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20 Nov, 2007
2007-11-20 5:58:24 PM UTC
If you do not live in the UK or the USA, here is the information from Harper Collins on ordering the book:

For international orders please contact [email protected] with details of the product(s) you wish to purchase, your delivery address and a contact phone number or email. A customer service representative will contact you to notify you of availability and international delivery charges. Any Order placed with a customer services representative will be subject to the terms and conditions contained on this website (the 'Terms and Conditions'). By emailing [email protected] you will be deemed to have accepted that the Terms and Conditions will apply to any Order.

We regret to say that we are unable to sell the book to customers in the USA as we do not have the publishing rights for that territory.
20 Nov, 2007
2007-11-20 10:36:20 PM UTC
Typical that first I must make me angry before the book was available for people outside the UK too...
20 Nov, 2007
2007-11-20 10:40:53 PM UTC
Hi Tinfang,

I think it was your response (and ones like it) through the forums that got the international support added... the following message from the forum administrator over there was posted last night:

Since we opened the Tolkien shop yesterday morning, the phenomenal demand for the book outside the UK that has come in over the last 24 hours has shown us that we hadn't planned properly for this exciting new offer. We knew that the support for J.R.R. Tolkien amongst his fans was huge: but it's bigger even than we had gauged, and we now want to give as many of you as we can the chance to buy the book. So, from this point on, the great news is that the book is now on sale across the globe, and details on how to buy it are below.

I did manage to get my two copies ordered (have to have them delivered in the UK and then reshipped to me to get around the publisher's limitations) but it is doable for those US people with good friends in the UK.
23 Nov, 2007
2007-11-23 7:06:04 PM UTC
I can probably swing two more copies of the signed CoH if there are other collectors in the USA who can't arrange to get their own copies. With the double shipping, it will run about $800 for a copy. If anyone is interested, drop me a line in the next few days.

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate!
25 Nov, 2007
2007-11-25 10:09:06 AM UTC
Does anyone know anything about the technical/legal aspects of this [problem]? Surely this whole absurd situation has been brought about by HarperCollins selling this book direct?

Right now anyone from the US can go on and buy a HarperCollins CoH -right? (perhaps this is wrong; ignore the rest of this argument if this is not the case!) So why did HC insist on this direct publisher-to-customer format for distribution? Okay, they didn't have to sell through Amazon, but could they not have arranged to have all the copies sold through a wholesalers other than themselves, thus allowing US customers to buy direct from the point of sale?; and removing the need for the current situation (UK buyers buying several copies with the express intent of selling them on to US collectors; US buyers getting their books send to UK residents who they know/trust etc etc)?

When the HoME Deluxe editions came out, the text was surely (as with CoH) copyrighted (with distribution rights etc) seperately in the US? Yet these were '1000 copies Worldwide', and were undoubtedly sold direct to US customers by Amazon!? Does anyone in the US remember where they bought their copies new from?

Pieter stated on in one of his many fine updates (thank you Pieter for your coverage and updates without which I'd probably not have got a copy) the following:

Harper Collins thought it would disappoint the thousands of people who have bought The Children of Hurin to provide new pictures only in the 500 signed copies. This edition was made especially for the Tolkien fans and collectors and can only be obtained by registrating at the site mentioned above. This was done so that the books go to people who will genuinely appreciate it.

Does anyone really believe that fans (and not collectors) would be willing to pay £350+ for a book? Of course at this price, it's unlikely the books will end up with anyone other than those who will 'genuinely appreciate' them. But HC seem to have just created a situation where these books will undoubtedly end up being sold new on Ebay and Abebooks etc, simply because there is a demand for them from US customers (who cannot buy direct from HC). And these Tolkien 'fans' will just have to hope they can secure a copy for a reasonable price from a trustworthy dealer (i.e. like Wellinghall). Even then (as he has admitted) with Paypal and Ebay fees, the price cannot be that of HC. A problem HarperCollins have created by this selling policy; and one the 'fans' and 'collectors' are having to sort out!

Having said all this, I'm resident in the UK and this has had little affect on me. And, I'm genuinely excited about receiving my first 'super' deluxe edition.

