Chez Soi

Adventures of a Year Abroad

The Real Deal

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Amy Poehler’s new book comes out this week. I remember reading the contract deal a few years ago. And if it had been possible, I would have pressed the ‘pre-buy’ order button right THEN.

Today, it’s out. Releasing first in the US, of course. If you had pre-ordered by October 28th on something like Amazon or via your local bookstore, you can get it on the same day, October 28th. And, if you were anything like me, you’d stay up ALL night assoonaspossible but no later than by October 29th. Cause, really.


So this morning, after listening to the lovely interview on NPR, I worked on buying it.

On Amazon UK, it is 29US dollars, and arrives mid November-ish. At least that’s what it says now. Most orders I’ve done on Amazon work less efficiently than what it says. It says one thing when ordered, for example when I did the Amy Poehler book order this morning it said November 6th. But, just like every other time… one then gets a note about five minutes later that “updates” you that it’s much later, in this case November 13th. And, if it’s like every other order… you get 2-5 notes from that moment on saying something to the effect of “it’ll get there when it gets there…” So basically I could fly to the US for another project, and get it myself before Amazon UK can ship it to me. If ordered from US, and shipped as fast as possible, 50 bucks. And even then, you’ll probably get a bill in the mail to get taxed on that 50 bucks by the French Government. Those notes kill btw. I should talk to you about that at length. But I recently needed a replacement for a shirt that tore in the wash, I knew the brand and so on, so ordered a 40 buck shirt bought on a french site, and it came in about a week. Then about two weeks later, I get a 20 Eur bill from the French Government for “vat”. I pay a 50+% income tax in the US, and then I pay a 20% usage tax here (also known as VAT) for everything here. So probably the book would cost me at least 70 bucks, which is not to say I’m not up for it cause ya know, it’s AMY and all that… But quite often things from the US Amazon shipping process don’t arrive. And I have no idea how much tax bill I would get much later.

(All this on top of the fact that we’re getting paid in US dollars, and paying nearly 30% transaction cost to convert those dollars to Euros for everything we need to buy here, all of which is 2x the price in the US.)

So if you’re so inclined… Devour this little gem, and while you’re doing it realize JUST HOW LUCKY you are to be able to do so. I’m now officially ready to come home.

Damn you, Amy Poehler. You are the straw that broke the camels’ back on wanting to go home.

Author: nilofermerchant

Strategist. Passionate about igniting cultures of innovation. HBR Writer, O'Reilly Author (published January 2010) of The New How, and former CEO of Rubicon.

One thought on “The Real Deal

  1. the same friend who invited us to go to the south of france and I were emailing this morning as she sent me picture after picture of gorgeous-city of where she is. Well, she then acted as my fairy godmother and let me know how to get this in France, in english, Fast. Her husband works for Amazon books. Bien sur. So, that’s it. I’m staying in Paris, FOREVER.

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