The Human Division Hardcover (and Compiled eBook and Audio Editions): Now Out!

The hardcover (and compiled, DRM-free electronic edition, and also the compiled audio version) of The Human Division, the latest novel in the Old Man’s War series, is officially out today, May 14, here in the US and also (because Tor owns the rights worldwide) in the rest of the world as well. You can buy it at your local booksellers (which I encourage if you like your local bookseller) or online at just about any major online book retailer; please note that not all online retailers will turn on the “sell” button at the stroke of midnight. The hardcover/compiled eBook edition includes a couple of extras not (yet) available separately. People who bought the individual episodes online need not fear, however, as those extras will be available online in the near future (i.e., you won’t have to buy the rest of the book, again, to get them).

In addition to being the fifth novel in the Old Man’s War series (after Old Man’s War, The Ghost Brigades, The Last Colony and Zoe’s Tale) this also my ninth novel in total, and my nineteenth book overall, all published since 2000 (and all the novels since 2005). Time flies when you’re busy writing. I will say that although The Human Division is the fifth book in the OMW series, it was intentionally written so that people new to the OMW universe would not have to read the rest of the series to know what’s going (and to enjoy the proceedings). I’m a big believer in getting every OMW book to stand on its own, even as they form a series.

This book is unusual in that it comes to the print market not just a bestseller, but a multiple best seller — in electronic form, each of the book’s thirteen episodes made it onto the USA Today bestseller list, one after the other, for thirteen straight weeks. I don’t mind telling you that when “Earth Below, Sky Above,” the final episode, made it onto the list, I breathed a sigh of relief. The book stuck the dismount. Thank you, those of you who bought the book in the episodic form.

I’m also happy to say the book has been getting some really excellent reviews, which is also an occasion for a sigh of relief. You never quite know how people are going to respond to you, as a writer, returning to your best-known universe, even if they have been clamoring for you to go back into it. By and large, people seem to have taken to this new installment, for which I am grateful.

I’m also grateful for having gotten an opportunity to go back into the OMW universe in this way. Over the last couple of years, I knew I wanted to tell more stories in this world, but the stories I wanted to tell wouldn’t necessarily fit comfortably into the convention novel format. The fact that Tor not only allowed but actively encouraged me to aggressively play with the traditional structure of the novel is the reason this particular novel works and (in my opinion) is something special. They also did an amazing job with book — everything from art to advertising. I have never been happier to be a Tor author than I am with this book.

As most of you know by now, I am on tour to support this book; the official tour, which starts today in Redondo Beach, takes me to fifteen different cities throughout the USA. If you are in or near one of these cities, I hope you will come down and see me on tour. I promise you a fun time.

I’m really proud of this book, folks. It’s already done some amazing things, and I’m looking forward to where it takes me next. I hope you’ll read it and like it as much as I do. I think you will. I hope you will, anyway.

34 thoughts on “The Human Division Hardcover (and Compiled eBook and Audio Editions): Now Out!

  1. So, can we assume that at some point in the future, that we will get a breakdown of sales, by phase: weekly e-version, compiled e-version, audio, hardcover and paperback?

    Because it certainly will have been an interesting experiment!

    /I cant believe that it became my first e-book purchase!

  2. Yeah, here I am, awake at 3:10 AM Central, and my Nook still has The Human Division available for preorder (PREORDER!) even though I saw the physical book on the shelf at Barney Noble earlier tonight. Augh, the inconvenience!

    Oh. And again at 3:12! Preorder! When will this hell ever end?

  3. How utterly convenient that I just got an Amazon GC for mother’s day from one of my sons.

  4. Saw an ad for the book on Balloon-juice so your folks are doing a good job for you. Hope you climb the NYT chart again

  5. Downloaded my preordered book this morning! Now I have to wait until lunchtime to start it…

  6. You can count me among those happy with the experiment. I liked the episodic nature and the ability that gave you to tell a larger, sprawling story without the constraints of worrying about a character disappearing for several chapters. Waiting from week to week was sometimes a challenge but hey, how would we appreciate the joys without the discomforts?

  7. Bought my hardback copy at B&N Saturday afternoon. Sitting rather prominently at the top of my TBR stack. Looking forward to it!

  8. Bought it at Barnes and Noble on the afternoon of May 11th – did they get to release early? Most of the time when they do that accidentally it doesn’t ring up on their computerbox, but it did just fine for me. Thankfully.

  9. One of the first times in the last couple years that I have not taken the day off to read a Scalzi book when it came out.

    Only reason of course was that I already read it in ebook format.

    Good luck with the release.

  10. I’m interested in the views of people who read it in compiled form, to compare and contrast with those of us who read it in episode form.

  11. ::::POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT:::::::John, I was able to get the book at my local B & N Sunday (yeahhh!) and finished it last night. Good book, but I was a little unsatisfied at the end. There is the cliffhanger (for me) at the end – are we going to see a sequel? Maybe John P. popping up sometime soon? Also, some of the details of the conspiracy that we find out are not really fleshed out enough. Sigh. Still, the book was worth it, especially the churro subtheme. :::grin::::
    Now I’m going to have to find a place that sells churros with cheese………

  12. I’ll have read the e-book version by the weekend, and I’m waiting for the (theoretical) Subterranean Press edition, to go with the copy of “Zoe’s Tale” I got from them.

  13. Watching mailbox. Watching mailbox. Human Division appear. Human Divison appear. Watching mailbox. Watching mailbox.

  14. It’s going to be a GREAT WEEK! The Human Division today, the Star Trek: Into Darkness comic prequel tomorrow, trivia group meeting tomorrow evening, a 12:01AM showing of ST:Into Darkness… and I have the time off to enjoy it! By the way, I reread all the other OMW books this week to get geared up for it. You are the only author left on my hardback list (someone from whom I will, regardless of title, buy the hardback) along with a couple of series and every time I get one of your books I get that little “well worth it” warm feeling.

