23/24 Mar 2011: ETA: There’s been an important change in the situation described below. Please read the posting and then check this one for news on recent developments.
I love Canada. A lot. Peter and I pass through there as often as we can. I have done book tours there: have assisted in the business of helping Peter’s Mum (God rest her) hook up with her fandom, which often appeared to be larger than either or both of ours: have been marooned in Ottawa due to fog and found myself still awake at 2 AM and sitting on some hotel room’s floor singing 50s sad-dead-teenager songs in company with Dave Hartwell and Stephen King; have eaten the cassoulet in La Rapiere in Montreal (apparently shut now, O woe), have explored the Salt Beef havens in that city and in Toronto the Good, and (in merely transitory mode) have taken the train from Toronto to London ON a bunch of times before crossing the world’s busiest land border. (Though is it really? Has anyone done numbers at the crossing at Basel Bad in the middle of Fasnacht? I wonder.) I have in that fair land taken pics of the only salmon stream I’ve ever seen inside an airport. And I still remember passing through Canada Immigration and being asked “What’s the purpose of your visit today?” and being able to say, honestly, “Lunch.” (The CI inspector looked at me and grinned and said, “That must be some lunch.” “It will be,” I said. And it was.
Yet Canada and I are seemingly at odds, because it appears that no one can buy the Young Wizards ebooks there from their North American publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. And this just seems wrong.
Before I go to the publisher, who definitely do own the Canadian publication rights, and start shaking their IT department’s tree to get this problem solved, I need data from the book-buying base. Canadian readers especially — for the hardcover and paperback YW books are distributed in Canada via Raincoast — your kind assistance is requested.
The problem comes in two pieces. I get reports that:
(a) Canadian would-be purchasers of the YW books from Amazon.com cannot purchase Kindle / .mobi versions of the books from either Amazon.com or Amazon.ca. Is this the case?
(24 Mar 2011, ETA: My editor at HMH tells me that this problem has now been fixed. Can Canadian readers please confirm? Just search for one of the books and let me know if the upper-right-hand-corner block that says “This book is not available in your area: CANADA” fails to come up. …25 March 2011: thanks to those who checked! This problem seems to have been solved. Now we can go on to address quality control issues. )
(b) B&N.com (which is apparently the only seller of .epub versions of the books) will not sell Young Wizards .epub books to readers with Canadian addresses. The question I need answered is: does B&N sell any ebooks to readers with addresses outside the USA? If they don’t, fine. HMH needs to find another distributor for ePubs. But if they do, why won’t they sell YW books?
I would be seriously grateful if the Canadian contingent of YW fans would attempt such purchases (don’t complete them, just proceed until they fail — or alternately are about to succeed) and report back in the comments under this message, telling me what happens, so that I have data to take to HMH when I talk to them about this. Please feel free to send screengrabs to verify your experiences. You can send these to our Web lady at firstname.lastname@example.org : please put CANADA in the subject line.
The links to the Amazon.com US-and-theoretically-Canadian Young Wizards ebooks are here: http://www.dianeduane.com/ebooks-by-Diane-Duane#youngwizards
The Amazon.com / Kindle and B&N / .epub editions are broken out into separate blocks. Amazon comes first, and then B&N.
Those of you who hear about this issue via Twitter, please retweet to other Canadians at your leisure / pleasure and spread the word. The more data I have, the better.
Thanks for your help, everybody!
ETA: The excellent Nathan Maharaj has provided us with a complete set of links to the ePub editions of the YW series now available at KoboBooks.com. These are available to Canadian .ePub readers:
A Wizard of Mars (eISBN 9780547487953)
(…Still remembering the version of The Anthem that Peter wrote on the plane on our way in, last time. “O Canada! We’re just here for the beer: O Canada! The Beer is clear near here!” … There was more, but perhaps mercifully, I’ve forgotten.)
(And one other thing: does anyone else remember who got the American Embassy staff out of Tehran, all that while ago, at the risk of their own lives? “Oh, CANADA!” 🙂 I have a former roommate and very good friend who works for State — she’s in Yemen at the moment, not exactly the quietest place on the planet… and it could have been her, all those years ago. So when I wear the Maple Leaf on a jacket… I have subtext. Thank you, cousins.)