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Dealing with Amazon Shipping Times

BrentBrent Canada Writer
edited September 2019 in Print Books
I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced anything like this:

I activated the globalREACH distribution recently and my book showed up on the Amazon sites pretty quickly. But I noticed that it says the book "Usually ships between 1-2 months". Obviously this is unreasonably long. First, I contacted LULU on Twitter and they stated that the long shipping time means one of two things: that it's either a 3rd party seller, or Amazon are not fulfilling orders. It says on the purchase page that Amazon is the seller, so the 3rd party explanation doesn't apply. So naturally I wondered, 'If Amazon are not fulfilling orders why would the book be listed for sale?'

I contacted Amazon and have talked to multiple people over multiple days, all of them as clueless as the next about the situation. They asked me the same questions over and over; like asking ME if they are printing my book or if the LULU is. Shouldn't they know what their system is? Shouldn't THEY be able to ME who prints the book, since it's being purchased and sent from them? (It was my understanding that when a LULU book is bought from Amazon that the book is printed by Amazon printers. I could be wrong about that, but that is what I read.) I even started to wonder if the Amazon employees I was responding to were bots. 

One Amazon employee even stated that they are "unable to speculate" about shipping times. Really? Don't they "speculate" when EVERY item on their site ships? I'm pretty sure they don't say, "Well, it might ship tomorrow, it might ship in 5 years—we just don't know!" And even the ridiculous 1-2 months they have on my book is a speculation, no?

All I wanted to know is why the book has such a long shipping time, and if book sales are going though at all. But Amazon couldn't even answer that. I may as well have been talking to my aunt Sylvia.

Finally they said that I had to contact LULU because they (Amazon) cannot view any order or account details through social media. (We were communicating through their help page on Twitter). Well, couldn't they have said that 3 days and 4 employees ago?

Terrible experience. I might just remove the book from global distribution altogether. It might mean less sales, but it will certainly mean a lot less headaches.

Oh, and I did open a case with LULU support, they got back to me once, saying when they hear from the distribution department they will get back to me. That was last week. 

So, anyone else experience anything like this? 


  • Don't believe it and don't worry about it, is my advice. Amazon listings are fanciful - if I believed the number of book stores (Amazon linked and others) who say they have ten in stock, I'd have printed a couple of hundred books. Which I haven't.

    It's robots generating fake everything from what I can see from my own titles. But, if you do actually sell something, you'll see it through Lulu.

    How can there be headaches though? If a sale goes through Amazon, they print it, ship it, send you a coffee bean's worth of revenue. You don't need to do anything. Except drink your coffee when a couple of bucks comes through.
  • BrentBrent Canada Writer
    Thanks for the reply!

    I guess the headaches come from people sending me messages saying "I was going to order your book, but I saw the shipping time...." I've had at least two people say that, and it makes me wonder if there are any more turned off by such a long dispatch time. 

    But the main concern stems from Lulu telling me they thought that Amazon might not even be fulfilling orders. That was a concern, since a few people have messaged me saying they ordered the book. So I guess I was afraid these folks were going to get jerked around, with no book ever being sent to them. If Amazon could have just told me that they were indeed taking and fulfilling orders I wouldn't have been so concerned. 

    But isn't the 1-2 month dispatch time weirdly long (assuming it's even accurate)? What are the usual print-dispatch times for books bought through Amazon?
  • Hi Brent,

    I see these long transit times when Amazon hasn't "finalized" their listing and they are in the process of updating it.

    If it has been 6 - 8 weeks since you approved the listing, please create a support case (or respond to the existing support case if applicable) so that we can reach out to Amazon on your behalf.
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