B&N Search Update, Buying My Books, and, You Know, Stuff

A couple of quick notes on things relating to ME ME ME ME ME:

* I kvetched a couple of days ago about Barnesandnoble.com’s search listings on “Scalzi” calling up a bunch of craptacular insta-books with content sucked in from Wikipeidia, rather than, you know, my own books (or the books of the other occasional author named “Scalzi”). Well, I went back today to see what would happen, and lo and behold, when you type in “Scalzi,” you get Scalzi-written books. The first several listings are NookBooks, but hey, I have a Nook, so I’m fine with that.

I don’t imagine my kvetching was the predicate cause for this fix, but however the fix came about, thank you, Barnesandnoble.com, for making it easier for my readers to find my books on your Web site. I will be purchasing a book for my Nook today, in your honor. Also I want you to know I would be a really excellent beta tester of your color Nook. Your shiny, pretty color Nook. Which no doubt smells of violets and love. I’m just saying.

* Speaking (vaguely) of electronic editions, I have an e-mail today from someone wondering whether I make as much from my ebook versions of my books as I do from other versions, ad if there’s a version of whatever book they should buy to be sure that the maximum amount of revenue goes to me.

My official response to that: If you want to be sure I get paid, get whatever legitimate, new version of the book you want. Don’t worry about which format pays me the most — if you’re buying it legitimately, and unused, then I will get paid enough in any format you might choose. So, really, get it in the version that works best for you, and thanks for actually wanting to make sure I get paid. I, my family, our pets and our various creditors thank you.

* Folks have asked if, now that there’s an official release date for Fuzzy Nation (May! 10! 2011!) if that means they can pre-order the book. The short answer is, yes you can — but I think you might want to hold off, because one of the things I’m currently doing is trying to arrange something with my local bookseller where you can order FN from them, and then I will come in and sign it for you. I figure if you’re the sort who want to go pre-order the book the instant it’s available for such, you might also be the sort who might, you know, want an autographed first edition. So hold on, kids, and let me get that worked out for you.

* This also reminds me that I need to go into the local bookstore and once again set up our holiday book signing thing, in which if you buy some of my books as holiday gifts from my local store, I’ll come in and sign and personalize them for you to your intended recipient (or you, if that’s how you want it). I’ll make an official announcement of that soon, probably in the next week.

21 thoughts on “B&N Search Update, Buying My Books, and, You Know, Stuff

  1. Well done in getting BN to fix things. As much as I like my Nook, searching BN is certainly painful at times. That and their actual delivery process (DHL->USPS) is absolutely painful for paper books and other products. They shipped my Nook to California . . . via Maryland!

  2. I’m sorry, John, but one thing I will never do again is pre-order a book. When the Amazon-Publisher war broke out, I had a pre-ordered book on Fictionwise waiting for its release date. The war broke out, the book disappeared. Fictionwise honorably refunded my money, but when the dust cleared, the book I had pre-ordered for $8 was only available on B&N and AMZN at $12.

    I will never again trust a publisher to keep a promise, and I’ve quit buying books just because “I might read them someday.” as a result.

    I’ll wait.

  3. I pre-ordered Assassin’s Creed Brother hood for my husband and Halo Reach for my son, but I can’t think of pre-ordering you Fuzzy book. I want the experience of walking into the book store, feeling the pain in my wrist because the door is to heavy. I want to be able to feel the excitement and nervousness at looking for the book among the thousands of other books. I’ll probably have a hold on my kids ushering them towards the table that has the newest Scalzi book on it, reverently picking it up and smelling it for the first time. You know, that fresh inked book smell that tends to lock into the senses, that smell that slowly is incensed by you even by the time you take the book to check out. I’d love to let my daughter (age 6/7) carry it out of the store knowing that once we get home we’ll make some tea, some snacks, and throw a bunch of pillows from around the house into a central room and relax together.
    Pre-ordering would take all that away. Thanks though! :D

