Someone’s shoplifting my books

In a way, this is actually good news.

I did a drop-in signing at a bookstore yesterday, and went back to the shelves to autograph my backlist titles. All I found there was one lonely paperback copy of “Bloodstream.” Where were all the paperback editions of my Rizzoli & Isles series? Ever since the premiere of “Rizzoli & Isles”, my backlist titles have been selling fast everywhere, but it was still surprising to see almost none of my paperbacks in a major bookstore.

When I asked the bookseller if perhaps my backlist was shelved elsewhere, she checked her computer and said, no, I was searching in the right place. And according to the computer, the store had all my backlist titles in stock. She walked back to the section with me and frowned when she saw there really weren’t any of my books there. She checked other areas of the store, and couldn’t find them. Then she sighed and said, “Someone must be a real fan. Because it looks like they’ve stolen all your paperbacks.” She mentioned that a customer had been in the store earlier that day asking for my paperbacks, and had walked out disappointed because she hadn’t been able to find any. But only when I specifically asked the bookseller to check her computer did she realize the books were missing from their shelves. Now she’s reordering my books. But it makes me wonder how many other stores mistakenly think they have plenty of my books on hand when those books have been swiped from the shelves.

On the one hand, it’s too bad that stores don’t have any of my books to sell customers. On the other hand, it’s sort of … flattering that my books are considered worthy of stealing.

Authors, have you run across this problem with your books? And booksellers, how often do you encounter this issue?

One amusing little factoid: the #1 most-stolen title is the Bible.

10 replies
  1. mgamberger
    mgamberger says:

    WEll, here in Zagreb I actually have good news. The biggest bookshop has a hugh promotion. You buy 3 books and pay 2. (Like this I bought all Rizzoli and Isles’ books). Today I went there again and I saw that there wasn’t any of your books anymore except for one. So, it seems they are selling! Unfortunately they didn’t order Ice Cold. Luckly I’m going to Paris tomorrow and I hope to find there!

    Mari
    (who’s loving the show!)

  2. l.c.mccabe
    l.c.mccabe says:

    Shoplifting a Bible? Talk about bad Karma!

    I shall try to make it a point to stop by my local independent bookstore and show them this post, to ensure that they indeed followed through on following my advice and stocking up on your backlist titles in anticipation of increased demand due to the new cable series.

    Linda

  3. t2intense
    t2intense says:

    I just finished ICE COLD………what a fabulous book! Tess, It was one of your best! (As if I could be a judge!) It grabbed me from the first line till the very last one! Bravo!! I think this, of all your books, shows how you have evolved into a great writer!(Oh greater writer) I also must say I just read Robin Cooks latest, Intervention, and it was a big bore! no content, just one mans rant against Chiropractors! So he should be off your list of competitors!
    Glad to see the series is getting great rating!! You must be so proud of yourself!
    Teri

  4. DeadRules
    DeadRules says:

    Wow, this is incredible. I never thought of it, Tess. My guess would have been that your books were selling like hotcakes (since they are this is a pretty easy guess) and someone who worked there was behind in bringing “available copies” out of the storeroom and keeping the shelves stocked.

    Dang, the number of stolen books, if they crossed the scanner at the regisater, might move a title up a slot or two on a bestseller list. ??

    Randy

  5. Marc A. Pitman, FundraisingCoach.com
    Marc A. Pitman, FundraisingCoach.com says:

    I’ll add to the chorus of “I wish I had this problem”?

    One day, perhaps, fundraising will be so needed that people will shoplift a book on how to ask for money.

    Fortunately, until that day, there are other books like yours…and the Bible. 🙂

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