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January 18, 2005

OMW Availability Update, Plus Signings

A little birdie whispered in my ear about why Amazon currently has Old Man's War available in 5 to 8 days rather than within 24 hours: Seems Amazon has burned through its initial shipment of the book and now needs to reload. I am of course immensely pleased; of all the excuses, that's the best one of all. It'll be back to "within 24 hours status" fairly soon. Thank you, those of you who bought via Amazon!

The little birdie also whispered in my ear that I should not fret about hiccups in the distribution chain, and that all this is generally fairly common happenstance, and that the book is doing well and -- equally important -- is well-positioned for when the paperback hits the streets about a year from now.

Well, okay. I resolve to avoid futher fretination, and encourage those of you who have been fretting on my behalf to avoid it as well. Do continue to pester your local bookstores about the book, of course, if they don't have it in stock; special ordering does wonders and they might even order an extra copy or two. And I do again want to thank everyone who has been sending me e-mail letting me know when you see the book in the store. That never gets old on this end.

I've been asked by several people if I would sign books if they send them to me. The answer is, yes, of course, I would be delighted to. Here's what you would need to do.

1. Send me an e-mail so I can send you an address to send the book to.
2. Make sure you have sufficient postage and packaging so the book can make it here and back. This is actually very important; I'm not made of cash.
3. If there's something in particular you want me to write, slip a note to that effect into the front cover of the book. Please, keep it reasonably short. If there are no special instructions, I will simply sign my name, so you'll be able to sell it on eBay later that much easier.

Also, of course, should you see me at a convention (such as ConFusion 31, which I will be attending this weekend) I will be more than happy to sign a book there. Please don't hesitiate to ask.

Posted by john at January 18, 2005 01:06 PM

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dave munger | January 18, 2005 03:38 PM

I can see the eBay auctions already: "SIGNED 2nd printing of OLD MAN'S WAR by John Scalzi. Please allow 4 weeks for shipping"

...erm... that would be 1 week to get it from Amazon, 2 weeks to Scalzi and back, 1 week to send to to the happy new buyer!

Seriously, congrats on your book's success, John! If there's really this kind of demand, you know you're doing well!

RooK | January 18, 2005 03:46 PM

I'm going to hold out on the hope that you'll embark on a promotional tour that will include a book-signing near me. I just hope that you don't get so popular by that time that I won't have an opportunity to shake your hand.

Justine Larbalestier | January 18, 2005 06:38 PM

You should get some bookplates, Scalzi. You can even get 'em made up special. Then all folks have to do is send you a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Much cheaper than posting a whole book.

John Scalzi | January 18, 2005 06:42 PM

What an excellent idea. I'll work on that!

Andrew Gray | January 18, 2005 06:55 PM

Justine: Is the bookplates thing commonly done? Because it seems like an excellent idea, but I've not heard of it before...

Justine Larbalestier | January 18, 2005 07:16 PM

I'm not sure how commonly done it is. And you know I'm not sure where I heard of it either. Sorry, am madly working to get a book finished by Monday and me brain's not firing on anything but the book.

I just read on Gwenda Bond's blog: http://bondgirl.blogspot.com/ that Margaret Atwood has just invented a long distance book signing device:

How cool is that?

Chris Byrne | January 18, 2005 08:17 PM

Most major authors that actually sign their books (and a few won't)have bookplates done up by their agents et al. Unfortunately, if you get a bookplate from an A-lister it's probably signed by autopen, but you can't tell the difference unless your a professional.

Question John, since the volume of sales hasn't registered on the publicly published bookscan info (as useless as bookscan is, it's not likely to, given the book is Sci-Fi by a non houshold name), can you estimate how many you've sold yet? Or do you even want to?

Unfortunately none of my local stores (Scottsdale, AZ) have had it, and I requested it be ordered at the Local B&N weeks ago, nothing yet.

John Scalzi | January 18, 2005 10:08 PM

"Question John, since the volume of sales hasn't registered on the publicly published bookscan info (as useless as bookscan is, it's not likely to, given the book is Sci-Fi by a non houshold name), can you estimate how many you've sold yet? Or do you even want to?"

I can't begin to estimate, to tell you the truth. It's far too early to say, for one thing; remember the book's only been out a month. I know Tor is pleased so far, so that's good. But outside anecdotal information, I couldn't say. The only indicator I'm looking for in terms of sales success is whether the hardcover goes into a second printing; if it does, I'll consider that the official sign that the book has done well (commercially, at least).

Tripp | January 19, 2005 11:30 AM

Paperback? A paperback edition?! Oh, sure, now that I've already wasted my twenty bucks!

(I joke, I joke)

(I'm cancelling my order)

(I'm kidding, I'm kiddng)

(Not really)

Jon Hansen | January 19, 2005 05:27 PM

Tripp, keep in mind, hardcover first editions will be worth more if John goes bigtime.

John Scalzi | January 19, 2005 05:37 PM

Yes, and that's my plan!

As if it were that easy.

John Needham | January 19, 2005 11:37 PM

Can you let me know what e-mail address to which I should write? I tried john@scalzi.com and it was returned....

If you want to e-mail me, please use john@needhamfamily.net.


John Scalzi | January 20, 2005 09:16 AM

John Needham --

Try sending it again. There's no reason why your mail should be bouncing. If it doesn't work after that, go ahead and e-mail me at "johnmscalzi@aol.com".

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