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.

7 Comments on “Old Man’s War Availability Recap”

  1. Bought it from Wal-Mart just now. I’ll review it if I feel like I have something interesting to say about it after it’s boughten.

    My $0.02 on the social consequences of buying from Wal-Mart: I’m not thrilled by their pay-scales or their insurance. On the other hand, it appears that they’re competitive with the industry as a whole. And their low prices benefit poor people—it’s not like Paris Hilton is going to Wal-Mart for blank recordable-DVDs. So, my social conscience is balanced out on this one; I neither seek out Wal-Mart nor go out of my way to avoid it.

    It could be I’m just ignorant about the evils of Wal-Mart, though.

    Hey, whereabouts in Ohio are you, anyway? My wife grew up in Columbus, and has family there and in Athens; despite my being a New Yorker who should, by stereotypes, sneer at Ohio, I actually am quite fond of the parts I’ve seen.

  2. I’m about 30 miles north of Dayton, which is west and north of the places you mention. Ohio is in fact a perfectly lovely state, in my opinion, although like any state some parts are more lovely than others.

  3. As far as being ignorant of the ills of WalMart – yes. Yes you are. There have been a truly ludicrous number of well researched, bravely written, journalistic prize winning newspaper and journal articles relating to WalMart, Inc and it’s treatment of it’s own employees (numerous and far reaching class action lawsuits alledging racial and gender discrimination with regard to equal compensation and advancement opportunities, non payment of overtime benefits to its part time, full time, and even some management workers), how their supplier power allows them to strong arm production facilities here in the US and abroad into producing for less as well as the benefits and consequences of this strategy (prices low for consumers, lesser quality of merchandise, fewer US made goods, more severe and long term labor abuses in aforementioned third world countries, societies devaluation of quality, non mass produced merchandise, etc).

    And we haven’t even mentioned the predatory development of WalMart’s in small, rural communities that ultimately destroy local businesses and create dependence on their business practices. Nice Catch-22, hm? Sure, they want you to have choices – as long as they’re all inside Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club.

    Oh, and I forgot about that whole building on ancient burial grounds, or other important cultural and religious sites with no regard whatsoever for the wishes of the community. Instead of considering that a community does not want them in their neighborhood, they use every tool necessary to do whatever they please. To me, that ultimately says “We don’t care about you or your needs, wants, or desires towards your community – no matter what all of our press says”.

    I like business. I studied business. I have a passion for business. I do understand the very big picture, the intricate details, and all of the complexities in between. Having said that, I’ve come to the conclusion that as a global citizen, I believe that the negatives WalMart, Inc has generated for the world far outweigh the positives.

    There’s competition and market growth, and then there’s predatory business practices. I think WalMart is guilty of using their substantial clout in ways that ultimately harm the communities it purports to support.

    So if you want to shop at WalMart, that is your choice. But make an informed decision. Most of the time prices at Target, Kmart, or other businesses are comparable to WalMart, without all the ethical baggage.

  4. “Most of the time prices at Target, Kmart, or other businesses are comparable to WalMart, without all the ethical baggage.”

    And indeed, Target is the automatic choice of people who want Wal-Mart-like savings, but don’t want to be associated with its, you know, Wal-Martyness. The nearest Target to me is over 30 miles away, sadly, which presents logistical problems.

    K-Mart: The one K-Mart nearby to me is a really, really crappy store with genuinely second-class merchandise, which compounds the negative impression I’ve had of the store since I was a kid, when it and the now-defunct Zody’s chain were the utter bottom of the retail existence.

    The local alternative to Wal-Mart nearby is the Meijer chain, which has the same “big box” setup as Wal-Mart and Target, and as far as I know has none of the ethical issues surrounding Wal-Mart. Krissy prefers it to Wal-Mart, as do I (specifically because they have the majority of their DVDs in widescreen, while Wal-Mart has them large in fullscreen, which I’m sure is some sort of sociological indicator right there). However, for all that I find myself in Wal-Mart not infrequently, when Meijer doesn’t have a particular item I want (usually relating to computers; Meijer’s selection for that stinks, and the nearby staples is focus on business rather than consumer electronics).

    Krissy has a Sam’s Club membership, and uses it fairly regularly; in Virginia, we went to CostCo. The nearest CostCo around here is in Cincinnati, an hour and a half away. I’d be happy if they opened one somewhere near me.

  5. John,

    How did you book end up in Walmart anyway? I would think that that would be a sort of Grail to an author in terms of massive sales, especially since they don’t seem to have a huge book selection. Is being carried by Walmart an unusual and sought after distinction among (commercial, not “literary”) writers?


  6. Well, there’s a difference between being in Wal-Mart, the actual physical store, and Walmart.com, the online presence. Walmart.com actually carries a fair number of books the stores don’t; for examply you can find all of Cory Doctorow’s books there, and all but one of Chine Mieville’s, although I suspect you won’t find many works by either of them in the physical stores. Walmart.com also carries all of my books, and outside of the Book of the Dumb books (which apparently sell very well at Sam’s Club), I’ve never heard of any of them being in the stores.

  7. Still nothing on my mid-October Amazon order! January 1 delivery estimate. Who delivers on Jan 1?

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