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December 13, 2004

OMW Store Spotting


We have our first Old Man's War spotting in stores. This handsome pair of OMWs were found in an LA-area Barnes & Noble by my pal Mykal Burns, who notes that not only did he see the book in the store, he also saw Brad Pitt. No word if Brad Pitt then purchased Old Man's War. Seems doubtful. Mykal also reports that he proceeded to place the book face forward, showing that he knows how to make authors happy. I think I'll put him in my book acknowledgments.

Meanwhile, Amazon still has the book listed as "not available," thereby wasting for me a perfectly good rave today from Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing. Stupid Amazon. All that love from Cory for nothing. Doesn't matter. Cory's still getting my Hugo vote this year (and will have deserved it, for Eastern Standard Tribe). He would have gotten it anyway, without the shoutout, mind you. Point is, Cory officially rocks, Amazon officially sucks. And OMW is officially live. Start pestering your book sellers for it now.

(And remember, notwithstanding Amazon, you can buy the book online here here here here and here. Just in case you want to buy online but don't want to wait for Amazon to get a clue.)

Update: Canadians can get their copies of OMW on Amazon.ca. Have I mentioned enough recently how much Amazon.com sucks for me?

Posted by john at December 13, 2004 07:59 PM

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» Reviews (books) Old Manís War from Punning Pundit
Iíve read better from Heinlein, but Iíve read worse from Heinlein as well. Just go buy a copy already! [Read More]

Tracked on December 27, 2004 05:21 PM


Tom Nixon | December 13, 2004 08:59 PM

Now if Mykal really loved you, he would have chased Brad Pitt down, thrust the book into his hands, and snapped a picture.

Now that's friendship.

John Scalzi | December 13, 2004 09:07 PM

Actually, if I want a picture of Brad Pitt holding the book, I'd give it to another friend of mine, who actually *works* for Brad Pitt, and he'd give it to Brad to hold while he snapped a picture. QED.

Christopher Davis | December 13, 2004 09:18 PM

Does seeing it in my library network's online catalog system count?

1 hold on First Copy Returned [that's me, BTW; I'm hoping this will induce the Cambridge system to buy a copy for their excellent SF section]

1 copy ordered for NATICK on 12-13-2004.
1 copy ordered for NEWTON on 12-13-2004.

Tom Nixon | December 14, 2004 02:07 AM

Interestingly, I just went to Amazon and bought Old Man's War. It says it won't ship until January 4 because it's not available yet. They may wish to talk with the rest of the bookselling world.

Btw, I was going to follow directions and buy it at an independent store, but a nice editor whom I write for regularly sent me an Amazon gift certificate through e-mail. Nice, huh?

mark | December 14, 2004 05:51 AM

My goodness, the US editions of Terry Pratchett's books have awful cover art!

Er... I mean... bookshop sighting. Yeah! Awesome! (Yes, I covered that up pretty well...)

John Scalzi | December 14, 2004 07:25 AM

Tom Nixon writes:

"Btw, I was going to follow directions and buy it at an independent store, but a nice editor whom I write for regularly sent me an Amazon gift certificate through e-mail. Nice, huh?"

It's like getting the book for free!

Jim Winter | December 14, 2004 11:05 AM

I know why Amazon is still saying the book's not available. When a book becomes available from a publisher, it usually takes two weeks for Ingram to notice it (even when it's POD and printed by Lightning Source, which Ingram owns. Go figure.) It takes Amazon (at least Amazon US) two weeks beyond that to list it as available.

So you can theoretically have a book come out on the first of the month, and Amazon won't know it's available (or stock it) until the last day.

Isn't high tech wonderful?

Ed Trimnell | December 14, 2004 11:43 AM

I also ordered OMW through Amazon, and they currently list the ship date as 1/02/05. However, I have noticed in the past that Amazon is extremely conservative when giving customers ship dates. (Usually the ship date is more like a "ship no later than" date)Therefore, I would be willing to bet that they will ship it between X-mas and New Years.

I'll drop everyone a line if it unexpectedly arrives early.

John Scalzi | December 14, 2004 12:17 PM


Re: Ingram -- possibly, although B&N uses Ingram (they were going to buy it at one point, I believe, if they didn't in fact go ahead with the sale), and B&N has it as listed.

