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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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Julia Schick
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:51 pm (UTC)
One of 180
I got one too, by Amazon Germany. I kept wondering where my pre-order had gone, as it vanished of my list of open orders, so I was thinking of giving up a new one. :) But rest assured, I will not spoil this for anyone. I probably won't even read it yet, as i am not through with re-reading the previous volumes.

This is my first comment here, and while I am at it, thank you Mr. Martin for all those awesome books you wrote. Tuf was one of the first books I ever read in english, and since then, I never read a book in german again. Well, almost ;)
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC)
happy, but the thought that I shouldn't feel happy make me unhappy
I'm one of the fans in Japan, and seemed to be one of the 180.
The book is to arrive tomorrow....but only 180? I guess not.....
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC)
I'm one of the lucky Germans who got her copy from Amazon shipment. I was really surprised whenI took hold of the book this morning.

I'm sorry for all of you that have to wait. I think I won't be able to put the book for another two weeks, but I will keep my mouth shut and spread the word for fellow Germans to do likewise.
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:53 pm (UTC)
lucky one
I'm also one of the lucky ones, received my copy a few minutes ago. No spoilers from me, i promise.

I can understand that you and many other fans around the world are very angry at Amazon Germany. I myself am very happy to finally hold the book in my hands i have waited six years for, hopefully you can understand that. Being one of only 180 people makes me feel like i have won the lottery.
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:53 pm (UTC)
Mr. Martin.I am sorry, but 180 sold copies cannot be true. Everyone who had preorderd the book in Germany got a copy send via amazon.de. I got mine today. They might have stopped now, but yesterday they where still sending out copies in great numbers. I guess that most of your hardcore German fans have the book by now. Also the book is now being sold by many bookstores in most northern German cities. I can only promise to not spoil anything on the internet.
Jun. 29th, 2011 03:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Germany
Ach mein Gott!!
Re: Germany - Christoph Lhr - Jun. 29th, 2011 03:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Germany - HerrFick - Jun. 29th, 2011 03:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Germany - mieronna - Jun. 29th, 2011 03:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Germany - hinka83 - Jun. 29th, 2011 03:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Germany - malachit7 - Jun. 29th, 2011 04:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Germany - Rustic Penn - Jun. 30th, 2011 09:54 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:58 pm (UTC)
Just curious (and forgive my ignorance - I don't mean this as a troll post), aside from the spoiler aspect, what breaking the street date will do? Will it force other retailers and the publishers to bump up release? Does it present an unfair advantage as in some retailers don't have it in stock yet?

In any case for me July 12 can't get here soon enough :)
Jun. 29th, 2011 08:40 pm (UTC)
I don't know how much effect this will have in Mr. Martin's case, but my understanding is that a big concern is about lists like New York Times, which only count books sold on or after the release date. Those books that get shifted out early? Don't count. I would imagine this is a HUGE concern for the publishers with a blockbuster like Mr. Martin.
Jun. 29th, 2011 02:59 pm (UTC)
but at least
people bought your books in the first place. Even the illegal download of digital content seems to have largely escaped the ebook scene as well, whether it be because of controlled file format or whatever I know not. And most purist readers still want 'analog' in their hands and that's great.

As an indie musician, I have given up hope of doing this full time without a day job anymore, and even established artists I know(it would surprise you) are barely scraping by. And 'early release' in music means it's been leaked outside of legal control and once that happens, the cat's out of the bag.

I agree with elise. There are plenty of people who can't get to a book right when it's released anyway and have to navigate the web free of spoilers.
Jun. 29th, 2011 03:35 pm (UTC)
Re: but at least
I can emphasise with your pain here. With the new digital media, it seems to be getting harder and harder for anybody to make a living out of the creative arts. Too many people prepared to do stuff for free.
Jun. 29th, 2011 03:00 pm (UTC)
This is awful. The worst thing about this is the TEMPTATION. I knew it would come out on the 12th, and I was fine with it. But NOW, knowing the information is out there, it's so hard to resist! :/
But don't let this upset you too much. The book is coming out very soon, and those who truly want to resist the spoilers, will do it.
Jun. 29th, 2011 03:05 pm (UTC)
early release
I can understand how its frustrating, but unless by spoilers you mean a downloadable version of the text, I would let the publishers and lawyers worry about it. I think the video of the upset fan after episode 9 of the TV series goes to show that its very possible for fans to avoid spoilers if they want to, even in a book that's been out for over 10 years (I know my wife was just as surprised, though not quite as colorful with her descriptions of it). And the beauty of the story is in the telling, not the particular events along the way anyway.

Jun. 29th, 2011 03:09 pm (UTC)
OH NO!!! That's horrible news. I'm going to stay away from the Internet for a couple of weeks!!! :(
Jun. 29th, 2011 03:11 pm (UTC)
Kindle edition ADWD
Mr. Martin,

Is your ebook edition being released at 12:01am on July 12th? What is the protocol around that? I plan on buying a copy of the book regardless because I plan on being at your signing in Mass on the 12th.

Jun. 30th, 2011 12:43 am (UTC)
Re: Kindle edition ADWD
I'm going to talk about Kindle here since you mention it in your subject, and am also going to talk about Amazon.com specifically, but I'll add a couple of (semi-conjectured) notes later.

As far as I know, Kindle release dates and times are ultimately dictated by the publisher. However, for the most part, new releases come out at 12:00 midnight or 12:01am Pacific time (where Amazon.com is headquartered) on the date of release. This is certainly how it has worked for me in the past.

With regards to Nookbooks, I have heard that they work similarly but at 12 midnight Eastern time. I have also heard that amazon.co.uk release at midnight UK time. I probably have experience with the .co.uk part, but don't remember it so don't want to swear to it, and I don't have experience with buying Nook versions.
Re: Kindle edition ADWD - direliz - Jun. 30th, 2011 12:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Kindle edition ADWD - stealingbabies - Jun. 30th, 2011 07:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 29th, 2011 03:18 pm (UTC)
I'm going to miss launch date anyway
My company has decreed that I must travel that week, so my pre-ordered book will arrive while I'm gone. The good news is I will be about an hour away from New York where GRRM will be signing books that Thursday. Not sure if I can get away though... and of course I won't have my book by then.
Jun. 29th, 2011 03:19 pm (UTC)
I'm one of the 180 lucky bastards (I thought much more copies were sent). Even if the book is still travelling from DHL to my house right now I will never spoiler something to the people on the internet.
Jun. 29th, 2011 03:24 pm (UTC)
You have to swing the sword!
Dear Ser,
i think you remember this: "The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword"
So you finally have to come to Germany and after the hard chopping work its time to share our (german) meat und mead (we change that with bavarian beer).
Back to topic: I received an Amazon Mail yesterday that shipping is prepared, but it wasn't shipped. Today another Mail came with delivery date: 16.07
But i am glad, because i'm not ready with my re-read/first original language read.
Jun. 29th, 2011 03:27 pm (UTC)
That's why it's always good publishing practice to release the first batch with no last chapter.
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