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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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Jul. 1st, 2011 10:00 am (UTC)
Dear Mr Martin
Here in short words what happens in Germany at the moment:

- book sellers in Munich already selling the book: "If it was Harry Potter, I couldn't do that..."
- readers reselling their book on ebay ("early release" - one should forbid that) for high prices

It's just disappointing and worse than just being anxious about spoilers... something this wonderful series doesn't deserve...

Dolefully, Chris
Jul. 1st, 2011 10:33 am (UTC)
Hi George.

I'm one of the 180 people who got a copy early and I sure feel conflicted about it. But I won't tell anybody anything about it!

You know, the sweet thing is... all of the asoiaf fans I know, nobody even wants to hear anything! There's like this "agreement" between all of the fans to not tell each other spoilers because everyone knows how horrible it would be to a fellow fan. I guess most of the people who are spreading the spoilers around in a "Snape kills Dumbledore"-yelling kind of way are the people that do not really care about the books at all.

So far I can say I am really amazed with the book. I have been a fan for 6~7 years and to finally be able to read everything, it's bringing tears to my eyes! I'm now going back to reading.
Flo Incognit
Jul. 1st, 2011 02:35 pm (UTC)
One of the Lucky 180
For myself (and my brother, who will get his hands on ADWD after I am finished with it) I am happy - hey I got the book 2 weeks earlier, quite a treat with exams coming up at the end of this month. :)

On the other hand I can really understand the anger of George and the publisher - especially at those idiots who have nothing better to do once they get the book but to look at the last pages and post spoilers... (Pfui, Teufel!)

As for the head on a spike - I'd recommend to use the Maibaum (maypole) in Munich.
It's quite tall so everyone can see what happens to the ones who wakes the author ... ähhm dragon. ლ(¯ロ¯ლ)

Here's some information on my order - maybe it'll help a bit to solve the crime:

Ordered: 15. September 2009 - Delivered: 27. June 2011
Price: 24,80
[this price is no longer available - now you can order the bound book for 18,40 or 15,95 - I have no clue why there's a difference in the price ... maybe to pay for an executioner for Mr./Ms. slip up...]
Maybe the early delivery has got sth. to do with the older, higher pre-order price - at least that's the only thing I noticed that might differentiate my pre-order from the others.
Jul. 1st, 2011 05:01 pm (UTC)
After 6 years of waiting, Dance got spoiled for me
Instead of writing a million words complaining about the surprise I received upon googling "A Dance with Dragons" and then getting spoiler-bombed, I just wanted to comment that I really hope that we readers are treated to a new installment of Dunk and Egg. I also hope that the TV show will do the books justice (by the time the show gets to Dance, there will be 15 POVs, all in different places, with a timeline running concurrently. 10 Episodes just won't be enough once the show catches up to the middle of Storm). Regardless of knowing a big thing about Dance that I wish I didn't, I truly cannot wait until July 12th to read it all the same.
Jul. 1st, 2011 05:58 pm (UTC)
Re: After 6 years of waiting, Dance got spoiled for me
I too have wondered how the show will handle longer books like Storm of Swords. They'd either have to do more than ten episode, or end one season with The Red Wedding and put FFC and the last 1/4 of SoS into the next season(since those two parts run in around the same timeline, if I remember correctly).
Jason Stevens
Jul. 1st, 2011 05:03 pm (UTC)
Well I do not like the whole error with the early release at all. It is unfair for the German branch of Amazon to be able to do this.

That being said I have a question that may or may not be answered by GRRM at all.

But when will we be able to have a list of the POV's in The Winds of Winter? I assume after ADWD is released, but it would be nice to not have to wait 4 years to know the POV's that will be in the next book.

I have no problem with the pace of writing, but having to wait for so long on certain cliffhangers is the biggest pain ever.
Andreas Baumgart
Jul. 1st, 2011 05:04 pm (UTC)
I am one of the...
...chosen ones in Germany. I am not sure if it is fair to start reading the book before all other fans will receive it. But I think I can't wait. I hope for all fans that nobody will post anything about the story. Hold on and don't be too angry, Andreas
Jul. 1st, 2011 05:12 pm (UTC)
Sorry to hear this happened. It's scary when you realize how much power is in the hands of even the most base level employee. Even though things like this can cost them their jobs, they do have the ability to cause an uproar like this among millions of people with but the simplest actions.
Jul. 1st, 2011 07:52 pm (UTC)
arbor gold
FIrst I like that you assumed it was a male who screwed up ;)

I haven't read all the posts so this may be redundant. Your fans have been waiting 6 years for DWD, perhaps they thought a couple weeks was a drop in the bucket of time. That being said I do not at all defend the early release! Seems a breach of contract. Personally, I am not at all interested in reading any spoilers despite it being in my nature to. This book has been a long time coming and I intend to savor it, take it in one page at a time. Slowly drink it in like a fine Arbor Gold!

