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AztecLady spea… okay, it’s a rant.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks

wtf-pandaSo first the Walmart near my house stops carrying DVDs. Fine, it’s not like I was buying them there anyway.

But now they have done away with the measly book shelf they had near the entrance. They still have three shelves full of greeting cards and an aisle of party crap, but not. one. book.

What the fuck?

So, because I’m looking for a book–a specific title, mind–I ride a bit further, to the it’s dying, not it’s not, yes it’s dying, no actually it just bought SEARS Kmart in the area… And they don’t have the book either.

Mind, it was not a total waste of time or energy–I did get Larissa Ione’s Desire Unchained–but I’m still looking for Beth Williamson’s The Education of Madeline.

Seriously, people how hard are you guys*** gonna make it for readers to find books?


*** You guys: stores, publishers, etc–definitely NOT authors.

(WTF panda image grabbed shamelessly from Ann Aguirre’s blog)


  • AL: I so hear your pain!!! The Walmart near me used to have a GREAT book selection. They often carried books that the chain bookstores didn’t!! And at 25% off I was one heck of a happy Walmart book buyer. But then they changed the look of the store and in the meantime cut their bookshelf down by at least two/thirds! The bastards!! Half their shelves now are Harlequins – EXCEPT the Historical line which is what I buy the most of and Danielle Steele the other half *shudder*
    I boycotted them for a while when they did this and still cut my purchases at Walmart way back. But they are just so darn close to where I live I can’t boycott them completely. But every time I go in and walk by the tiny, tiny, Harlequin filled bookshelf I can be heard muttering “Bastards!”
    And while the KMart didn’t have as large a shelf as Walmart, I could still find some books there that weren’t at the chain store again for 25% off and now THEY don’t even HAVE any books for sale! There aren’t any near me though so I don’t feel quite the same level of pain.


  • I’ve been really grumpy because Walmart carries two books (Jewel’s ‘Scandal’ and Carlyly’s ‘Tempted All Night’) I wanted to buy only online and their discounts there are so small that by the time you pay for shipping you pay full price, which negates buying at Walmart to start with (apart from the fact that they are the only ‘bookstore’ in our neck of the woods). So unless I order online I’m SOL buying these books.

    Our Walmart hasn’t reduced their shelf space, but they stopped carrying Blazes. I can’t figure out how they determine which books get carried in the stores. They had two or three I read about but just wasn’t as interested in (the new Hunter for ex). grumble, mumble…


  • And this is why I buy online. Because it’s often a PITA to get what you want where you want it and by the time you drive around everywhere you might as well pay the shipping costs. I also use the Amazon Prime membership which pays for itself because I buy a lot of books during the course of a year. πŸ™‚


  • I’m like Jaci. I do most of my book buying via Amazon. Prime was worth the expense of not worrying about shipping and a lot of the older titles I can find used for a penny and just pay $3 shipping.

    I’m another Walmart hater but man, sometimes there’s just no choice but to bite that friggin’ bullet. Although my Walmart’s book selection is huge and they carry an entire selection of AA romance.


  • I hope by “YOU GUYS” you mean publishers and retailers and not authors, because trust me, when Walmart drops a book section, we’re all hurting.

    Like Jaci, I have Amazon Prime. I love, love LOVE it even through I buy so many books through my Kindle now. It still pays for itself and I get my books in 2 days. Anything I buy for my daughter goes through this. And a lot of regular items, too. I bought many Christmas presents (toys) using Prime.

    I am very fortunate to live 5 minutes from both a B&N and a Borders, but their stock is getting more and more bestsellers and I tend to read a lot of midlist. And let me tell you, I wasn’t too happy with my B&N when I did a signing at their store two weeks ago, they kept stock for me to sign and then PUT IT IN THE BACK rather than, you know…on A SHELF where people can FIND it and you know, BUY it. My SIL went in to get a few copies for gifts and that’s when I found out about it. Not cool. How many readers go to the trouble of asking for an author or a book? Or how many readers wander into the romance section looking for something to read, but there’s nothing new on the shelves or nothing they are interested in and MAYBE my book might have been something they wanted, but they’ll never know because the signed copies I’d left in the store never actually made it to the romance section.

