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.
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.