How To Get Signed Books From Me For the Holidays

Hey! Kids! In the United States and thinking of giving some of my books for Christmas/Hanukkah/Winter Solstice/Enter Your Favorite Winter Holiday Here? Well, why not get them signed and personalized? By me, even? Because, you know, nothing says “I love/like/am in some way obligated to you” like a signed, personalized book. From me! And while you’re doing it, you’ll be helping out a local independent book store. Which means your literary karma will go right through the roof. Everybody wins!

Here’s how you can do it: call or e-mail my local book store, Jay and Mary’s Book Center, in Troy, Ohio, and tell them:

a) What books of mine you’d like;

b) Who you would like to have the books personalized to;

c) Any specific message you like me to scribble (within reason);

d) Where you want those books shipped.

They will tally up your order (the cost of books plus shipping), take your credit card information and fill your order. And then, every few days between now and December 20 (or so), I’ll head down to the bookstore, sit in their stock room, and sign those books for you. How many books? As many books as you feel like ordering. You order a hundred, I’ll sign a hundred (go ahead. Order a hundred. I dare you).

And then off the books will go, toward whomever it is you wish to receive your gift — or to you, if, say you want to wrap them yourself and/or are ordering the books for yourself. Because, hey, don’t you deserve a signed book, too? You sure do.

Here is Jay and Mary’s contact information page, with their phone number and an e-mail form. Give them a call, they would love to hear from you.

And now, an important shipping note you should pay attention to: In talking to Mary today, she suggested that in order to make sure that your books get where they’re supposed to go by Christmas/Solstice, you should probably get your orders in no later than December 10 (if you want them for Hanukkah, better get to the phone right now, because that starts December 2).

Jay and Mary’s will happily take orders after December 10 but can’t guarantee that books ordered after that date will arrive on time for Christmas, because, hey, US Postal Service during the holidays. You know how it is. Be that as it may I myself will be signing any order that comes in before December 20, so even if you miss the 12/10 date, you can still get books signed.

I regret to say Jay and Mary’s cannot ship outside the United States. Because it really is a pain in their ass to do so. Sorry, whole rest of the planet.

And you ask: what books of mine will Jay and Mary’s have available? Basically, if it’s in print, they can get it. Here’s what’s in print, and in which format:

CURRENT HARDCOVER: METAtropolis, The God Engines

CURRENT TRADE PAPERBACK: Agent to the Stars, Old Man’s War

CURRENT MASS MARKET PAPERBACK: Old Man’s War, The Ghost Brigades, The Last Colony, Zoe’s Tale, The Android’s Dream, Agent to the Stars (as of 11/30/10), The New Space Opera 2 (anthology; my story “The Tale of the Wicked” is in it).

CURRENT NON-FICTION: Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded (essay collection, Hugo winner), Book of the Dumb, Book of the Dumb 2 (both humor books), The Rough Guide to the Universe, second edition (Astronomy), The Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies (film). All my non-fiction is in Trade Paperback format.

So just call Jay and Mary’s with your order and they’ll get you set up.

Any additional questions? Leave them in the comments and I’ll answer them for you. Thanks, and happy shopping!

20 Comments on “How To Get Signed Books From Me For the Holidays”

  1. Reading this made me rub my hands with glee. Literally. Then I read that this is limited to US only. Damn.
    John, this is something I have been wondering for some time. Why is it that somehow most of my favorite writers are from the USA? And even more, very seldomly appear in in Germany at all…

  2. Sir, I called to order a signed/personalized book and I evidently caught ‘Haley’ by surprise. She and the ‘manager’ she talked to seemed real fuzzy on the process. I’m ordering two books, but they have to check with you and call me back..

    Not worried or concerned, just advising. Maybe I was the first to call (highly unlikely I would think).


  3. Awesomeness abounding, John! I already have pretty much all of your fiction except for “The God Engines”. Greedy wench that I am, I lust after something impossible: namely, your John Hancock on my precious downloaded PDF version of the wonderfully excellent “Clash of the Geeks”. Since that is not to be, I’ll simply order one or two of my other favorites from the bookstore and donate my current copies to my local library. You truly rock for doing this, John. Thank you.


  4. Hello from South Korea Mr. Scalzi! Thanks a ton for doing this. I’ll be getting a book mailed to my folks so they can remail it to me. Your books are great, and you seem like a great person.

  5. A hundred, you say?

    Book 1: Merry Christmas Bob, from John Scalzi
    Book 2: Merry Christmas Cathy, from John Scalzi

    Book 18: Merry Christmas Tim, frm JS

    Book 25: Merry Xmas Great Aunt Cindy who the hell buys Old Mans War for their Great Aunt???????? Are you insane?

    Book 41: Merry.. look, your family needs to start using birth control. I’ve counted at least 28 cousins so far. How many relatives can one person have?

    Book 70: Alone. So alone

    Book 93: Bwahahahahaaha. Boo! Hehehehehehehehehe. Scalziscalziscalziscalzibacon.

  6. Winans owes you and Jay and Mary’s a referral but they don’t know it because they don’t ask where their on-line customers heard of them. Had been looking for a new family confectioner source for birthday present for my daughter-in-law. Winans’ chocolates soon to be off to the intersection of the 2 and the 210 assuming she doesn’t keep them at the office. Thanks.

  7. In case international buyers are wondering why small American retailers won’t ship overseas, I used to work for a small mail order company and can give the answer. When a package cannot be delivered, it is returned to the sender. For domestic packages, this is done at no charge. Shipping companies consider returning undeliverables as part of the cost of doing business. Overseas packages are another matter. International deliveries which cannot be delivered are returned to the shipper, with the full cost of shipping both ways charged in full, as well as any custom fees incurred along the way. It only takes a few undeliverables to wipe out all the profits from overseas orders. Which is why there are reshipping businesses based in the US, who tend to be pricy.

  8. Oh, very good, John! I’ve been trying to think of one more great gift for my son, and this was just the ticket. And since I’m feeling especially selfish this morning, I also got a book to be signed to myself. Now, if you could only help me finish all this damned knitting, I’d have my holiday gifts out of the way and could sit around reading and eating Christmas cookies for the entire month of December.

  9. International shipping might be accomplished by using a company such as It basically works by asking the retailer to ship to a ShopUSA adress in the US, and they will then forward the package to you and handle import taxes and such. I have used them multiple times to order electronics products from retailers who only ship to us addresses.

  10. Hey, I’ve found a friend who has moved to Utah who is willing to recieve a book and send it here to the UK with a visiting relative, yay *happy dance*. Now will Jay and Mary be able to accept an english credit card?

  11. I emailed them a few days ago. I fear that out of context what I asked you to write may fall under your “within reason” clause but am willing to risk it.

  12. My books came today. Very cool. If I manage to catch a signing live some day, perhaps you can sign my Nook.

  13. What are the chances you will put out the Old Man’s War set in a hardbound collector edition? THAT I would like to get signed for Christmas next year!

  14. Has anyone placed an order that hasn’t come in yet? I placed mine on the 19th, and haven’t heard a word about them being shipped or anything.

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