    Very frustrating, I know.


  • Question: lately I don’t seem to get notification emails for threads on KKB any more, or they come very late when they do. Does anybody else have that problem?

    I wonder if it’s Yahoo, but it’s been quite a while and usually their hiccups don’t last this long.


  • Julie: definitely not authors–sorry about that, edited the post to make it clear.

    Growly: it’s funny, I had been having that issue with your comments, specifically, but since yesterday it’s with all comments. πŸ™ No idea what’s going on.


  • I have mixed feelings about something like this. I mean, weren’t we all up in arms a few months ago when an author’s fairly popular series got cancelled in the middle just because WalMart didn’t pick up the next book?

    I almost wish Another Lori and Growly hadn’t shown up to say their WalMart’s shelves are still full. Maybe we’d all be better off if WalMart got out of the bookselling business. Maybe if they did, B&N, Borders, (or Chapters and Coles in Canada) would stop shrinking as well, and start carrying more midlist again.

    If the public’s reading choices must be arbitrated by someone, I’d rather it be a handful of stores that, you know, specialize in books. And I’d rather no one store have the power to fuck with my career with the stroke (or lack thereof) of a pen.

    Besides, I wish I had all y’all’s problem. I live on the ass end of nowhere. All I gots is the rack at the drug store. πŸ™


  • Kirsten, I hardly ever shop at CVS or Walgreens, so I keep forgetting they have books. I guess I ought to amend my statement that Walmart is the only ‘bookstore’ in town to include those two locations, but in the end I still don’t have a bookstore within easy driving distance, although from what I remember I’m still much better off than you locationwise since I can get to a city with bookstores within a hour/hour and a half drive.

    While our local Wally so far hasn’t taken away shelf space, they stock fewer different titles and concentrate heavily on ‘bestsellers’ and the ‘Choice’ religious books.

    I agree with you, I’d much rather they weren’t the ones deciding who gets published, because they got some priorities that do not jive with mine.

    I’m still puzzling about the mechanics behind the Gennita Low situation, because the vast majority of the books I’ve bought lately were not sold in Walmart stores. What’s different for them that they got published even though Walmart didn’t carry them?

    Maybe somebody in the know can clarify. I’m not saying I don’t believe in the power of Walmart, I just don’t understand why it affects some books and not others, since the majority of books published every month are not carried by Walmart to start with.


  • GrowlyCub said: Our Walmart hasn’t reduced their shelf space, but they stopped carrying Blazes. I can’t figure out how they determine which books get carried in the stores.

    Whenever I see the company name I can’t help a wince and an involuntary “ouch.” Several years ago they refused to carry my first book because they found either the title or the cover offensive. Or possibly both. I can’t remember now, except that it wasn’t considered the right kind of book for a family store (even though there is no actual sex in the book – go figure).

    But it’s interesting that they haven’t got the Blaze series in your local branch, GrowlyCub – I wonder if Blaze is considered too “hot?” and not right for a family store, too? Just a speculation based on my particular experience.


  • I think maybe Gennita had a strike against her because the series’ first book (or first couple–I can’t remember) were picked up by WalMart. The projected sales graph just looked extra bad, because the jagged line was pointing way down when WalMart opted not to carry the next book.

    And yeah, my options are way limited. The nearest actual BOOK store is more than 5 hours’ drive from where I live–mostly through unpopulated forest. There are spinny racks at the two groceries, and a shelf at the convenience store–but it sucks because there’s nowhere really in my town that I can imagine would carry my own books. Maybe the convenience store would stick ’em up near the Hustler mags, but that really isn’t the target readership, you know? Might be worth asking, though… LOL


  • Michelle,

    yeah, I wondered about that, since we live in the Bible Belt, but the one 15 miles up the road still carries them, so if it were a ‘family store’ kind of decision based on location/demographics you’d think they’d not have them anywhere nearby.

