Hello, Hive Mind…

It has been suggested to me that a good alternative to Amazon might be The Book Depository. The appear to have an excellent selection of books, and they deliver worldwide (whereas IndieBound is US-only). They say they deliver free, but of course their prices for individual books are slightly higher than Amazon’s because the delivery cost is built in.

Tero, who suggested them, is very happy with their service, so they can obviously cope with shipping to Finland. Does anyone else, particularly small publishers, have any experience of them?

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24 Responses to Hello, Hive Mind…

  1. Jean says:

    I’ve used them – as a book buyer, not a publisher – having found them via Amazon’s Marketplace. Very happy with their service in the UK.

  2. RFLong says:

    I’ve used them for books, both for myself, for the day-job library (which means some quite esoteric titles) and as somewhere to send people looking for my own novel. They’re quick, efficient and the books have always arrived in perfect order to me here in Ireland. I only wish they carried CDs and DVDs and I’d shop from them exclusively.

  3. Juha T says:

    I also found Book Depository through Amazon Marketplace. Amazon slaps its own shipping fee on top of Book Depository’s price, so it’s worth ordering directly from them rather than through Marketplace. I’m also very happy with their service, though I can’t expand the geographical scope of experiences, since I live in Finland.

  4. Steven says:

    I hadn’t been aware of them. They don’t currently stock any of my company’s books (ISFiC Press), but I’ve contacted them and hope to rectify that.

    • Cheryl says:

      Please let me know how that goes. My main concern about them is their lack of support for small presses. They have Night Shade and Tachyon, but not Aqueduct or PS. If that’s just because the small presses don’t know about them that’s OK, but if they are bad to deal with that’s different.

      • Steven says:

        I’ve heard back from them. They commented that they liked our backlist but don’t actually carry stock themselves. They order as needed through Ingram or Baker and Taylor. Since we’re carried by B&T, they’ll be able to add us to their database and offer our books in the future.

  5. Kieron says:

    Hi Cheryl

    We’re more than happy to make small press titles available, our mission is ‘all books for all’ and availability is key – queries from any publishers looking to be able to sell via ourselves should be directed through to our Commercial Manager, Steve, he can be emailed at steve [at] bookdepository.co.uk.

    All the best

    Kieron
    MD The Book Depository

  6. I have not used them thus far, but have been hearing good things from a consumer point of view.

    I live in the US and buy a lot of UK titles. Usually I buy through my local bookstore which can order through US distributor Baker & Taylor, who in turn have some sort of relationship with UK distributor Gardners. However, while that can occasionally get me a book I purchase in about 8 weeks, I have found myself waiting for things for months & months over the course of 2009, so I’m ready to chuck them and go with anyone who is faster.

    I know Gardners are now trading in the US, so perhaps it would be faster to go with them directly. However, the book depository prices are great (especially incl. shipping) so I’ll be placing an order with them soon.

    Would be great if they carried PS & other small presses, though.

  7. AndyHat says:

    Bookdepository is my main source for UK books, at least from major publishers (with coldtonnage for small press stuff). Their shipping to the US is free, so total cost from them is significantly less than amazon.co.uk.

    I’ve always thought it’s a bit weird that they tend to ship every book individually even if ordered together, but I get the books faster that way, so I’m certainly not going to complain.

    Anyways, I’ve always been quite happy with them. And the bookmarks they throw in with the orders are cool.

  8. I’ve been a happy customer of The Book Depository for about a year now. I’ve mostly purchased BBC audiobooks from them, because Amazon.com often doesn’t carry them and Amazon.co.uk charges outrageous shipping for audio CDs to the U.S. The Book Depository’s prices for CD audio books are quite competitive. Their customer service is very good – they’ve always responded promptly to email enquiries.

    Because they ship from the UK, it does mean that my orders generally take a few more days to arrive than they would if I’d ordered from Amazon.com (assuming that I could order the same product from Amazon.com), but I usually get them within a week.

  9. Cuddles says:

    I’ve used The Book Depository to find those harder to get items and been very happy with their service.

  10. Julian West says:

    http://www.bookfinder.com are pretty good as a way of linking together second hand bookshops. I’ve got a number of books from them which Amazon would never have.

  11. Bob says:

    Kieron’s response convinced me (good job marketing director!).

    I’ve joined and am now working out some bugs with them – their linkage system seems a bit wonky – it’s not obvious (to me) how to link with a book cover or title (the other guys spoiled me). I’ve asked about it. I’ll let you know privately how that works out.

    • Cheryl says:

      As Will noted, Kieron is the Managing Director. The equivalent US job title is CEO.

      • Bob says:

        At least I got the Director part right – but who the heck would expect a Managing Director to wander through here!?!?! I’m even more impressed – and have become an affiliate.

  12. HollyAnnJ says:

    Have been a customer of The Book Depository for several years and I am very favorably impressed with the service they provide. Book always arrive in excellent condition and get to PA remarkably fast, considering they are shipped from the UK.

  13. Will says:

    I just noticed from their website that Kieron is Managing Director!

    Cheryl – 2 hours from posting a query to the MD commenting personally

    the very definition of internet awesome-ness!

  14. Petréa Mitchell says:

    Is it too late for me to put in a word for Powell’s? Can’t say much about their shipping as I usually opt for in-store pickup, but they certainly carry books from Aqueduct.

  15. DrJon says:

    i’ve been a customer of Book Depository, and certainly always recommend them when asked about Amazon alternatives, or even just about book sellers. they don’t carry any of our titles, though. mayhap i should approach’em, going by the comment earlier.

  16. edifanob says:

    I live in Germany and I order more and more books at Book Depository UK. The service is good and a lot of books are cheaper compared to Amazon DE.

    Of course it takes a bit longer to deliver from UK to DE than inside DE but that doesn’t matter for me.

    From my experience I recommend Book Depository.

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  18. Surtac says:

    Cheryl,

    I’m in Canberra, Australia, and I’ve used TBD as my primary online bookstore for about three years now. Very happy with the service I’ve received. Books generally turn up a week after ordering, and in one case even faster than that.

  19. Susan Loyal says:

    I’ve used The Book Depository for several years, primarily for books published in the UK with no US equivalent. Things tend to arrive in about a week to ten days, always in very good condition, and sometimes with rather wonderful bookmarks. (No bookmarks in the last few packages, so I think that program is currently over.)