Sorry this happened GRRM. Hang in there and trust in your fans!
Jul. 1st, 2011 10:12 pm (UTC)
Best thing to do is just avoid blogs that could contain spoilers until then. Anyone who "accidentally" stumbles upon a spoiler was probably looking for one.
Jul. 1st, 2011 11:01 pm (UTC)
Spoilers and spoilers
Well, I got the book early as well, and from writing essays over at the Tower of the Hand I wrote a chapter-by-chapter comment on the read as it went on. It was strictly confined to the new ADWD section and marked as spoiler multiple times, so I don't see to have done anything wrong. I also finished a review together with the read, which is also explicitly marked as spoiler. No one can stumble upon anything by chance.
Jul. 1st, 2011 11:09 pm (UTC)
Dance with Dragons
Shoot, I cant complain. THis means the book is done and I am ready.
Jul. 2nd, 2011 03:15 am (UTC)
I feel sorry for you George. From these many years of reading your blog and various interviews I feel secure in feeling that you truly wished for all of your fans to be able to get and read the book at about the same time.

I don't feel sorry for those who have read spoilers and I certainly don't feel upset at those who've written spoilers. As for the numbnuts who haven't read anything and want to pretend that they know something, well they are lacking in good sense and to be pitied.

Good luck in gaining some resolution and future protection against this kind of failure. But, please don't let this, in the least, take away from your joy of being able to bring this book to us. The epic is simply spectacular as I'm currently reacquainting myself with the series.
Jul. 2nd, 2011 11:24 am (UTC)
one of the 180
I am one of the lucky ones but had not actually realised it :) Only when i started getting curious about reviews from others I realised that I got an early copy.
There will be no spoilers from me! As high as honour! (which for everyone from the netherlands does have a bit of a funny double meaning...)
Jul. 2nd, 2011 03:09 pm (UTC)
Not Like This Hasn't Happened Before
I can understand the frustration with Amazon's incompetence, but...

A Feast for Crows was officially released in the UK on October 17, 2005. It was not released in the US until November 8, 2005. That's three weeks the book was out there in the hands of some readers but not in the hands of the half a million American readers who didn't fork over the extra $18 in shipping to get their book from the UK.

While the fan community was not nearly as big, last I checked the internet existed back then and most of what comes with it. In fact, I know it did because I was participating on a popular Ice & Fire message board in 2005...one that, at least back then, came up with a sensible spoiler policy instead of holding bans over member's heads and shutting down conversation on the book in an effort to appease their beloved author and his publisher.

People weren't running around calling for the manhoods of European readers to be fed to goats for spoiling the book for their half a million American counterparts or screaming bloody murder because somebody might scan the book and upload it. In fact, A Feast for Crows debuted at #1 on the NYT Best Seller list despite three weeks of worth of potential spoiling and piracy.

If you want to get on Amazon for goofing up, fine. If you want to lament the way the internet age screws authors out of some of their profits, fine.

But don't act like readers who paid for the book and obtained it legally (if ahead of others) upsets some sort of cosmic balance...because you were fine with it when it was happening in 2005 with A Feast for Crows.
Jul. 2nd, 2011 04:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Not Like This Hasn't Happened Before
You're missing the point.

In 2005 Harper released their edition of FEAST ahead of Bantam. They did the same for STORM and CLASH. Happens all the time. British readers got the book ahead of those in the US.

This time, Harper and Bantam agreed to a simultaneous global release on July 12. Every bookstore and dealer was informed of that, and was supposed to abide by that. Some have not. An error, one hopes. Errors happen all the time, sure. Doesn't make them any less annoying.

THAT is the source of the frustration.

The readers who got the book early are not the problem. The problem is the very small handful of jerks who got the book early and started spraying spoilers all over the internet.
Jul. 2nd, 2011 09:42 pm (UTC)
I already pre-ordered the actual book a while back, and can't wait to get my hands on it. But when does Roy's audio version get put out? I've been on audible.com several times and haven't seen anything yet. I loved listening to the first 3 with Roy as the narrater. Brilliantly done and amazing experience if you all haven't had a listen.
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George R.R. Martin
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