    I did wonder if somebody complained, but quite possibly it had more to do with what actually sold and what didn’t, which brings us right back to location and demographics albeit it with the focus on buying behavior…


  • Kirsten,

    I will try not to bitch about having to go on a whole day excursion when I want to see an actual bookstore any more. πŸ™‚

    The whole Walmart thing is just wrong on so many levels… I try not to buy there, but I do not to buy there, but for many items they are it in town.

    With books, when I finally make up my mind to buy a new title, I’m kinda into instant gratification, so it sucks when the one outlet 10 minutes away doesn’t offer what I seek and by the time I have enough for a $25 Bamm.com order with free shipping, the desire to read the book has kind of waned, so many books don’t get bought or not bought new… which sucks for the authors, but I guess it’s good for my wallet.


  • Cindy
    February 25
    6:04 pm

    I’ll never figure out Walmart. When I worked there, they prominently displayed the Swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated at the check out line…faced out. When a customer would complain, they pulled them off until that customer left or they ignored them completely. But they won’t care more erotic romance?

    I’m tired of all of the power they have…if my bank wasn’t inside the store, I would rarely go.

    Back to the issue at hand…Borders has the book by Beth Williamson on their site but available online only. Same with Lorelei James and most of the Samhain line that are coming out. I’ll stick with ebooks.


  • It is a tradesize. Would Wally world of had it anyway? Someone may have already said that.. sorry I really should read the comments before posting *g*

    sorry though… maybe they will have it back once the issue with anderson (I may have the name wrong here, having a bad dopamax day – don’t ask) is sorted out or whoev takes over for them or whatever happens… sucks in the meantime for everyone authors, readers and publishers

    You can most likely get it online if you don’t mind ordering the ebook from kensington or you can order the book from Kensington at discount (I think) don’t recall what the shipping was might want to check out their site. Last I recall they had a really nice 30% discount if you order through them (I am just assuming, which yes I know what they say about that *g*) you don’t wanna order from amazon. πŸ˜‰


  • Every WalMart and Target I’ve ever been in has had a beyond sucky book section. Then I see all these people online talking about how their WalMart use to have a great section and now they’re cutting back and I’m thinking, “Really?” Because seriously, I’m not exaggerating….every one I’ve ever been in has a craptastic book section.

    I’m lucky and have a decent Borders right around the corner from me. I also order a fair amount online. In fact, it’s just about the only way I order my erotica and erotic romance titles these days because I refuse on principle to buy a “new” book that someone read in the store and bent the spine all out of shape. But I’m wacky like that.

    The most romance-friendly “new” bookstores I’ve ever been in have been Waldenbooks. Sadly Borders has been shutting those down, and in some cases replacing them with Borders Express. The BEs I’ve been in have been OK – but just not quite the same “feel” as the old WB…..


  • KCfla
    February 26
    1:44 pm

    @ Wendy-

    I have 2 Wal-marts near me. One has the WORST book section I’ve ever seen ( as in- why bother?) and the other one a really good one, with plenty of variety. I’d really like to know why in the same town, there is such a drastic difference between 2 stores in the same chain! (Most retailers I’m familiar with have *set-ups* that are company wide with specific requirements as to dept. size and stock that goes within them) Anyway, I hope that helps answer your question about why you see the variety of answers re: Walmart and their book depts.

    I work for Walgreens, and we all have a standard, 6-ft. rack which ( up until the whole Anderson News kerfluffle) is restocked weekly, with the top 2 rows going to best sellers, and the rest mass-market paperbacks of all kinds ( Except erotica). I know Publix ( grocery stores) have 10 ft depts like ours. Now, I can’t always get the new releases the week their out ( except for the big names- Nora, Ward, Kenyon, etc.) in my store until the following week ( IF they hit the best seller list)

    In those cases, it’s either drive to B&N in the next town over, or hit the *good* Walmart to see if they have it. Which is the one on my way to work thankfully.
    (aside?- that’s about all I’ll buy at Wal-mart. As a company, I think how they treat their employees is deplorable!)

    I apologize if this post rambles, my coffee maker is broken ;-/


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