  15. A question – I live in the UK, and Amazon.co.uk lists the hardcover date as 13 June, not 13 May (the compiled Kindle edition is available now, though). Are they wrong? (Note: I’m not complaining either way, I’m just trying to figure out when I should go to my local bookstores to find a copy)

  16. I’m a little upset that I bought the audio for this now.
    If i knew I’d have to buy the whole book for the beginning and ending I wouldn’t have bothered with the individual episodes.

  17. Jon Smith:

    No, Audible is doing the same thing Tor is doing and will be offering the extras on their own in the near future. So no worries there.

  18. To attempt clarification: are the two “bonus” stories in the new audiobook edition as well? The Audible.com product description doesn’t mention them.

  19. Having read several of your previous books I was eager to get this. But why is the Kindle ebook more expensive for buyers outside the USA? With my Belgian credit card, I am currently expected to pay $17.08 (frankly a lot of money for an ebook), while for American buyers it costs a more reasonable $11.04.
    I’ve seen this differential pricing happening a few time before (and it’s always bad for those outside the USA). Frankly, I think it is ridiculous and a sign of 20th century thinking. It is not as if an ebook costs more to produce or ship abroad. If publishers are afraid of book piracy then they could perhaps first re-assess their own brilliant marketing ideas.
    John, I am blaming the publisher, not you. But I wanted to bring this to your attention.
    Keep up the good writing. I will wait for this one until eventually the price comes down and read other books from my backlog first.

  20. Tom, since the DOJ took Amazon’s side in the minimum retail price agreement lawsuit, and Macmillan (very begrudgingly) accepted the terms of the settlement, Amazon.com (US at least) can set the price under which it sells the Kindle edition, to better undersell other bookstores, etc. In the UK/EU I’m not sure this is the case, and additionally at least in the Amazon UK Kindle store, the price listed is VAT inclusive, e.g. “£10.04 includes VAT”. Currently that’s $15.33 USD, vs. $11.04 USD in the US store. Now, a 20% VAT on $11.04 only gets to $13.25 so there’s still a bit of a discrepancy, which I can only guess to be the amount which Amazon US can now undersell/pricedump the US market.

    Here are a couple of interesting articles on Amazon and VAT, the second of possibly particular interest as it concerns Belgium:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/oct/21/amazon-forces-publishers-pay-vat-ebook

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/202eff60-7c46-11e2-91d2-00144feabdc0.html

  21. Any thoughts on how to do book signings in an age when ebooks are increasingly popular? Since THD is published without DRM restrictions it would be possible for the purchaser to run a program to insert a ‘signed’ page at the beginning, I suppose. You could do the signing on a tablet.

    Of course, the place of retailers in such a scheme would be difficult to work out.

  22. Thanks montsamu.

    There is a bit of VAT difference, and for Belgian customers there is no 3g surcharge, perhaps because I have a wifi model.
    The difference in price is bigger than the equivalent price in the UK.
    In any case in the world of print books I sometimes bought the American edition for reasons of price, look of the cover, or having a hardcover, so why wouldn’t I be able to do that now?
    It all seems greedy on the part of the publisher or on the part of Amazon, or both. In any case $17 is too high for an ebook novel, it is higher than the cost of the hardcover which costs money to print, ship, and stock.

  23. Again, I think you’re looking at the Amazon-distorted prices for hardcovers and trying to compare them to something, which doesn’t work. The hardcover in the US is $25.99, £17.99 ($27.42) in the UK. Amazon undersells this, sure. (One interesting aside is that Amazon.co.uk is “temporarily sold out” of The Human Division in hardcover, which I hope means it is selling like hotcakes!)

  24. Got mine today at B&N. Also picked up the new Dan Brown. I’m currently re-reading ‘The Lost Colony’ to ease my way back into the OMW universe, so it’ll be a few days before I crack ‘THD.

  25. Montsamu, well, whatever the reasoning, it is interesting to note that next to me, a friend of mine didn’t buy it either because of the $17.08 which he also perceived as exuberant for an ebook novel.

  26. Just finished it last night. Wonderful story! I’m glad I purchased the paper copy; I thought some of the chapters/episodes worked better than others and would have thought that the price per episode resulted in some wins and some losses. But reading the book as a whole took care of that issue for me … and I really enjoyed it very much.

    I’m glad there will be a Season Two because the ending left too many loose ends for my liking. I’ve spend the past few hours pondering what some of the answers to the unanswered questions might be. If I’m right, it then the title should not have been singular.

    Thanks for one of the most enjoyable reads this year!

  27. I just finished and I really liked it. Captured everything I loved about the previous “Old Man’s War” books (this series needs a better overarching title), while still being fresh and new. I would have put “Before the Coup” at the front of the ebook, since it happens first and gets referenced a lot, but glad to have it. Plenty of action, suspense, and surprises, with good characters.

    The only thing I didn’t like is that unlike all the other books, it is not self contained. The Ghost Brigades, even though it was in the middle and led from Old Man’s war and into The Last Colony was still completely contained; you could read it in isolation and it still worked. This one let’s off in the middle. The best series are those where the individual volumes are contained within themselves while still being part of a whole, like the previous semi-quadrilogy. I’m glad they gave you a second season, because if the series ended here we would all have to hunt you down for the real ending, but still disappointing to see an incomplete like this.

    Also please work out a way to trade in for a compiled ebook next time. I didn’t buy the episodes because I didn’t want to deal with 13 individual files forevermore; If I could trade them for the compiled ebook at the end I would have been reading along instead of waiting.

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