  4. Sorry about the grammar. I just realized how many mistakes I made. OK, I get it, it’s bad. But, after sleeping from five a.m. through eight a.m. a couple of days in a row I can’t look at the computer while typing. The only complain I have about the background on this layout, I wish the background wasn’t so darned white. A background that was a little eggshell or just a bit darker would be Smiley! But, I’m not asking for anything, just apologizing for my bad grammar. :>

  5. Apology was based on my impression that pre-orders can generate more orders for the book from the chain. I mean, it’s a natural question to ask if you see a lot of Scalzi’s Scamps ordering a book HOW long before it comes out?

  6. Could you please repost the contact info for your local bookstore? I would gladly order from them to get signed copies.

  7. I’m not trying to be a smarty-pants here (perish the thought), but I’m just curious–what exactly do you consider to be your “local” bookstore, what with living in Bradford and all?

    Also, is there some reason your books aren’t available in the Troy library? I mean, it’s your home county (well, depending on which side of Bradford your domicile is built upon). That just seemed weird to me. I could take up that battle for you, if you’d like, since I have connections in high places there (ooh, don’t I sound important?). Or not, if you prefer, since I guess you really don’t get squat from anyone who reads your books from a library, unless you count exposure and all.

  8. get whatever legitimate, new version of the book you want

    Do you still get paid the same if the legitimate, new version is bought from a deeply-discounted bargain shelf at Borders or other store? I’ve been wondering about this one since I bought a copy of The Android’s Dream for about half price in a clearance sale.

  9. It is possible you fixed the B&N listings, you know. One of the things search engines use to rank their results is what previous people who did the search clicked on… So by posting about such things on your rather popular blog, you might have driven enough traffic there with the specific intent of looking at your stuff that the rankings changed organically. An informal rank-bombing, if you will.

  10. I’m sure this has been covered elsewhere, but since you made a point about your compensation and “new” books, what’s your policy about “used” books? I gather you don’t get a cent from them, but then in searching “used books” on your site (see, I tried to find out if this has been covered!) I see that you’ve sold from your personal stash to used bookstores. So I’m conflicted: recycling is good, and I get lots of great books this way, but then am I stealing somebody’s lunch money?

  11. Pete @16: IANJS, but I would say that buying used books is simply not giving someone lunch money — which has the same result of John not having the lunch money he would have if you bought a new book, but it’s morally very different.

    Also, buying a used book reduces the supply of that particular used book, which means the next buyer is more likely to buy a new one instead, so it’s not quite zero benefit to the author. I don’t know how far from zero that is, though.

    Personally, I buy some of both — new hardbacks when I particularly want to support the author or want that new book right now please, and used paperbacks when it’s a “maybe this will be good or maybe it’s dreck, but it looks interesting” whim or a book that’s been out for years and already sold many copies. And then I put stuff back in the used-book stream for other people to discover.

  12. Speaking of “legitimate, new version:” Is this legitimate? It sports a release date before Fuzzy Nation, isn’t available in hardcover, and I haven’t seen it mentioned on Whatever–this does not sound right. On the other hand, it’s a Tor book, and there simply isn’t a more reputable SF publisher in existence.

  13. That’s an old contracted book I didn’t finish and I suspect what you’re seeing is someone forgetting to take it out of Amazon.ca’s system. I will eventually write that book, just probably not soon.

  14. For the record, it looks like ‘NookBook’ is the same as eBook; i.e., one does not have to have a Nook to read them if one has Barnes and Noble eReader installed on a computer. I panicked when I saw that because I thought all of my ebooks had vanished but they’re still there.

    p.s., just finished Android’s Dream, it was lovely and thank you for writing it!

  15. With BN’s big push toward ebooks (recently renamed “Nookbooks” (oy)), they will now be the top of the hit queue. Even when you search for a book by title (though not ISBN, of course).

    It kind of annoys me, I admit.

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