The Quest for Never Seconds continues

Well, that’s the first print run of NeverSeconds gone. In less than a week. Special high street offers available from next week. — Cargo Publishing

The plan was Wimbledon, then Putney for a concert, but it was awful day, change of plan, Charing Cross Road, hit the bookshops, eat at Food for Thought, then Putney for Il Siglo d’Oro.

The Quest for Never Seconds continues.

I started with the secondhand bookshops. I did not expect much joy, but you never know, I might strike lucky and pick up a review copy.

No such luck, nor did I find Hydrogen Sonata which I had hoped I might find.

Next stop Blackwell’s. Unlike Waterstone’s which is a sick joke, Blackwell’s is an excellent bookshop and I rarely leave empty handed or I find must have, to keep an eye out for. But no time today for browsing, I was on the quest for NeverSeconds.

I spoke to a couple of guys. To be fair, it was not their area. Neither had heard of NeverSeconds. But they were helpful, and agreed it was a book they should have in and on display and they would get onto it. Something Cargo Publishing must follow through on.

I noticed they had Nook. First I realised Nook was in UK was the day before when I walked out of Godalming Station and saw a large hoarding for Nook. Until I saw it said Nook, I thought I was looking at a Kobo.

In Blackwell’s, first time I had seen a Nook. Very cheap and tacky, not the quality of a Kobo. Like a Kobo advantage over Kindle is that it reads ePub Open Source format.

The guys I was talking to knew to use Calibre to manage an e-book library, but both said books were better. I agree.

Next stop Foyles, Bookshop of the Year 2012.

In the 1980s I used to practically live in Foyles. A bookshop of character, the world’s largest bookshop. It had almost every book you could wish to find. But do not ever expect the staff to know, as they never knew where anything was. That was half the fun of visiting Foyles.

Oh but how it has changed, and not for the better.

Did they have NeverSeconds? I asked several members of staff. None had a clue what I was talking about. All were able to tell me, yes, we had one copy, we sold it today.

I eventually found the appropriate section, food writers. I asked. Sold today. I was told what size it was, because I asked the person who had actually seen a copy what it was like. It seemed rather small. I picked up a book, literary fiction size, and asked this size?

I could not believe the reaction I got. The woman was bloody rude. I am not continuing this conversation, I have already told you the size. I told her her rudeness had been duly noted.

I went downstairs and complained to a manager. He knew who I was talking about. I expressed surprise they did not have NeverSeconds on display, a book that had had masses of media attention. I think he got the message. Something Cargo Publishing need to follow through.

Foyles also were flogging Nook e-book readers.

Lessons have not be learnt from Borders who spectacularly went bust. In 2011, they did a deal with Amazon, they outsourced all their e-commerce to Amazon. It smacked of desperation, as does Waterstone’s selling Kindle, and simply handed on a plate their customers to Amazon. Too late in the day, Borders tried to claw back, but they were too late.

Yesterday I contacted Daunt Books, had they got NeverSeconds? They have not had the courtesy to reply. Nor has One Tree Books, Bookshop of the Year 2010, who I contacted a few days ago, had the courtesy to reply.

NeverSeconds, the story of Martha Payne and her food blog NeverSeconds, as told by Martha and her father David Payne, is currently selling 300 copies a day, published last week, is already on its second print run.

Every copy of NeverSeconds which is sold provides 25 school dinners for children in Malawi through a donation to Mary’s Meals.

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2 Responses to “The Quest for Never Seconds continues”

  1. keithpp Says:

    An afternoon in Guildford. After lunch I decided to check out the bookshops for NeverSeconds.

    Waterstones Guildford: No NeverSeconds, not a clue, one copy on order, no idea when it will be in. When I expressed amazement not in stock, not on display, the woman turned unpleasant: I have told you the situation and I am not prepared to continue the conversation. I did though learn 10 copies in Edinburgh, 71 copies Glasgow.

    WHSmith: NeverSeconds not in stock, not on on order, never heard of.

    For the first time since the Guildford Book Festival, I found the Kobo display manned, not only that, but a man from Kobo there. I decided to miss a train and have a chat.

    Kobo is much better made than Nook (which is very cheap and tacky), and it is claimed the Kobo has a better display than Kindle (it would be handy to see side by side).

    Kobo seems to be offering a far better deal as it uses ePub, which is an Open Source non-propriety format.

    We all agreed it was perverse, Waterstone’s sells Kindle, then forces people to download books from Amazon.

    We also agreed, Calibre is a must to manage an e-book library.

    Something I did not know, if you buy the Kindle tablet, you are forced to watch commercials, unless you pay extra to opt out, and it restricts what you can access on the net, for example not possible to watch youtube.

    Kobo has its own e-bookstore. NeverSeconds please? Not found. Something Cargo Publishing need to follow up.

    Yet another fruitless day in the quest to find NeverSeconds.

    There is something very very wrong, when not only do our bookshops not have NeverSeconds on display or on the shelves, they do not even have a clue what you are talking about.

  2. keithpp Says:

    A cold wet afternoon in Farnham.

    WHSmith Farnham: Not a clue NeverSeconds, could not even find on the system. Girl asked someone else: Do you know what is NeverSeconds? She snapped back no! I asked her who it was? The girl replied her manager.

    Waterstone’s Farnham: Not a clue what NeverSeconds was. None in store, one on order. I asked did the Kindle tablet force you to watch commercials unless you paid extra, block access to websites, such as youtube? I should not think so. In other words, do not know. Their so-called Kindle expert came over. Yes did need to pay extra to not receive advertisements, no it did not restrict access (probably did not know). I should have asked proprietary format, books wiped off Kindle on a whim, to see what answer I got.

    How do bookshops survive when they know nothing about books and lack any business sense?

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