightning Source about the problem, she said it was a temporary “glitch” with Amazon.  But the problem has persisted, so now I need to do some more investigating. Today I placed an order on Amazon for a copy of Photographer’s Guide to the Panasonic Lumix LX5. I don’t really like to pay the retail price for one of my own books, but it will be worth it to see how soon it arrives. It seems to me that it should ship quickly, and should not take 2 or 3 weeks, because Lightning Source is not having any problems with printing or shipping.

Anyway, I will post updates as this experiment unfolds.  I hope to be able to announce within a few days that my copy of the Lumix LX5 book has arrived. I’ll also keep posting updates when the Amazon listings for the camera books change; hopefully, all books will soon again be listed as in stock and ready to ship overnight.

Availability of Panasonic Lumix LX5 and Leica D-Lux 5 Books Has Improved

Here is the latest update on the situation with the availability of the Photographer’s Guide books at Amazon.com.  Over the past week, Amazon stopped listing the latest books (on the Panasonic Lumix LX5, Leica D-Lux 5, and Canon PowerShot S95) as being in stock and ready to ship overnight, as they had been constantly before that.  The printer, Lightning Source, told me that this lower level of availability (from third-party sellers or from Amazon, but with 2-3 weeks shipping time) was the result of a glitch with Amazon, and they would try to fix it. This afternoon I saw the first results — the LX5 and D-Lux 5 books are both now listed as being sold directly by Amazon again, but not overnight.  They are listed, as is the PowerShot S95 book, as shipping within 2-3 weeks. This is an improvement, but I hope that Amazon will soon start listing all three books as in stock and available for overnight shipping.

Update on Availability of Current Camera Guide Books

As I mentioned a few days ago, the availability of the three most current guide books, Photographer’s Guide to the Panasonic Lumix LX5, Photographer’s Guide to the Leica D-Lux 5, and Photographer’s Guide to the Canon PowerShot S95, has hit a snag at Amazon.com. As of today, the first two books are listed there as being available only through third-party sellers, and the Canon S95 book is shown as available, but shipping within 2-3 weeks, rather than overnight, as it should.

Today I checked with my customer service representative at Lightning Source, the printer who supplies the books to Amazon, and she said she has been advised that this problem is caused by a “temporary glitch” at Amazon, and should be corrected before too long.  However, it has persisted for several days now, which is quite frustrating for me, because I would like potential readers of the books to be able to get them quickly and reliably, direct from Amazon.  I have made copies of all three books available directly from my own supplies as a third-party seller, as one solution.  I have now sold out my inventory of the Lumix LX5 book in this way; I still have copies of the Leica D-Lux 5 and PowerShot S95 books available; I do ship them quickly by Priority Mail at no extra cost (within the U.S), and I included cardboard 3D glasses with each copy.

Here is one other alternative:  All three books are listed as currently available for shipping within 24 hours from Barnes and Noble, at BN.com, and at discounted prices that match the prices from Amazon.com.  Here are the links:

Panasonic Lumix LX5 book

Leica D-Lux 5 book

Canon PowerShot S95 book

Availability of Books on Amazon is Experiencing Problems

As of today, for some unknown reason, two of my current books on compact cameras, Photographer’s Guide to the Panasonic Lumix LX5 and Photograher’s Guide to the Canon Powershot S95, have started showing up on Amazon.com as not being in stock. This is strange, because both books are print-on-demand titles that should be supplied to Amazon constantly by the printing company, Lightning Source. At times, Amazon has a number of the books physically in stock, and at other times, the books can be drop-shipped directly from Lightning Source. Something clearly has gotten out of whack. I hope it’s just a temporary computer or printing glitch, but I have no way to find out immediately. So, as a temporary measure, I’m making both of these books available for direct shipment from me, the publisher.  I have only a few copies of each, but they are brand new copies, and I will ship them the next business day.  Right now, Amazon shows the Lumix LX5 book as available only from third-party sellers, and it shows the Canon S95 book as available direct from Amazon, but shipping within 2-3 weeks, rather than overnight, as it should.

One small advantage to purchasers if you buy the book direct from me is that I always include a free pair of cardboard 3D glasses with each copy, for viewing the 3D image in each book.

So, if you are interested in a paperback copy of either of these books, please don’t hesitate to order, while supplies last!

(Note: A third current book, the guide to the Leica D-Lux 5, was shown as being in stock at Amazon, but with only one copy left.  I imagine it will show limited availability at Amazon once that last copy is gone.)

Stay tuned; I will check on the availability at Amazon often, and will try to post here again when the situation approves, as I hope and expect it will.

Easier Links to Apple iBookstore Listings are Now Available

A couple of days ago, Apple Computer announced that it’s now possible to browse for and purchase books in the iBook format for the iPad using a normal desktop or notebook computer through iTunes, rather than having to make the purchase from an iPad (or from an iPhone or iPod).  So, for the two Photographer’s Guide books that are currently available in the iBook format (the books about the Panasonic Lumix LX5 and the Leica D-Lux 5), that means that I can now provide links to the iTunes listings for those books. I hope to get those links created on the ordering pages for those books in the near future.  In the meantime, here are the links for anyone who wants to see what the listings look like in iTunes:

Here is the link for the Panasonic Lumix LX5 book.

Here is the link for the Leica D-Lux 5 book.