Saturday, April 30, 2011

Book Buying International— Postage Free

When our son returned home from a foreign exchange program— a summer of Outdoor Adventuring in New Zealand that included skiing, snow caving, white water rafting and black water rafting— I asked him, "What was the best part of your experience?"
His reply: "That God is really the same on the other side of the world."
That's one of the things I love most about this group: We're from absolutely everywhere and yet we're all on the same page. It lifts one out of any tendency to provincialism and is such wonderfully concrete evidence for the universality of the Faith.
That's the good news. The bad news is that our assorted postal services aren't quite so ecumenical and buying one another's books can be slow and costly. Of course, ebooks are helping to break down that barrier, but those of us who secretly cling to our paper copies while promoting our electronic books have to battle with the high cost of international postage or be very, very patient until a book released on one continent finally makes it across whatever body of water it needs to sail.
My recent announcement that A DARKLY HIDDEN TRUTH, book 2 in my Monastery Murders would be released this fall in the UK, but not until early 2012 in North America evoked such interesting replies from friends around the world that I thought the conversation and my subsequent research worth sharing since the information can be applied to any of our varied titles.
First, Julie wrote from Australia: "When will it be available in Australia?"
I immediately tried searching for A VERY PRIVATE GRAVE on Amazon AU and found it isn't even listed. That prompted a quick query to my English publisher who replied with information that I found fascinating: Basically, books release in Australia about three months after the UK. So there is a reasonable chance that A DARKLY HIDDEN TRUTH will release in Australia before Christmas.
He explained that "Amazon Australia" doesn't really exist. The link that comes up from a Google search transfers to which carries some titles but by no means a complete range. My publisher's major agent in Australia is Koorong,
My publisher said, "Please tell your contact to keep in touch with Koorong. They will be proactive – they are very capable." He adds, "Koorong are one of the best."
Koorong also sell into NZ but my publisher uses a different distributor for that territory, Soul Distributors. Contact is
Then Dolores wrote from England: "Donna. Here's a practical tip. When it's released in the UK, your non-British readers can buy it from The Book Depository, a UK Internet bookshop, that sells books worldwide without charging postage. So Australians, Canadians and everyone else - including Americans - can buy it without any extra charges."
Which sent me to The Book Depository:
And I was amazed. Not only is A VERY PRIVATE GRAVE available anywhere worldwide postage free it is also the lowest price I've seen anywhere: $9.99 USD. Not sure how that would translate into Australian dollars or pounds Sterling but it's at least a dollar less than I've ever seen it.
I asked my friend Jayne to check it out from Canada and she replied that, indeed, The Book Depository magically shows the price in Canadian dollars for her: "It says CDN $11.15 (26% off, Save $3.99)," she replied.
How can they do this, you ask? I'm wondering that, too, as to the deeply discounted price. I can't sell my own book that cheaply. But I do have at least a start of an answer on the free postage issue: Did you know that unlike England, America's media mail or book rate postage is domestic only? No wonder so many book giveaways from American authors specify "America only." Since I so value my international readers I don't limit my giveaways and have, with great delight posted books to England, Canada and South Africa. But also, I'll admit, with great expense. I would be very interested to hear from others regarding your country's postal regulations.
So there it is, once again, the good news and the bad news. But do keep The Book Depository in mind when looking for a book that's not available at your local brick and mortar store. And pass the information on to your own international readers, because, after all, "God is the same on the other side of the world," even if postal rates aren't.
Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of 35 books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. Her newest book is A VERY PRIVATE GRAVE, book one in The Monastery Murders.


  1. You've sold me Donna. I've also forked out far too much in international posting.

  2. I've shopped at the Book Depository for years now - it's the best and often the only way to get hold of the books I'm after. They're amazing!

  3. So glad you found this helpful

    Kathi, I apologize if this posting stepped on some of your time. I was trying to schedule it and it posted a few hours early Thank you all for being patient with my fumbling.

  4. Great post.Love that the best thing your son found was God is the same on the other side of the world. I live in Australia but often use book depository UK for buying books, because they take Paypal which Amazon doesn't.They are prompt with delivery.

  5. Thanks for the book depository tip, Donna. I just checked and One Smooth Stone is there at a very good price too! I'm happy to know about a place where my international friends can get my book. :)Marcia

  6. Thanks for a very informative post. It's good to know there's a place that levels the playing field for international book purchases.

  7. Oh, good point, Dale. Paypal certainly helps with international book buying as well--they don't charge for conversion and the last time i changed from dollars to pounds with them I got just 1 cent off the Wall Street Journal posted rate--which usually only applies to *bit* transactions.