I wish someone would explain to me why, in the supposed global economy, it takes so long for books (and TV series) to be shared between the UK and the US. The wildly popular Downton Abbey's third season is being broadcast in the UK now, but won't make its appearance here until next year. At least Foyle's War, beloved by so many mystery fans, looks like an exception. Filming has begun on a new arc of three two-hour episodes, with Foyle moving into Cold War intelligence at MI5 and Sam married to an MP. It will be broadcast at similar times in the US and UK. PBS has announced that it will be on US screens next summer.
But back to books. Here are some upcoming Eurocrime titles and their waiting times for US availability:
UK: August 16, 2012
Canada: August 28, 2012
US: January 8, 2013
Ian Rankin: Standing in Another Man's Shoes (featuring Malcolm Fox and John Rebus)
UK: November 8, 2012
US: January 15, 2013
Arnaldur Indridason: Black Skies
UK: July 9, 2012
UK: October 11, 2012
Fabrice Bourland: Dream Killer of Paris
UK: August 13, 2012
US: Unscheduled (This is #2 in the Singleton & Trelawney series, mysteries with supernatural elements, set in the 1930s. The Baker Street Phantom, the first book, was published in the UK in 2010 and still hasn't been published in the US.)
Marek Krajewski: The Minotaur's Head (Eberhard Mock #6)
UK: April 1, 2012
UK: March 7, 2013
US: April 23, 2013
So what is an impatient reader (like me, for example) to do? There are some options. Buying the UK book is, of course, one of them. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Abebooks, Alibris and other US online booksellers often list UK editions for sale to US buyers. Often, the prices are high and so are the shipping costs. Still, this is always worth checking.
Kennys Bookshop in Galway, Ireland. Their website will display prices in US dollars and they have free worldwide shipping. I've only ordered a couple of books from there as yet (shortly after Amazon took over the Book Depository), but I received the books in a reasonable time and the prices were as advertised.
Amazon UK: $16.98 for the book, $11.33 for shipping, for a total of $28.31.
Amazon Canada: $19.35 for the book, $10.22 for shipping, for a total of $29.57.
McNally Robinson: $21.50 for the book, $11.26 for shipping, for a total of $32.76
The Book Depository: $19.34 with free shipping shown on Abebooks, though the book is shown as currently unavailable on the bookdepository.com website.
Kennys Bookshop: $16.28 with free shipping
Amazon US: $16.11, but you have to wait until this coming January
What I haven't mentioned in all of this is the option of buying the UK Kindle version of a book. As many of you probably know already, a UK Kindle title cannot be purchased from a US-registered device. If you're web browsing from the US and/or from a US-registered device, Amazon UK doesn't event display the UK Kindle information. A number of (non-Amazon) website discussions describe workarounds, but the steps and issues involved are beyond the scope of this post.