How To Get Signed & Personalized Books From Me For the Holidays, 2020, PLUS a Very Special Short Term Deal

Jay and Mary's Book Center in Troy, Ohio

SHORT VERSION: For a limited time, as part of my annual “signing and personalizing for the holidays” service with my local bookseller Jay & Mary’s Book Center, if you order two books from them, I’ll kick in for a third. Because support local indie bookstores, that’s why. Some conditions apply. Details are below. Please read them.

LONGER VERSION: Every year around this time, I partner with my local independent bookstore, Jay and Mary’s Book Center, to sign and personalize books for people in time for the holidays. I do it because it’s an easy way to handle requests for signed books, and to help support a local business. Indie booksellers matter, and this is a small way I can say “thank you” to mine for being part of my community.

2020 has been a rough year for a lot of local business, including bookstores, and it’s not over yet. Now more than ever I think it’s important to shop local and support the business that keep money in the community, hire locally, and make their towns and cities a better place to be. And in particular I want to support Jay and Mary’s, because it’s a terrific store with terrific people who have always supported me as a local author.

So, here’s the deal. A while ago I bought a $1,000 gift certificate from Jay & Mary’s, to help support them in one of their quiet months. I haven’t used it yet — but if you live in the US, you can.

Starting today, if you call Jay & Mary’s Book Center and ask for the “Scalzi Holiday Special,” if you buy two books from the store, at least one of them mine, a third book is on me.

What book? Any book, not just mine — although obviously any books of mine you order, I will happily sign and personalize them for you as well. This offer lasts as long as that $1,000 gift certificate of mine does, so clearly, the earlier you get in your order the better (the earlier you order, the sooner the books will arrive, too).

Caveats to the deal: The “third” book in this case will be the least expensive of the three books. You will still have to pay the sales tax and shipping costs on the third book. One “Scalzi Holiday Special” per customer (you can order more than three books from Jay & Mary’s but you’ll only get one for no additional cost).

Also, remember Jay & Mary’s is a small local bookstore with a single phone line, so if you can’t get through immediately, please be patient. They are serving other customers and inputting orders by hand. It’ll be worth it, trust me.

So, yes! Spend my money! On gifts for yourself or the people you love! At my awesome local indie bookstore! It’ll make me happy, and you’ll get awesome books.

And now, the usual details on how to order signed, personalized books from me for the holidays, at Jay & Mary’s:

1. Call Jay & Mary’s at their 800 number (800 842 1604) and let them know that you’d like to order signed copies of my books. Please call rather than send e-mail; they find it easier to keep track of things that way.

2. Tell them which books you would like (For example, The Last Emperox), and what, if any, names you would like the book signed to. If there’s something specific you’d like written in the books let them know but for their sake and mine, please keep it short. Also, if you’re ordering the book as a gift, make sure you’re clear about whose name the book is being signed to. If this is unclear, I will avoid using a specific name.

3. Order any other books you might think you’d like, written by other people, because hey, you’ve already called a bookstore for books, and helping local independent bookstores is a good thing. I won’t sign these, unless for some perverse reason you want me to, in which case, sure, why not.

4. Give them your mailing address and billing information, etc.

5. And that’s it! Shortly thereafter I will go to the store and sign your books for you.

If you want the books shipped for Christmas, the deadline for that for 2020 is December 4. (That’s a Friday this year.) This is slightly earlier than in most years because of COVID-19 and slower-than-usual mail service. That way we can make sure everything ships to you on time. After December 4 all Scalzi stock will still be signed and available, but I will likely not be able to personalize, and we can’t 100% guarantee Christmastime delivery.

Ordering early is encouraged — it makes sure we will absolutely be able to order your book and have it to you on time.

Also, this is open to US residents only. Sorry, rest of the world. It’s a cost of shipping thing.

What books are available?

CURRENT HARDCOVER: The Last Emperox is the current title available in hardcover only. 2018’s hardcovers Head On and The Consuming Fire should also be available if you ask for them specifically. The mini-hardcover of Old Man’s War is also available and is a great format for that book.

CURRENT TRADE PAPERBACK: The Android’s Dream, Agent to the Stars and Fuzzy Nation, Redshirts (the 2013 Hugo Award winner!), Twenty-First Century Science Fiction (which features a story of mine), Metatropolis (which I edited and contribute a novella to) are available in trade paperback format. There may be hardcovers of these still around if you ask. But each are definitely in trade paperback. There are also probably still trade paperback editions of Old Man’s War that can be ordered if you prefer that format. Also available: Robots Vs. Fairies, the anthology that features the story of mine that was adapted for the “Three Robots” episode of the Netflix animated series Love, Death and Robots.

CURRENT MASS MARKET PAPERBACK: Head On and The Consuming Fire, as well as The Collapsing Empire, Unlocked: An Oral History of the Haden Syndrome (this is a novella), The End of All ThingsLock InThe Human Division, Old Man’s War, The Ghost Brigades, The Last Colony, Zoe’s Tale, The New Space Opera 2Fuzzy Nation, Agent to the Stars and The Android’s Dream have recently been moved into trade paperback, but mass market editions are probably still available if that’s your preference. You can also purchase the Old Man’s War boxed set (which features the first three books in the series), BUT if you want that signed you’ll have to agree to let me take the shrinkwrap off. In return I’ll sign each of the books in the box.

