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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 02:24 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
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - arirashkae - Jun. 29th, 2011 08:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - coaldustcanary - Jun. 29th, 2011 03:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Javiera Carreo - Jun. 29th, 2011 03:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sophia_helix - Jun. 29th, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - HitokiriEric - Jun. 29th, 2011 04:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - calcifermagnet - Jun. 29th, 2011 05:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - journeywoman - Jun. 29th, 2011 10:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
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.
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:44 pm (UTC)
Ha ha some places here in Australia released A Dance With Dragons but took them all off the shelves. What i think since some people in Germany have the book i think its wise if you just release the book early so all the fans out there don't suffer from all the spoilers..
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:46 pm (UTC)
All things considered, I was surprised by the overwhelming number of people who were genuinely shocked by the death of a main character in the first season of the HBO series.
Insofar as spoilers are concerned, your readership in general has proven already that they would prefer to let people experience it for themselves.
Definitely not on the scale yet as the whole Snape vs. Dumbledore roadsigns that you would have had to cancel your internet service to avoid at the time.
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:46 pm (UTC)
Why would people want to be spoiled? It takes all the magic out of it.

I'm up to A Storm of Swords and feel like I need to hide in a corner and turn off all electronic devices until I can finish.

There was a mistake, which as rotten as it is, does happen, but on behalf of fans everywhere, if you have your book and you're reading, please don't share! I, for one, want to take the journey myself, all the ups and down. Kind of takes the fun out of the roller coaster if you know where all the dips and turns are.
Jun. 29th, 2011 04:54 pm (UTC)
all electronic devices that aren't kindle anyway, since i repurchased all of them on there and book 5 will arrive on the release date
(no subject) - luvscharlie - Jun. 29th, 2011 05:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spitphyre - Jun. 29th, 2011 07:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:47 pm (UTC)
Uh, I ordered my copy from amazon.com 3 years ago... I'm even paying a little more than the book's pre-order is now!!!!! It's not much really, but, along with the amazon.de mistake, it gets pretty annoying... and then i live in Italy, which means that I'll have to wait a few more days after the official release to behold and read ADWD which brings forth more problems with spoilers! Now, there's nothing much I can do but avoid much of the net. I do not want spoilers: there should be a law against them! I think this is the only ASOIAF-releted blog I'll keep on visiting until I'm done with reading, for I know this is a "fair place"...

Thank you, George and Ty, for keeping it safe ;)
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:50 pm (UTC)
Hey George,

I just have to ask a question that I think is on a lot of fans' lips: Is there any way you and Bantam would consider releasing the book early? So far, I've managed to steer clear of any spoilers, but the knowledge that there are folks out there currently reading the book is kind of driving me mad. Is that even an option or would moving the release date set off a chain of detrimental effects that I'm not even aware of?
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George R.R. Martin
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