Monday Morning Shill

(Posted by Bill Schafer)

The trees have been killed, the paper milled, the proofs approved (some doubly so). Later this week, the Signed Limited Edition of John’s protean novel, Agent to the Stars, begins shipping from Subterranean Press.

Let me tell you. The demands we had to put up with to get this done. Chocolate in the mornings. A masseuse for Scalzi’s dog. The typos hunted and bagged, the largest of them professionally stuffed and mounted in Scalzi’s living room. It’s been an ordeal.

But here we are, and later this week, here the books will be, all minty and fresh and just waiting to be bubblewrapped, bagged, and shipped.

I should tell you a few things:

A2S, as it’s called, is limited to 1500 individually numbered hardcover copies, all hand signed by the author.
— The incomparable Mike Krahiluk (of Penny Arcade) provided the dust jacket art.
— Speaking of PA, 10% of the cover price ($30) of each copy sold direct will be donated to their charity, Child’s Play.
— If you order now, U.S. shipping is on us. Order later in the week and we’ll ding you $5 for it.

As a thank you to Whatever patrons and our customers, we’ll be sending direct purchasers a small bonus, a chapbook containing two Scalzi short stories. (Unless I’m mistaken, they remain the only two short stories John has published.)

Well, I’ve had my say, and now everyone should have theirs. Please post the best reason you can muster for buying John’s novel. At the end of the week, I will pick the “best” reason and bestow upon that person a free copy.

39 Comments on “Monday Morning Shill”

  1. Because John’s wife said I had to. And Athena might beat me up if I don’t.

    And John knows where I live. Vaguely. He knows it’s in Ohio, so I can only hope he goes 4 hours in the wrong direction while I flee the state.

  2. Because John is too delicate for jail.

    If I don’t buy a copy, John will be forced onto the streets, and, just to survive, will be sucked into an underground ring of thievery. But he’s a writer, not a thief, and so he’ll be caught and arrested while stealing from Dunkin’ Donuts. John’s milky white skin will attract the ardor of the jail’s cohabitants and I think we all know that ain’t a good thing.

  3. Uh… I accidentally deleted some comments in this thread, including my own (sorry). You might want to repost.

  4. But I already bought my book! And I want them (John, Child’s Play, Subterrian Press) to get the money!

    So, I guess the best reason to buy A2S would be to give it to someone else so I still spent the money provided I win the free book. :-)

  5. (Repeat) Because if the book sells out, John won’t have to shill it anymore, reducing the number of future posts by 80%.

    He will, however, have to keep deleting my snarky posts.

  6. because if i don’t get the free book, i’ll keep posting on scalzi’s website even after july is over. yes, this is a threat.

  7. Because, when it comes down to it, writers write to be read. If everyone that was potentially going to buy the book, thought…heh, someone else will buy it and I will get it when it hits the used book store at a substantial discount, then how will that make him feel? I have written a book that no one wants to read, perhaps I should stop writing altogether.(I know that this is really far fetched, but bare with me, I am trying to be funny and I am just not good at funny.) I would then have to come to the conclusion that I (at least in part) am responsible for depriving the world of John’s future works.

    That and I really like the way John writes.

  8. SIMCorp (Sony-Intel-Microsoft Corporation, a General-Mills company) just patented unhackable copyright protection software that’s hardcoded into my BrainPal. I’ve heard rumors of 1500 “hard copies” (like on paper, not on a static plastic SIMcorp memory cube); only a handful of which are still believed to be in existence.

  9. Because sight unseen, I’ll write glowing book reviews in BOTH my journals. Hey, I’ll even write glowing mini reviews in the comment section of every journaler in J-Land . . . got your attention? Wait! That’s insane, but doesn’t it show you how desperately I want the book!?!

  10. because all I typed here for ten minutes was ‘because’ and all I could think of is that I want it but I’m not clever enough to win.

    Colm Mac

  11. Because once there was a little boy who would become a shaolin monk, and this book gave him the will to succeed.

    Is it not said, “Reading is a good habit to cultivate, and good monks need good habits?”

  12. 280 pages? High quality paper? Hardcover? Gorgeous cover art?

    It’s the best tool for stunning a burglar since the ninth Sandman book. I’d buy a copy for that experience alone.

  13. Because John’s writing is excellent, even if Athena will someday become better at it than he. Thus, we must buy as many copies of his book as possible, if only to alienate her and make her not want to become a writer.Wait. That’s not a good thing. (And I already bought a copy, so I’m disqualified anyway!)

  14. The best reason? Simple.

    If the book sells well, John’ll be compelled to write a sequel – which means more of these fabulous guest bloggers.