CURRENT NON-FICTION: Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded (essay collection, Hugo winner), The Mallet of Loving Correction (also an essay collection, this will need to be special ordered as it is a signed limited), Virtue Signaling (a third essay collection, will also need special ordering) and Don’t Live For Your Obituary (a collection of essays about writing, will also need to be special ordered).

AUDIOBOOKS: The Consuming Fire, The Dispatcher, The End of All Things, Lock InHead On, The Human Division, Redshirts, Fuzzy Nation, The God Engines, Metatropolis and Agent to the Stars are all available on CD and/or MP3 CD, and Jay & Mary’s should be able to special order them for you. Check with them about other titles, which may or may not be currently available on CD.

Two things regarding audiobooks: First, if you want these, you should probably call to order these ASAP. Second, and this is important, because the audiobooks come shrinkwrapped, I will have to remove the shrinkwrap in order to sign the cover. You ordering a signed audiobook means you’re okay with me doing that and with Jay & Mary’s shipping it to you out of its shrinkwrap.

If you have any other questions, drop them in the comment thread and I’ll try to answer them!

11 Comments on “How To Get Signed & Personalized Books From Me For the Holidays, 2020, PLUS a Very Special Short Term Deal”

  1. I get the “US residents only” part, but if I wanted to buy books as a gift for a US resident, could I order it from them, have it shipped to the recipient’s US address, and pay via credit card or bank transfer from my non-US bank account?

    Or would that be too much hassle? In which case, I totally get it, I’m sure people there have enough to do and I can find a different way. It just would be super cool to gift a signed copy, and would also spare me the international shipping (and especially the “getting it shipped on time” part, because I’m really really bad at that).

    But. Ya know. I certainly won’t order such an immense amount of books that it would make up for much extra hassle, and I don’t want to waste their time.

    Either way, this is a really cool thing you and they are doing! Hope it’ll be a great success for all involved :-)

  2. 500woerterdiewoche:

    As long as it’s shipping within the US, it should be fine. I think your credit card would probably work but check with the store.

  3. rothskeller – Trade paperbacks are basically the same size as a hardcover (or slightly smaller) but with a soft cover. Mass market are what we old fogeys used to refer to as “pocket books”. The traditional paperback size.

  4. I can’t pass up this chance to get more signed copies, especially since you are kind enough to partially underwrite the purchase. I have ordered from Jay and Mary’s before and can confirm that they are good people who give good service, even when shipping here to Texas.

  5. Looking forward to ordering books from Jay & Mary’s! As for the signing, I hope to understand a bit more about “for their sake and mine, please keep it short.” To me, when I think “short” I think “Gary Coleman.” Gary was 4 feet 8 inches tall, and depending on the type size, you can put a lot of text in almost 5 feet, but I also recognize that this exceeds the amount of real estate in a typical book page (except for this one )* so I’m going to have to be judicious and make some tough edits.

    My leading contenders right now:

    1. To Derek, I have no idea who you are, all my love, Scalzi!

    2. To Derek, skipboppityboopbopdadoopdangboom, Scalzi.

    3. To my oldest friend, Derek, thanks for all the giggles, you big ticklesnort you!

    Too short? Too long? Any guidance you can provide is appreciated. Otherwise I’ll just wing it!

    *note of interest: apparently the caretaker of this book uses a yak hair broom thing to keep it clean. I sure hope Jay and Mary’s sells those too.

  6. Once we (as in: humans) have enough vaccine(s), have distributed enough of them globally & inoculated enough people, and Covid-19 is fading into a memory, would / could you please please please find a way to arrange regular access to your signed books also outside the US? There are plenty of independent bookstores on other continents, and for example Blackwells .co .uk ships everywhere in Europe and to many places outside Europe as well.

    Bonus idea: maybe time the deliveries to the bookshops so that some parts of the world will get theirs, for example, before Valentine’s, some before Midsummer, and some before Shamhain?

    PS: thank you for your excellent How to Be a Good Commenter post. I find it very useful, it saves me a lot of typing & arguing at times.

  7. Ronja A-R:

    Bluntly, the difficult issue is shipping costs, either in shipping books from the US, or in shipping books to the US for me to sign (and return), and those issues are unlikely to be resolved any time soon.

  8. Just wanted to say thanks John — no trouble using my Australian credit card and US shipping address, and the free book more than covered postage. And yes, shipping got so ridiculous from the US (same as the actual cost of the book for a hardcover) that I got a dropshipping account and it’s allowed me to keep buying too many books…

  9. Hi John,

    I got so excited about getting a book signed by you that I missed the whole US residents only caveat. If I might suggest start with that next time.

    But I called the book store and Mary told me that they can’t ship internationally due to export laws. They do not have a license to export books internationally.

    Thanks anyway for the great offer! We support our local bookstore, I’m so glad you do too!