I like the Aria series, but I no longer preorder manga from any retailer. I want to be able to browse, and usually manga, since they’re in book format, are pretty easy to find. That wasn’t the case here.
Aria Book 4 came out at the beginning of December. I had some credit with a mail-order retailer, so I asked them to send it to me, along with several other graphic novels, at the beginning of January. I just got the shipment, but Aria 4 wasn’t in it. It seems that it’s sold out from Diamond.
Now, these folks are good, so I’m assuming that since they didn’t mention “we’ll try again later” that that word was final. For comparison, Amazon lists it as shipping “within 11 to 13 days”, not a good sign. (The longer a period they list, the less chance you’ll ever be able to get the book.) Borders and Books-a-Million says 2-4 weeks. Barnes & Noble simply says “not available”.
I’m now wondering… is Tokyopop only printing to initial orders? Have their print runs decreased? That’s no way to build series customers. I was very disappointed that I wasn’t able to get the book I wanted through my preferred outlet. I feel like I’m being forced into preordering, and I don’t see how this does the publisher, retailer, or customer any good.