Odd Book and Other Book Notes
Posted on August 11, 2005 Posted by John Scalzi 7 Comments
Krissy was sending out copies of Agent to the Stars to family and friends when she noticed one of the books had an interesting production error: The hardback cover was upside down, relative to the pages inside. I tried to get a picture of it, but it’s difficult to get both the spine of a book and the inside of a book in the same picture, so purely for archival purposes, I made a quick little movie instead. Don’t feel as if you need to watch it. Personally, I think it’s cool to have this kind of production error, since it doesn’t affect the book in any practical way (i.e., the book is still entirely readable), and since it already makes what was a collector’s item even more collectible. The vast majority of the author copies I have are printed correct, but who’s to say there’s not a couple more like this? Check your book, you may have a winner.
Also, today is the first day that I’ve seen the Amazon ranking of Agent to the Stars get higher than the Amazon ranking of Old Man’s War; OMW was at 25k while A2S was at 22k (this is also, incidentally, the lowest OMW ranking I’ve seen in a while). I like the idea of the two books passing in the night, as it were, although in the long run A2S is going to dip below OMW no matter what, since there’s a limited supply of A2S copies, and once they’re gone, that’s pretty much it. Subterranean Press tells me we’re at the final third of the print run (i.e., only about 500 copies left), so I’m happy they’re moving at a brisk clip.
I did want to say something about Agent to the Stars that I hadn’t mentioned before, which was that due to an error, the book’s dedication page was not printed. So for the record, the book is dedicated to two very good friends of mine: Natasha Kordus (whose last name I use for an important character in the book) and Stephen Bennett.
Natasha has been one of my closest and dearest friends since my freshman year in high school, and in addition to being a great friend, Stephen was also one of the first two people to read Agent to the Stars when I had finished writing it (the other being Regan Avery, to whom Old Man’s War is co-dedicated). I’m very pleased to dedicate the book to these two people, and beg their forgiveness regarding the error that kept the dedication out of the actual book. Ironically, given its small print run, more people will see the book dedication here than would likely read it in the book itself. So that’s not too bad.
Going back briefly to Old Man’s War, there’s a nice review of it on Revolution SF. I’m pleased reviewers are still picking up the book and commenting on it this far into its lifecycle; as an author, you like to see your book being part of the literary conversation.
In short: This book thing is fun. I recommend it to everyone.
That’s not a printing error! That’s the Eastern European copy, where such printing is standard practice. I have my Czech edition of Harry Potter a Tajemná komnata as a reference, and that’s how it looks. Must’ve gotten in with your copies by mistake.
I’d actually love to have a book like that, or better yet, some book with a full-printed cover instead of the spine. Just for the sake of weirding people out by reading it in public.
By the way, your voice is even nerdier than I’d ever imagined.
Didn’t get the “special edition” of ATTS, but oddly and cooly enough I did manage to purchase an inverted printing of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe series Omnibus edition (with the leather and gold-leafed cover and sewn in bookmark ribbon), way back in the day. Didn’t notice it until I got home, then was so convinced it was a publicity stunt that I went back to the store the next week to see if I was right (I wasn’t).
On a side note, I always meant to send it to Mr. Adams for signing (to launch my copy from merely super cool to uber-cool status), but he died before I got around to it. That’s twice that sort of thing has happened to me, to my immense regret – enough that it has altered my tendency to put off such things to a large enough degree that it’s created a noticable personality shift.
I’m still waiting for my copy. Have they all gone out yet?
“I’m still waiting for my copy. Have they all gone out yet?”
Oh, the stories I could tell! ;-)
My copy of Old Man’s War (the Science Fiction Book Club edition) also has its cover inverted with respect to the pages inside.
When I was little, my parents bought a copy of Dr. Seuss’s “And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street” that had an inverted cover. I think they may have gotten it for a cut price.
Unfortunately, I was a slightly obsessive-compulsive kid and I was deeply, deeply disturbed by that book. I wouldn’t let Dad read it to me at bedtime. The cover was upside down! It was WRONG! It was a defect in my universe!