  15. Because, even though I’ve already bought my copy, I too will one day soon be a published author and I want John and the Whatever readers to link to my stuff, read it, like it, and get it printed. The odds are that I’ll come to you to print some of my earlier (and later) work. You’ll get more customers, I’ll get more readers, and John will get an Amway-style referral bonus. My wife will be happy, John’s wife will be happy, and Athena won’t have to resort to violence. The lion will lay down with the lamb, Blue states will start talking with Red states, and the music industry will finally start paying their artists what they’re worth. The vestiges of Confederate pride will been seen for the shameful wallowing in past sins that they are, and all mankind will join together, holding hands and singing.

  16. Because I yearn for the opportunity to make this story into a movie, as soon as I figure out a clever and appealing way of representing a race of animated goo-characters on film, which is rather like the dilema faced by the Yherajk. (though, having pre-ordered a copy 3 months ago when it was announced, I guess I don’t really need the free copy).

  17. Because it looks to be the perfect width to fix my wobbly table. Since I’m planning on reading the copy that I pre-ordered.

  18. Because it is a SCALZI!!! Enough said. I must continue, however. The man sweated blood and bullets to put this book together. And then he generously shared his book with everyone in the world. Later, he decided to give us his right hand as he personally signed all of the copies about to be released.

    I read Agent to the Stars a while ago in E-format. It was a really good read. It still is a really good read. The Penny Arcade art is a delightful icing on the cake, and the Child’s Play donation adds sparkles to decorate the icing.

    The best reason to own Agent to the Stars today, is that you can boast that you acquired an early Scalzi! He can only get better and better, and one day, he will be even more rich and famous.

  19. Mostly because John will continue to accidently delete the comments of those who haven’t bought the book. Yea, he’d probably do that.

  20. Because the tree already died. You need to buy it and give it a good home where it will be read and appreciated and kept in a glass-covered oak bookcase in a temperature-controlled reading room.

    And because you want John to think you’re cool.

  21. Because verily, in this land of ice and snow I live in where winter lasts three quarters of the year and the sun is a legendary object, seen only in the distant memories and dreams of those who reminisce about Pangea, I have need of entertainment that will double as a source of heat in the lean times ahead.

    Though if Bush has his way, we Minnesotans will soon be wearing grass skirts and holding pig roasts. On the bright side — I’ll have beachfront property!

  22. Because I spend the average day moving about in a semi-haze while being barked at by mindless drones who think that the company’s bottom line is somehow tied directly to their own self worth and eternal happiness. Because if everyone read Scalzi for an hour a day, they would realize that self-reflection and an interest in the larger world is worth so much more than a capital gain.

  23. Because it would put to rest the idle speculation of a poor, starving* college student** on whether John would sign a print out of the online novel.

    Please sir…

    * I haven’t opened the fridge up.

    ** Well, I have one class to go before I graduate so…

  24. Because my wife is actually looking forward to the sequel to Old Man’s War (first book in years that both of us have read, enjoyed, and discussed)…

    And I’d like to give her something to kill some quality reading time until Scalzi finishes “The Ghost Brigades.”

  25. Because my kid, who loves to write, will think it is the coolest thing ever that HER MOM actually wrote something that WON a FREE BOOK, and I’d love to pull that one off before she’s a teenager and nothing Mom does is cool. I’ll even let her read it.

  26. Because a vote for Scalzi is a vote for Freedom!

    … and a vote to continue an illegal war started with the support of the people bought with outright lies for purposes that continue to be redefined on a daily basis in a country that doesn’t want us there so we can give our cronies billions of untaxed dollars — apparently from pallets off the backs of trucks — while sabotaging our own social and governmental system from within so that if the damn libruls ever manage to get back in office they’ll be too busy trying to fix the disaster we created to make any real changes… oh wait. That’s not Scalzi. Sorry, wrong campaign.

    But you should still buy his book!

  27. I’ve already bought the damn book, and I think I’m one of the keeners already slated for the extra goodies. However, I want to still state my reasons for buying this book:

    Because John Scalzi is one of the vanguard of modern copyright philosophers who recognize that, with the right flair, electronic copies of works can become free advertising. I originally read Agent To The Stars for free, as a download from Whatever, and I liked it. I liked it enough to buy it for my own materialistic desires, and I liked it enough to want to support the author. But even aside from those reasons, I deeply appreciate being considered a respectable person who would repay worthwhile efforts. Scalzi essentially said, “Here’s the goods. If they’re something you consider worthy, I’d appreciate compensation.

    It was worthy, Mr. Scalzi, and let me also say that you’ve got style that goes well beyond the bindings.

  28. Because even though I missed out on the free copy I woulda bought one anyway (cuz, like, well, OMW of course) and I just now did and got dinged for the postage (cuz I didn’t find out until just now) so I bought one and so I won’t get a free copy. That’s why!

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