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Amazon Screws the Pooch

People are posting all sorts of off-topic comments on my Miss USA post, below, so I am going to close that one and address the news about Amazon.de here.

Yes, I know, Amazon Germany screwed up big time and started shipping A DANCE WITH DRAGONS before they were supposed to. I am told that about 180 copies got out before they were made aware of their mistake and shut down shipping.

I am not happy about this. My publishers are furious.

If we find out who is responsible, we will mount his head on a spike.

Some other retailers are making noises about releasing their own stocks early, using the Amazon error as a justification. They are not supposed to do this. If you hear of anyone actually selling or shipping copies in advance of the publication date, please inform me ASAP.

I know that the 180 readers who got advance copies are happy about this, but I assure you, my publishers are not. And thousands of other readers are now getting spoiled, most quite inadvertently and unwillingly, as they stumble over the spoilers cropping up everywhere on the internet. (Some of the spoilers being posted are false, by the way). Most of those "lucky" 180 are keeping mum, to be sure, but there are always a few jerkwads in any group, and those are the ones who cannot keep their mouths shut.

A mess all around.

All I can say is, pfui.


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Jun. 29th, 2011 02:04 pm (UTC)
If we find out who is responsible, we will mount his head on a spike.

or maybe crowned. Khal Drogo style, that is. anxiously awaiting the 12th!
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:06 pm (UTC)
And it's still not over. Several German posters on Westeros have reported that several bookstores in Germany have put the book on the shelves and are selling it openly. So I'm going to guess that the 180 figure is going to go higher.
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:15 pm (UTC)
That really sucks, Wert. It not only increases the chance of somebody deliberately trolling the Web to spoil unaware fans, but it also increases the risk that the book will be copied and pirated.
(no subject) - Michael Schulze - Jul. 1st, 2011 06:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Towers Rice - Jun. 29th, 2011 03:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aulus_poliutos - Jun. 29th, 2011 03:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - elialshadowpine - Jun. 29th, 2011 08:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:07 pm (UTC)
Spoiler ban
Luckily I have noticed many of your loyal fans spreading the word, including myself, about keeping these spoilers to an absolute minimum. Plus, great forums, namely Westeros, have put up a total ban on spoilers as per your and Voyager's request yesterday. Now if you'll excuse me I have to go avoid the internet for two weeks.
Sebastian Hagedorn
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:07 pm (UTC)
I'm one of the lucky ones ...
... but I won't spoil the fun for any others.
Jun. 29th, 2011 04:27 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm one of the lucky ones ...
Me too, but I won't spoil either.
So am I... - trayle - Jun. 29th, 2011 05:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: So am I... - attilathepbnun - Jun. 30th, 2011 02:06 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: I'm one of the lucky ones ... - Oliver Schmieding - Jun. 30th, 2011 04:56 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: I'm one of the lucky ones ... - shakauvm - Jul. 1st, 2011 09:50 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting that, George, and sorry to hear about this screw-up. I'm staying a parsec away from anything net-wise on the book...at least until I've read it. Good luck on your tour!
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:12 pm (UTC)
180 only? And I was thinking just yesterday why is it that I never win anything in a lottery. :) I appear to be one of the these 180.

But I won't be telling anyone, so you have one person less to worry about.

Edited at 2011-06-29 02:13 pm (UTC)
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:14 pm (UTC)
Oh no, that's awful! Damn, I hope there's some way to clear that up. I don't see how though. What a major screw up.
Jul. 1st, 2011 03:13 am (UTC)
I've been watching Beauty and Beast and am obsessed. Love your icon!
(no subject) - rose_papillon - Jul. 2nd, 2011 03:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Steve Bennett
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:17 pm (UTC)
pfui indeed
Don't undertand why people feel the need to spoil it for others... if you got it early, fine - but don't go ruining the experience of discovery for everyone else.
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:17 pm (UTC)
Early sales in Germany
Dear Mr Martin,

As of now, individual bookstores in Germany are selling pre-ordered copies of "A Dance with Dragons" independently of Amazon.de.
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:18 pm (UTC)
Gads. That sucks. :(

I'm going to have to be very careful to not stumble across any spoilers from the small handful of "lucky" schmucks who got it early. I will be happily awaiting my copy of the ebook to appear magically when available.
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:19 pm (UTC)
I just opened an account here in order to let you know that I received ADWD today, via Amazon Japan. Maybe so few people ordered from here (well not a lot of people read in English here...) so it may have been unnoticed... I'm not going to spoil though, do not worry...

