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Monday, June 13, 2005

A Day

Hello Neil,
I've got more of a complaint that question. But oh well.
My problem is that Harpercollins is being really stingy with the Anansi Boys proofs. I'm the manager of a smal independent bookstore in the suburbs of Atlanta and I have been checking with all my contacts at Harper & they're all telling me the same thing. Most Booksellers will not be able to get an ARC/proof of Anansi Boys. Only reviewers & press can get them. I think this is somewhat of a punishment to those of us on the frontlines selling your book. One of the best perks of being a bookseller is getting to read your favorite author's books occassionally before most people outside of the business. And then getting to Handsell it when it comes out.
That's all, I just hand to get that off my chest.
Thank You,
Elton


I sympathise. HarperCollins is only doing 450 advance proofs of ANANSI BOYS, and they're individually numbered. I think this has less to do with wanting to punish booksellers than it does with the tendency of many of the people getting proofs to make an additional perk for themselves by eBaying advance proofs unread, creating an instant secondary market in proofs. So for that reason and possibly other reasons (ie, I don't know) Harpers decided to limit and number their advance proofs this time. I'm not saying it's a good or a bad thing, for it wasn't my call; just that it's how they've chosen to do it for this book. And it's frustrating for me as well -- normally at this point I'd be handing out proofs to everyone I know. Instead, I only got one of the Harper proofs, which I'm holding on to.

(Headline in the UK have done more proofs than Harpers, and are actively getting them out to booksellers -- and, unsurprisingly, already two are up, unread, on eBay.)

Right. I am Having a Day, which started last night when Final Draft and/or this damned computer ate two day's work on the Beowulf Script (which was only saved from being a full scale disaster by the fact that I'd sung the new song that I wrote for one scene into my phone, so I could remember the tune, and now I have the words). So I shall now go back down to the bottom of the garden and do a lot of writing I've already done again.

Just ordered a new computer for the Philippines/Singapore/Australia and then the Anansi Boys tour -- I wanted large enough to type on comfortably, with a DVD drive, that was light enough to carry around. Went back and forwards on various options (mostly to iBook or not to iBook) with weight the biggest factor (as I'll be hauling it from continent to continent) and finally plumped for a Panasonic W4 (http://www.dynamism.com/w4/main.shtml). I'll report back on how it goes.
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