Squid | December 14, 2004 02:00 PM

mark writes:

"My goodness, the US editions of Terry Pratchett's books have awful cover art!"

Thief of Time isn't even the worst of them, though it's not far off -- it's better, slightly, than the searing red/blue(/yellow?) water droplets and similarly eye-hurting teal/purple(/blue?) fractal (the colors have almost equal luminance) on the covers of my copies of Feet of Clay and Men at Arms. I think this pain is an innovation of recent printings, because I'm pretty sure I read a copy of Small Gods many years ago with a cover that didn't make me recoil in agony.

ObTopic, my local Borders does not have Old Man's War in. What I should have done is harass them about getting it in, but I was talking a mile a minute the entire time I was there and that requires an amazing percentage of my processing power, so it didn't occur to me until just now. Damn. Suppose I'll have to go back and face my fear of Pratchett covers.

Leonard Lin | December 14, 2004 09:54 PM

Hey, just wanted to let you know that after seeing the mention in Boing Boing and the reading the chapters online, and then seeing that it was on the shelves in LA, I gave a ring, swung by the Grove, and picked up a copy last night.

The Interweb at it's finest (well, almost, I would have paid a couple bucks to save an an hour or two and get a copy as a PDF or text file).

John Scalzi | December 15, 2004 09:07 AM

Excellent, Leonard! My daughter's college fund thanks you.

Samira | December 15, 2004 10:15 AM

Darn it. Just missed it! I found a copy at my local, independent, S.F./Fantasy specialty bookstore (and yes, I did buy it).

John Scalzi | December 15, 2004 10:24 AM

Rock! Thanks, Samira!

John Edwards | December 15, 2004 12:58 PM

Hey, John, looks like events are outpacing your fiction. The story of a 70-year-old just called up to active duty in Afghanistan:


John Scalzi | December 15, 2004 01:08 PM

Holy cow.

Francis | December 15, 2004 01:49 PM

Yeah, I've been a little frustrated with Amazon myself -- my first book just came out (a humor collection), and it took forever to get through the Amazon warehouse system (note that while it was working its way through, the page reassuringly said "usually ships in 1 to 2 months), and once it did get through, and the presales got sent out, Amazon was apparently left with two copies. Once those sold, the page went back to its alarmist "1 to 2 months" text for about a week before it got more copies in stock. Frustrating.

Also, I optimistically assumed that the "search inside the book" feature would be activated as soon as the book was published, but apparently one has to wait for Amazon to scan the pages and post them, which can take two months. Part of me shrugs at this and thinks, ah well, that's just the way things are, and part of me wants to say, "Why is there a link saying 'Publishers, learn how customers can search inside this book' on my page? We signed up for that! We're just waiting for *you*!"


(Incidentally, we've never met, but I've done some freelance editing for Uncle John's, and I'd like to thank you for being the easiest author to edit of the many whose pieces I worked on.)

John Scalzi | December 15, 2004 03:37 PM

Francis says:

"Incidentally, we've never met, but I've done some freelance editing for Uncle John's, and I'd like to thank you for being the easiest author to edit of the many whose pieces I worked on."

Thanks. I do try not to be a pain in the ass to editors. This comes partly from personal career self-preservation (it's not nice to mess with the people who can mess with your work right before it goes off to printers), and partly because I've done editing myself and know what it's like to deal with writers who just assume someone else is going to fix the problems.

Rance | December 16, 2004 10:57 AM

The local Barnes & Noble (Skokie, IL) told me their system was goofy because while saying it your book hadn't been printed yet, would allow you to order it which means that it is (printed).

I'm going to try to buy it at the Border's on Broadway in NYC this weekend. Their website says they have it.

John Scalzi | December 16, 2004 12:04 PM

Seems a heck of a long way to go just to get a book, there, Rance.

Joseph | December 16, 2004 12:15 PM

I just got confirmation that my Amazon copy has shipped. And it will get here just in time for me to read it on the plane home.

John Scalzi | December 16, 2004 12:18 PM


Dawn B. | December 16, 2004 05:11 PM

My hubbie looked for it on Monday for me, but didn't find it at the B&N where he works. We're giving them a little time and then whining if we don't see it. Also, gives me time to check my local SF/F indie store.

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