Library Services Centre

In light of the many industry-wide supply chain issues impacting publishing and libraries, both LSC and the publishers are advocating for early ordering as much as possible. We thought it made sense to give a bit of space to why early ordering is important, and how LSC's catalogue and ARPs make it easy.

 

Early Ordering refers to ordering books before they are published. LSC considers anything ordered more than three weeks before publication an Early Order. Once we know an item will be published, sometimes up to 18 months in advance, it is available to order. This includes DVDs, which are available to order the day the movie is released in theaters.

 

For many collections, a fair amount of the materials your patrons will want won’t depend on what they are about, but who they are by. As an example: we know that James Patterson will release many new books this year. Often the items will be known by a placeholder title, like James Patterson Chef Detective #5. This item will go into our ordering catalogue, at which point you can pre-order it straight away, and get that On-Order MARC into your system and generating holds. If you have an ARP, the Selectors will be aware of the item and might order it for your account immediately, depending on the instructions in your ARP profile. 

 

A few months before publication, the publisher officially updates the title to James Patterson’s Five Star Murder. We update the title information in the record, and include the item in selection lists, catalogues, etc. which are available digitally via Issuu and within the ordering catalogue. For Best and Solid Seller titles, these will be listed in our Notables catalogues, which list all the items that will be published in the coming quarter, not the previous. Meaning, anything ordered from these lists when they are released will be an Early Order.

 

Part of the process of ordering books from vendors is shipping time from the publisher. This is because library vendors, unlike commercial vendors, do not keep a standing inventory of items in house. Items post-publication are shipped to us as they are ordered. This adds time to when a library will receive an item. If everyone orders James Patterson’s Five Star Murder in advance, we know that we need to bring in x number of copies straight away. With the industry delays affecting shipping times, both from manufacturing centers overseas, and from distribution centers once they have arrived, publishers are already seeing delays by weeks or months past the initial street date, and are warning buyers that reprints will be effectively non-existent for the next while. Meaning, once the original print run is gone, it's gone. They have said that they will increase initial print runs based on pre-orders.

 

Normally, LSC would receive pre-pub items a few weeks before the street date. Our cataloguers and processors then set to work on the copies that need such things (taking a couple days for priority items), and the item moves to shipping, where it awaits each library's shipping day, to arrive before street date. If you wait to order the book until the date you could also buy it at Chapters or Costco, we have to wait for the item to come from publisher, then also go through our processes. Time that was saved by other libraries pre-ordering the item.

 

In the midst of these delays, we receive items when the publisher is able to get them to us. We push the items through our internal processes at the same rate as before (due to our internal efficiencies, we're largely moving as fast as we can already). And the items arrive at the library with their next shipment. As of the date of this publication, publisher's haven't officially moved any pub dates, which means the majority of items won't be meeting street date. This is a reality for everyone. If publisher's start moving street dates, we'll keep you updated via our Weekly Newsletter

 

Delays or not, by taking advantage of early ordering, you guarantee your number of copies for your patrons, and save yourself weeks or months of additional delays, or worse, the announcement that the title has already gone out of print.

 

Finding items available for early ordering is easy. Aside from the ones listed in the Bestseller Catalogues, you can search for items via the Advanced Search Screen within the catalogue. Searching Author is the best way to find materials pre-publication, then limit your search via "publication date" to either “Next 30 Days”, “Next 90 days”, or choose a date range in the future. Ordering is otherwise normal. Additionally, our Selection Lists allow you to access specific content relevant to you and order directly from the list.

 

Unique to LSC is our Budget Management system, which allows you to identify your annual budget by collection type, track what you’ve spent and are committed to spend within the calendar year. The remainder that you are committed to within this report would fall into a future budget, and therefore if you are doing early ordering well in advance, you are able to simply and accurately track that budget. And you’ll always know exactly how much you have left to spend.

 

LSC's Selectors are here to help with any Ordering assistance they can provide. All our Selection Services come without charge. You don't have to be on an ARP to have our Selector build your library lists or even carts. They are also happy to work with you to identify specific authors that are high interest that you should keep a regular eye out for. And those libraries that are on ARP, if you want to change any instructions in your profile to promote early ordering, you can do so at any time. Please contact Jamie Quinn for all your Selection assistance.

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, our YouTube Channel, and now on Issuu. We also encourage you to subscribe to the LSC Weekly Update, and we hope you check back each and every week on this site for our latest musings on the publishing world.

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