In return, can you please come do a Signing in Japan? (^_^)

Thanks for the great books!
Matthew Rooks
Jun. 30th, 2011 08:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Dear GRRM
I also received a copy from Amazon Japan... 3 days ago!! I'm happy as well, and am quietly keeping any and all spoilers to myself.
Steve Bennett
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:20 pm (UTC)
Oh - and on a side note - super happy to see the bookstore at your website re-opened! Picked up all of the hardcovers as well as a copy of the RPG book. I like that you're not super inflating the prices. How about some german language books?
Towers Rice
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:54 pm (UTC)
Re: books
Hahahahaha not the best day to be asking about German language books.
Re: books - questron - Jun. 29th, 2011 06:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: books - Steve Bennett - Jun. 29th, 2011 08:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: books - grrm - Jun. 29th, 2011 08:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:21 pm (UTC)
For what it's worth, if for some reason I receive my copy early, I will not crack it until the appropriate release date and encourage everyone around me to do the same. (It helps that I won't have the TIME to do so as it is!) I am sure heads will roll (figuratively) in Germany, even if mistakes can happen.
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:21 pm (UTC)
A spike? Surely they must be crowned? :)
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:22 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry. I'm seriously considering not visiting LiveJournal, Reddit and Tumblr until I've read the book myself, heh.
Jun. 29th, 2011 09:35 pm (UTC)
I'd definitely stay away from tumblr and if you post any GoT related stuff and allow anonymous asks, I'd turn that feature off. There is someone (or several someones) going around and posting spoilers in people's asks boxes. Happened to me and a few others :(
(no subject) - airings - Jul. 1st, 2011 08:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ohpositive - Jul. 1st, 2011 05:06 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:24 pm (UTC)
because of spoilers...
note to myself: avoid all ASoIaF-Websites the next 2weeks
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:53 pm (UTC)
Re: because of spoilers...
The ASoIaF websites I've seen (and I primarily just follow Tower of the Hand and Westeros) are all in extreme spoiler lockdown mode. I don't think you'll hit spoilers there.

Now if you're on 4chan regularly, then you might catch some spoilers.
Re: because of spoilers... - parrismcb - Jun. 29th, 2011 03:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: because of spoilers... - aulus_poliutos - Jun. 29th, 2011 04:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Thank you for the offer of your legion - parrismcb - Jun. 29th, 2011 04:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
NO spoilers! - undercovermikey - Jun. 29th, 2011 10:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Thank you for the offer of your legion - lou_112 - Jun. 29th, 2011 10:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: because of spoilers... - spitphyre - Jun. 29th, 2011 07:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: because of spoilers... - oldcastro - Jun. 29th, 2011 10:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: because of spoilers... - spitphyre - Jun. 30th, 2011 01:46 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: because of spoilers... - nycfalcon - Jul. 2nd, 2011 02:45 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:24 pm (UTC)
Well, damn. So sorry. The Internet is going to be a dangerous place these next two weeks.
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:27 pm (UTC)
I understand esoterically why this would bother you/your publisher (contractual commitments being betrayed, etc.)...but man, it just strikes me as such a trivial problem. If people want spoilers, they're going to read them - regardless of whether the book is published June 29, or July 12. And if they don't...they're going to avoid them. It's not like you're likely to be walking down the street and suddenly spoilers fall from the sky.

Anyway, the additional stress of this certainly sucks..but for lack of better words, just remember that it could be a lot worse. I'd say that if the biggest problem you have on your plate is too-early book releases, you live a pretty charmed life.
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:38 pm (UTC)
Actually, if you consider "surfing the internet" as the 21st century analogue of "walking down the street," spoilers ARE falling from the sky, in all kinds of unlikely places.

Edited at 2011-06-29 02:38 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - eliset - Jun. 29th, 2011 02:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sekutnica - Jun. 29th, 2011 02:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Towers Rice - Jun. 29th, 2011 02:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
more pressing - Szilvsi dm - Jun. 29th, 2011 03:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: more pressing - spitphyre - Jun. 29th, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Jun. 29th, 2011 02:27 pm (UTC)
It'd be awsome to just ship it
If we shipped to the people who pre-ordered now, then we wouldn't have to worry about the piracy and spoilers, we'd just all be busy reading the book.

