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May 05, 2006

Cue the AC/DC


More good news for Old Man's War:
it's in the black. I received my latest royalty statement from Tor today, and in it came glad tidings in the guise of a royalty check. Whoo-hoo! I'm all earned out!

The nice wrinkle in this is that when I signed the two-book deal with Tor that included OMW, it specified that I would start getting royalties after the advances on both books in the deal had been earned out. The second book in that deal is The Android's Dream, which comes out in October. So -- if I'm remembering this correctly -- this means Android is already in the black, which takes some of the pressure off. It also means I get royalties from the first copy sold. So, you know, buy lots. Athena needs a college education.

In all seriousness, if you bought a copy of OMW, thank you very much. Books don't always earn out their advances. I'm really happy this one did. I owe you.

Posted by john at May 5, 2006 03:41 PM

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Steve Thorn | May 5, 2006 04:15 PM

It was well-spent money. Now, on to the next.

Kevin Q | May 5, 2006 04:21 PM

If I understand this right, you earned out advances for two books, before the second book even hit the bookstore shelves? Nicely done.


Andrew Cory | May 5, 2006 04:29 PM

Hells yes you do! OMW is my staff rec this month, that little “I loved this book” shelf talker has made it a fast mover indeed at our store. Er, I mean, something that sounds less like your selling many copies is all my doing..

But either way, you can pay us all back by quickly coming out with a third book in that series...

Hm: You were contracted for OMW and Androids, yes? Where do GB and the 3rd book fit in?

AliceB | May 5, 2006 04:30 PM


John Scalzi | May 5, 2006 04:36 PM

Andrew Cory:

"Hm: You were contracted for OMW and Androids, yes? Where do GB and the 3rd book fit in?"

Ghost Brigades was its own separate contract, and The Last Colony (the third book in the OMW series) is part of the most recent three book contract I have with Tor. I'm pluggin away on that one as we speak. It's scheduled for next March.

emeraldcite | May 5, 2006 06:32 PM

In all seriousness, if you bought a copy of OMW, thank you very much. Books don't always earn out their advances. I'm really happy this one did. I owe you.

Yup. You owe me a damn good read (just like OMW and GB) in The Last Colony, then I'll call it even.

emeraldcite | May 5, 2006 06:33 PM

Oh, and I should add: hey, no pressure.

(and congrats!)

Jeff | May 5, 2006 06:38 PM

Three novels in a little less than a yeat along with the non-fiction. Are you planning on becoming the next Stephen King in terms of writing quantity. Not that I would mind considering I have really enjoyed OMW, Agent to the Stars, and Ghost Brigades along with the blog.

Jackie | May 5, 2006 07:10 PM

Congratulations!! That is so damn freaking cool. That has to be such a wonderful feeling. Thanks for sharing it so we can all feel it too. I'm feeling it! (I love the sweet smell of sharing successes).

Mdean | May 5, 2006 08:09 PM

Now ahhh can a brotha borrow a dolla?

Scott Lynch | May 5, 2006 08:27 PM

Congrats, John. Feels great, doesn't it?

John Scalzi | May 5, 2006 08:31 PM

It feels tingly!

Tom Nixon | May 5, 2006 10:57 PM

On your "buy lots now" hyperlink, there is an interesting piece of information after the jump to Amazon. When you scroll down to see what people ultimately buy, they all ultimately one of your books. Not necessarily that one, but one of them. My experience is that is unusual. With my 3 books, some buy that one, some buy the competition, and some buy things totally unrelated. I have seen this same pattern on other pages.

So, apparently, they like you, they really like you.

John Scalzi | May 5, 2006 11:04 PM

Well, most people are going to there from here (i.e., no one else is linking to it), so there's an inherent bias. I suspect over time it'll look more like the typical distribution.

Percy | May 5, 2006 11:16 PM

Congrats John. I've not read any of your books but I read the blog and enjoy it. I'd love to read OMW though. Any idea if it will be making it to India anytime? We've got a large English-speaking population here. :-)

John Scalzi | May 5, 2006 11:21 PM


"Any idea if it will be making it to India anytime?"

Tor owns the rights to the book in English, and I think they may try to find someone to formally publish it in the UK. If they do that the UK publisher would probably also service India as part of its distribution territory. So: We'll see.

Janice in GA | May 5, 2006 11:33 PM

Well, now I'm especially glad that I spent $$ for that book! And I enjoyed the heck out of it as well.

Off to look for GB!

Michele | May 5, 2006 11:50 PM

Yay! I just bought it a few weeks ago. Although I have 50 books in my TBR pile, yours is next after the current book.

Soni | May 6, 2006 03:06 AM

Sweeeeeet! Congrats and all that. I bet the folks at Tor are becoming very fond of you.

Dave | May 6, 2006 07:50 AM

"In all seriousness, if you bought a copy of OMW, thank you very much. Books don't always earn out their advances. I'm really happy this one did. I owe you."

Just keep writing good books, and you won't owe me anything.

CoolBlue | May 6, 2006 08:38 AM


Did I mention I finished Old Man's War? I guess I should have moved from my Upcoming Books list to my Recently Read list. I'll get around to it.

The short review: It was pretty good. Good enough that I'll probably read Ghost Brigades and contribute more to Athena's college fund.

If you want my unvarnished and longer opinion, let me know.

Jon | May 6, 2006 01:35 PM

Congrats! I'll make sure to buy Androids now that I know that part of the money is going straight to your pocket (kind of weird reasoning, but it makes me feel warm inside). I'll have to pick up a few copies as gifts, too.

John Scalzi | May 6, 2006 01:37 PM

Excellent. Thanks.

Sue | May 6, 2006 07:45 PM

Congratulations! As another post mentioned, if feels good to read that another writer is succeeding. When I showed your blog to my husband he said we'd have to pick up your book when we went to the bookstore today. They were out... the clerk checked their computer and she said there should have been some in stock. So I guess we'll have to check back next time we're in.

Patrick Shepherd | May 9, 2006 11:08 AM

Very happy to hear that OMW has done this well. It rates in my book as one of the best of last year (and I hope my review of it helped its sales, even if only a little bit!). Seems like too many authors work too much for way too little pay, given that they provide great entertainment and (sometimes) some excellent food for ruminations - much better than what you get for the price of a movie ticket (at least for most movies). Although it wouldn't hurt to see a movie version of OMW - as long as they don't screw it up like Starship Troopers, it would make a great action movie.

Leland | May 9, 2006 11:44 PM

"In all seriousness, if you bought a copy of OMW, thank you very much."

You're very welcome. I have been reading the whatever for about two years. I bought the book as a direct result of what I have read here. That is saying a lot since this is the first book I have purchased for full price in several years.

My son enjoyed it too.

I just finished The Ghost Brigades and look forward to The Last Colony - Why do I get the feeling we haven't heard the last of Charles Boutin yet?

John Scalzi | May 10, 2006 12:12 AM

I can neither confirm nor deny those feelings.

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