[Pieter!] Could they not have arranged for you to deal with all the US customers?
25 Nov, 2007
2007-11-25 10:27:29 AM UTC
I did arrange a deal for European customers before the day of the sale and did manage to order 'a lot' of copies for many Tolkien collectors on the European continent before the shop opened up. I was not aware then that they would not open up at all for the US and so did not ask more. I did spent a huge amount of money to be able to help out a lot of Tolkien collectors over here... since I was at that time only aware of the fact that they would only sell to the UK. So I did what I could do at that time and bought straight from HarperCollins and with the high postal and insurance costs the copies I arranged for the collectors over here turned out to be much more expensive then £350.

If I receive an order of 5 or more US collectors (that is 10 copies in total) I can of course do the same thing for the US collectors, but be aware that the copies will become more expensive then £350. If the order is large enough, I'm sure I will be able to arrange another deal with HarperCollins.
25 Nov, 2007
2007-11-25 11:22:47 AM UTC
But why should you have to do this Pieter? It's nice that you want to; and without dealers/collectors prepared to dig deep into their pockets (like you to the tune of ££££'s, even £££££'s) some people just wouldn't get a copy!

But HC is a huge company, who should have forseen this situation. Why did they want to set up an exclusive site, then have to rely on other dealers to distribute to those outside the UK?

Yes, they responded admirably to the initial complaints, and quickly set up a contact for those non-UK customers. But, why the surprise!? As if Tolkien is some nobody that nobody collects! Have they never typed Tolkien into Ebay or something? We have collectors spending thousands of pounds a year on their collections -was this problem seriously not forseen?

Baring in mind that HM probably won't do a US version (any noises on that Pieter?; they never did any other US versions before did they?), what else were US collectors going to do?

Again, having said all this, the 500 don't appear to have sold out yet! I was pretty worried (on the 19th) when I got in to see that the email had been sent that moring. I really thought they'd all have gone.

Anyone any thoughts on the 'Collection' as well? Four Deluxe editions that most people already have; no other extra features except the slipcase to house them all in; and, LotRs isn't even a 1rst! I think they should have held back 500 LotRs 1st impressions for this set. You could go out and buy all the editions new for less that £200 in any case -could the price not have been a bit more competitive?

25 Nov, 2007
2007-11-25 6:35:07 PM UTC
I have had a look on and you can't buy the HarperCollins edition. If you search for the UK ISBN number then the US edition comes up. It's not available at Barnes & Noble either.

I think the reason behind HarperCollins selling the super deluxe edition itself is down to money. If they distribute it via a company like Amazon then they have to give them a large discount on the retail price (say 30% or 40%). If they sell direct they keep 100%. The discount is a lot of money for a book like the super deluxe Children of Hurin.

The deluxe collection is 200 GBP compared to a combined retail price of 280 GBP, so it discounted by about 30%.

26 Nov, 2007
2007-11-26 12:26:44 AM UTC
I have to agree with Deagol. The choice of distribution mechanism is simply a way of avoiding the normal retail markup (which I am guessing is probably closer to 50%). Looking at 500 copies for GBP350 each, that adds up to GBP 87,500 extra coming in the coffers by selling direct.

All in all, it's been a bit of a hassle (I have one copy going to my fiance's parents in the UK and a second copy coming out direct to Australia), but hopefully the quality of the book will justify the trouble (having not seen any 'real' photos of the book, time will tell ! At least we know the pages are printed cleanly on reasonable quality paper - I remember getting the quarter-leather Silmarillion and being surprised to find that it seemed to be printed on toilet paper with a dot-matrix! :) )

I do wonder how long it will take to sell out. I don't think there are that many collectors out there prepared to spend that kind of money, and despite the fact that many of them are purchasing a copy to own and a speculative copy to sell on later, I think it may be available for a little while yet...

26 Nov, 2007
2007-11-26 4:14:34 PM UTC
Out of interest I added up the current prices on for the 4 books in the J.R.R. Tolkien Box Set which is being sold for £200 by HC direct. They are £214 from Amazon with current discounts, both have free delivery.

I do struggle to see who this set is aimed at as I expect most collectors would already have first impressions of these books and will not spend £200 on a second set which really just includes a second slipcase and not even first impression books.
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