It's obviously been more than 180 leaked copies, and there are news articles talking about the hundreds of thousands of copies that are printed and waiting to be released. Just mail them out to the people who pre-ordered and end the drama.

And yes, I know it's your publisher's decision, not yours, but I don't think they'd be losing money on this deal.
Jun. 29th, 2011 04:18 pm (UTC)
Re: It'd be awsome to just ship it
I have to agree with this. Not that it's been shipped to who knows how many people, releasing the other books so that everyone can read it, would seem the best way. Nothing that can be done about the books already shipped, but you can still get the other books out to readers so they don't get spoiled on the net.
Re: It'd be awsome to just ship it - spitphyre - Jun. 29th, 2011 07:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:33 pm (UTC)
Rat Bastards!
This is an outrage! I hope to hell that criminal prosecution is in order in this situation. George, I don't have to tell you how much work you put into your writing and to imagine that there is a risk to fans everywhere this far in advance of publication, all I can say is, I will be avoiding forums and related websites for the next couple of weeks. I recommend, sadly, that most of your readers do the same.
Jun. 29th, 2011 03:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Rat Bastards!
Is it really a criminal outrage? Sure, the contractual embargo means they could sue for breach, but I don't think anything criminal has occurred unless they really think the booksellers were committing fraud by intentionally misrepresenting themselves when they signed the contract with the publishers.

Meanwhile, if it was really so critically important to the publishers, they would time the logistics to not send the books from the printing presses to the booksellers until closer to the release date. Of course they can't send it the very last minute, but they had hundreds of thousands of copies in booksellers' hands over two weeks in advance.

Maybe they shouldn't have sent them any copies until a week before the release date.
Re: Rat Bastards! - saxster - Jun. 29th, 2011 03:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Rat Bastards! - Towers Rice - Jun. 29th, 2011 03:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Rat Bastards! - HitokiriEric - Jun. 29th, 2011 03:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Rat Bastards! - saxster - Jun. 29th, 2011 04:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Rat Bastards! - spitphyre - Jun. 29th, 2011 07:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Rat Bastards! - nycfalcon - Jul. 2nd, 2011 02:58 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Rat Bastards! - Thomas Meacham - Jun. 30th, 2011 10:43 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Rat Bastards! - novin_ha - Jul. 1st, 2011 02:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Rat Bastards! - azamir - Jun. 30th, 2011 10:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Rat Bastards! - eeepeeep - Jun. 29th, 2011 10:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Rat Bastards! - stealingbabies - Jun. 30th, 2011 07:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:37 pm (UTC)
I´m one of the lucky ones too. But I understand the anger for sure.
Such a thing really shouldn`t happen. Amazon screwed that one up. But I`m really more angry at the jerks who feel the need to spoil everyone else. Thats really just cheap and unfair.
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:38 pm (UTC)
I'm keeping out of most forums and such now. It was a given that the spoils were coming with it but it's not too hard either to keep shielded so it will be allright in the end :).

12 july WHY SO FAR AWAY?

Worst part is that since I'm in France, I'll probably will have it only on the 20th or something. So so so far away...
Sabrina Rehkopf
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:39 pm (UTC)
I'm also one of these lucky ones, I guess. But I really feel sorry for that bad mistake. I was happy when I opened my copy, wondering why I got it this early. And now I read why and feel bad.
I promise, I won't spoil anything!
And be happy - this is the first of your books I'll read in english, not in german. ;) I just can't wait.
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:39 pm (UTC)
This seems to happen during every major book release. Harry Potter and Mockingjay had the same thing. Maybe time to start holding these stores and sellers more accountable?
Jun. 29th, 2011 03:21 pm (UTC)
Absolutely. Fine. Prosecute. Remove contracts.
(no subject) - spitphyre - Jun. 29th, 2011 07:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
Christoph Lhr
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:43 pm (UTC)
Hi there from germany, from one of the lucky ones getting the book earlier.

I will not spoiler anything about is, cause I will reread the former 4 ones before starting this one and there are a few other books which I will read before that also.

So be asured, no spoiling from me.
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