aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

My Ingram addiction

Okay, all authors know about the Amazon addiction - checking out how your book is selling relative to other books, and sometimes basing your mood, hour by hour, upon how high or low your number is. I have had the Amazon addiction so bad that at one point I knew exactly when it was updated every hour. It was something like eight minutes after.

You can also have a B&N addiction, although that one never took with me. It was the equivalent to bar smoking. I could join a friend at a bar in college and bum a cigarette (in a rather transparent attempt to be cool) but I never bought my own or smoked when I was alone.

And then there's my Ingram addiction. That one is ingrained and bad. And now I'm jonesing for a fix.

Ingram is one of the largest book distributors in the nation. And you see, Ingram has - or had - two numbers you could call. One was toll free: 1-800-937-0995. And an automated voice says how many of your book are in stock, once you enter the ISBN. If you called it repeatedly, you would generally be able to figure out how much stock was moving through Ingram.

But the other number, 615-213-6803, even though it wasn't toll free, would give you so much more. How many were on order, on back order, how many had sold that week, the previous week, that year, and the previous year. If you had a really bad addiction, you could enter the ISBNs of rival's books, friend's books, anybody's book!

Let's just say this is not a good thing to figure out if you have unlimited long distance calling.

If you are an author, this kind of information is like gold. Otherwise you must rely on your royalty statements, which only come twice a year and cover a period that is so long ago you no longer remember it. That's why I loved Ingrams. Immediate feedback, as often as you wanted it.

But as of Monday, the number doesn't work. It says "The number is not assigned within our company."

I'm trying to follow up with Ingram, even though I am but a lowly author and not anyone who pays their bills. Maybe there is a temporary glitch. But what if they have done away with it altogether? Can you suggest an alternate addiction?

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