Daily Archives: December 11, 2004

Old Man’s War Availability Recap

As of 7:45pm December 11, here’s which online retailers have Old Man’s War in stock, and for how much:

Amazon: Not yet. Tick, tick, tick… However, as I mentioned before, it appears that people who pre-ordered the book from Amazon are having it shipped, so I expect it won’t be too long now. When it does appear, the price will be $16.29.

Amazon UK: Now, oddly enough, Amazon UK is already selling the book (for about 12 pounds), but also notes there is a 9 to 13 day delivery time, which means those of you in the UK shouldn’t necessarily expect to get it in time for Christmas. The site also seems to suggest that the first printing of the book will be 15,000 copies (see the synopsis), which — shall we say — varies from the information I’ve received.

Hey! Even Amazon in Germany has it listed as available! Stupid American Amazon…

Wal-Mart: $14.99. Sad that Wal-Mart has it officially available before Amazon.

Books-a-Million: $17.84.

BN.com: $19.26.

ValoreBooks.com: $17.56.

And there you have it. If you were to ask me which of these online institutions you should receive your book from, I would tell you that indeed, I have no preference. Wal-Mart is clearly the least expensive, but it means buying from Wal-Mart, and I understand many people have philosophic objections to that (I don’t, incidentally, as we shop there fairly often. Remember: Rural Ohio).

If you really want the book more inexpensively and also have a bit of patience, then you can wait about a month and get it through the Science Fiction Book Club, which will have it listed as an Alternate Selection for their “Winter” offering (which follows January but is before February — the SFBC has a 17-“month” year, you see). If the SFBC follows form it will sell it for something like $12.50. The catch is you have to wait six weeks (including shipping time) — and, as a SFBC member, that you obligate yourself to purchase a certain number of books within a certain amount of time. Tanstaafl, don’t you know.

But if that works for you, then by all means, book club it. I suspect a lot of authors will tell you (or at the very least would think at you very hard) they prefer you buy the books outside of a book club setting, but as most of you know, my philosophy for this book is that I’ve already been paid, and now my main concern is getting the book into as many hands as humanly possible, and the SFBC is certainly a good way to do that. Indeed, I suspect Tor thinks so, too, since Tor’s first printing of OMW is relatively small — I think they’re hoping SFBC (which does its own book printings, from what I understand) will be effective in selling its own version of the book. And so do I. Go, SFBC, go!

In the perfect world, you’d buy the book at your local bookstore, which is independently owned and operated by cheerful people who have filled the store with comfy chairs and espresso machines and Maine Coon Cats sleeping photogenically in the picture windows, and have a vast and delightful science fiction section. But in the real world, lots of bookstore have questionable SF sections, no chairs, and Maine Coon Cats give rise to serious dander issues. So, honestly, I couldn’t care less how you get the book.

Well, amend: Don’t steal it. That’s not nice. But short of larceny, it’s all the same to me. I just want you to read it, and hopefully feel you’ve gotten your money’s worth, no matter what you paid for it.

Update: A1books.com has it for $14.17. Man, that’s just ridiculous.

More Book Blah Blah Blah

A couple of things:

* I’ve created a new Books section to the Web site, which you can see here. Nestled within this new book section, in an understated way, is an Old Man’s War Preview Page, which contains information about the book, some of the reviews, and an essay about the book, none of which will be news to recent readers here — and also a sample chapter, which might be. The books page also links to Agent to the Stars. At some point, when I’m not feeling lazy, I’ll put a permanent link to the book section here at the Whatever. But in the meantime it’s linked off the front page of the site.

* The folks at Amazon, perhaps disbelieving that people have read a book that’s not yet officially published, appear to have yanked down the customer reviews for Old Man’s War. I am of course sad — those were some fine reviews, and my thanks to those who posted them — but the good news is that the Publishers Weekly review remains. I guess Amazon decided it was possible someone at PW had actually read the book. Hopefully once the book is officially out in the world the customer reviews will return.

* I hadn’t paid attention to this until someone pointed it out to me, but back at the Amazon page, there’s an interesting dichotomy between what other books customers who bought my book also bought, and the books that people who viewed my book also viewed. Among the books also bought are a number of science fiction titles from Neal Stephenson and Elizabeth Moon among others, as well as James Lileks’ Interior Desecrations book. Among the books browsed were political books like Axis of Weasels by Scott Ott and The Anglosphere Challenge: Why the English-Speaking Nations Will Lead the Way in the Twenty-First Century by James Bennett, as well as science fiction books Armor and Orphanage.

This is actually a residual illustration of the Instapundit Effect, because every book in the “viewed” category is one mentioned by Glenn either in conjunction with my book (in the case of Armor & Orphanage) or at some point in time close to when he mentioned my book (as is the case of the political tomes). I think it’s interesting that there’s not a huge amount of overlap between the two groups, but I have no idea what the implications of the variance might be. I do see Glenn’s influence in the purchases; he’s been a longtime booster of James Lileks’ book work. Of course, as have I. In any event, it’s an interesting testimony of how a mention on one Web site can leave a noticeable footprint on Amazon.