2/23/07

The snipe hunt hit the wall.

Here is the kind and gracious response to yesterday's email:

. . . . We buy from the two largest distributors in the country. They publish a monthly list of books that are available from them. We recycle one [the larger of the two] of their lists as our catalog, and state on our site that any book [that fits our model] is available. We do that whether we have ever bought that book before or not [and we hadn't in your case because no member had ever asked for those titles before]. The reason we do that is that our arrangement with the distributor is that they deliver the books we order that are on their published list usually one business later and almost never later than two. So, theoretically, we can deliver any book from that list to you.

It was only after reviewing your reading list, however, that we learned that neither distributor has any Wapnick book on cd. None. We've run across the situation before where they say they have books which turn out to be unavailable, but it's been rare . . . .


So . . . the short answer is that Wapnick's audio CDs are simply not available through normal distribution channels.

That's the end of the story, I guess.

2/22/07

The Great Wapnick Audiobook Snipe Hunt

On January 31, I ordered two of Kenneth Wapnick's audio CD sets from Amazon.com, namely:

Jesus, Fantasy or Truth, and;
An Overview of a Course in Miracles
See a list of all (supposedly) available titles

The indication was that it would be three weeks before they would even ship to me from Amazon, because Amazon.com did not stock either item, and Amazon needed to obtain copies from the publisher, Wapnick's non-profit, the Foundation for A Course in Miracles.

This was OK with me, so I placed the order and waited. This week, three weeks later, I received notification that Amazon had not yet received the items and it would be an additional two weeks before they would ship to me.

A five week delay is not acceptable to me. It's crazy. There is a bug in the distribution system somewhere. It just does not take that long when things are working the way they should. I canceled the order and I told everyone I could not to buy Wapnick's audio CDs from Amazon.com until the Foundation for A Course in Miracles got its supply problems fixed.

Then I started looking for alternative sources, and I found a promising, and less expensive, alternative in a company that rented audiobook CDs, using the same basic system as Netflix used with video DVDs. This company had about 15 of Wapnick's audiobook CDs in its catalog, so I joined.

It wasn't until AFTER I joined the program that it was made clear the audiobook CD rental company didn't actually have ANY of the Wapnick audio CDs in stock, and that none were available to be rented right now. Oy vey!

The question is, will they now go out any buy these audiobook CDs for their inventory? And, if so, will they be able to get them quicker then Amazon could? I sent this email this morning:


Can you please tell me what is the point of including audiobook CDs in your catalog that you do not actually have available for rent? I just recently became a member, mainly because you listed about 15 audiobook CD titles by author Kenneth Wapnick.
It wasn't made clear until AFTER I became a member that you didn't ACTUALLY have these title for rent . . . ANY of them.
Most people would be extremely put off by this, unless you now intend to go to your distributor and purchase all of these titles for your ready-to-rent inventory. Is this what you will do? If not, it smacks of bait-and-switch advertising, which is generally frowned upon.

I guess we'll see what happens next. Stay tuned. There's more to come. Many lessons to be learned here, no doubt.



2/18/07

Featured Book - Absence from Felicity

Ken Wapnick's psycho-mythological account of Helen Schucman's life and the origin of "A Course in Miracles" (read it online) is featured at:

General Description
Back Cover
Table of Contents
Chapter One Excerpt

"Absence from Felicity" is probably Kenneth Wapnick's best book.
I'd recommend "Absence from Felicity" to anyone interested int he
Course, but I'd also recommend that nobody take what "Absence" says as literally true, historically accurate, or even particularly honest. That would be a mistake.

"Absence from Felicity" is anything but objective. "Absence" is sub-titled "the STORY of Helen Schucman . . . ," and that's what it is . . . . a story. It isn't history, autobiography, or biography, although it contains element of each. It is the "story" that Wapnick tells and the hero of the story, without much surprise, is Wapnick himself.