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Re: Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun
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Deagol, I don't mean to come down hard on HC's books. You are right. They have published some nice books, and I do thoroughly enjoy them. My only beef with them is regarding their communication skills. They could really stand to tune up their marketing and customer service groups. Their marketing team tends to send out misleading emails and publish misleading photos of books. More importantly, though, I had problems with an order from them once (took over 2 months for delivery from purchase date) and I emailed them three times trying to figure out the status of the order. I never, to this day, have received a reply to those emails. I finally called customer service and left a message, also with no reply. Fortunately, the books were delivered a couple days after that, but I still never heard from them at all. In fact, the only time customer service ever returned one of my emails was when I wrote to compliment them for producing nice books! They replied with a 'thank you for the compliments' email, that was actually quite cordial. So now, my impression is that they do okay with meaningless chit-chat, but can't figure out how to deal with issues. I know they are not necessarily bad people or bad publishers, but at least you can see why I might get frustrated with them.

Posted on: 2009/5/21 15:38


Re: Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun
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I think the problem with this whole process has been one of miselading terminology. The whole idea of there being a "pre-order" process was a bit ludicrous. If HC had simply offered to put people on a mailing list for notification when the book became available (as they did with CoH) and left it at that, there would not be an issue here. They only made it a pretend "pre-order" to try and gather market information, and whilst this was a fairly obvious stunt, it did leave a bit of uncertainly with the buyer as to whether to wait for contact or jump in and order when the release date rolled around.

In the grand scheme of things, it's all fairly minor stuff, but I can understand those who did fill out the pre-order being a bit upset at not getting the lowest number possible, because they were waiting for some contact that didn't happen. Really, the only issue I can see here is the numbers, and I imagine the really keen people (and I'm thinking of the "professional Tolkienisti", such as Beren, et al) might well have called in and ordered on the 19th anyway (and I don't imagine HC would have turned those early sales down!).

Fundamentally, I don't think getting the book a day later (for those of you who did order) is going to be too much of a strain! :)

I'd be really interested to hear what numbers people manage to get, relative to when they ordered, and some pictures would be nice!

Stu

Posted on: 2009/5/21 15:36


Re: Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun
Shirrif
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Also, there's no limit (or at least not 2) on orders. I know of someone who ordered 4...

BH

Posted on: 2009/5/21 15:15
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You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...


Re: Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun
Shirrif
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I don't think there's a great deal at issue here. However HarperCollins overall handling seems pretty bizarre.

The original message (which we all speculated was probably just to gauge interest) stated "Thank you for your pre-order of The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún by J. R. R. Tolkien". Yes, as Deagol states, they didn't have any payment details; but is does state "pre-order", in a time when we all order via Amazon using "pre-orders".

The email on the 19th did, as has been pointed out, state that HarperCollins would be in contact. So not to be contacted seems strange. Also, I really expected it all to be done online using WorldPay as with CoH.

However, unlike everyone else apparently, I was contacted on Wednesday morning by phone. On Tuesday night, in response to the email, I gave a works number and my mobile. However (as I found out when I got home) I was contacted pretty early on my home number. I suppose I must have given it when I originally registered my interest.

Either way, like Deagol, I just phoned myself to place my order; fearing that an email had probably been sent in any case while I was at work (and unable to access personal email). As it turns out, there was no online request to pay; and for others, no phonecall.

I ordered mine about 3 o'clock. No receipt number; no email to confirm payment. If anything is odd, no receipt for a £250 purchase is.

One can't help but think that all this should really be much simpler...

BH

Posted on: 2009/5/21 13:58
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You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...


Re: Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun
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I think you are underestimating how many people just click links because they are interesting. You are quite correct that there aren't 1000s of people interested in making a purchase that have the necessary funds, but there are plenty of casually interested surfers that just flitter from page to page - you've got to fill those idle moments at work some how!

It is quite possible that HC have underestimated the volume of casual interest too. Unless they have an army of staff on hand they wouldn't be able to phone everybody. Didn't that online quiz they run register interest in the book?

I had a quick peek at the email receipt when it came through hoping for an idea of where I was in the queue, but the order numbers are a bit more sophisticated than they were back in 2007 for CoH. Looking at it realistically, it's not not entirely practical to give your place in a queue for one book amongst the many on their site. Indeed, only a few nuts like us really care about it!

If the book does take 5 years to sell, does it matterthat much to HC? As far as I can recall, none of the 'expensive' deluxe editions have sold particularly quickly.

Sorry if I sound contrary, but I think somebody should stand up for HC. I haven't had problems with them and they have produced some great books which is what really matters at the end of the day!

Posted on: 2009/5/21 13:58



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