Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Life Goes On, with additional Awesome, the aftereffects of a hurricane & a firestorm

I am typing this on a plane on my way to Australia. I had planned to go to Australia to keep Amanda company. Amanda is, however, now not going to Australia until Autumn. Life is odd, sometimes. She will be in Cambridge, dreaming of the warmth and missing Australia, and I'll be in Australia, performing on stages -- even doing something unlikely with David Byrne -- while being a bit wistful for home.

I was on the stage of the Carnegie Hall last night. It wasn't my show -- it was more fun that that. It was John and Hank Green's show, An Evening of Awesome, and I felt like I was going to their party (and boy, can they throw a party). I had quite possibly the best time that any author except John Green has ever had standing on the stage of the Carnegie Hall, and I hugged Kimya Dawson and hugged Hannah Hart, and the Mountain Goats played and...

...ah, just watch the video if you want to know what it was all about. It starts 35 minutes in. (And my first bit starts about 1:43).

I gave copies of Chu's Day to some of the people on the stage who had very small children.

Chu's Day went straight onto the New York Times list at #2 today, which is good.

But... there was a problem.  I had noticed on the Amazon page that people were reporting that they were getting copies with water-rippled interior pages. And some of them were sending them back and getting more water-warped copies to replace them with. This was odd. I asked on Twitter and discovered that, yes, this had happened to people who got their copies of Chu's Day in places other than Amazon. I let Harper Children's know, and they did some SherlockHolmesing around. My editor Rosemary told me what they discovered. She explained,

...we believe that when the copies left the bindery in China, they were fine, but they arrived in the U.S. during Hurricane Sandy. The cartons of books were stuck on the ship, as the ship was unable to come into port, and so the tremendous humidity in the air caused a ripple effect on the pages of some of the books. The ship was unable to dock until November 9. There is no actual water damage on the books, or water-to-paper contact, but we have seen some ripples in a few copies that would be caused by humid air. The copies that shipped to us by air from the bindery were all fine, so the problem must have occurred on the ship.

HarperChildren have already gone back to press on the book twice, with the first reprinting due in to the US this week, and they are shipping out pristine copies of Chu's Day to their accounts to replace any Sandy-damaged copies. As Rosemary continued,

[the new printing] will ship directly from the bindery to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and others. We are not wasting time by shipping to our warehouse and then to our accounts...

So if you got a hurricane-marked copy, you should be able to replace it very easily very soon. And we are very sorry.


Two Australian things: There are still tickets left for Sydney on the 25th. The first half of the evening will be all about Ocean at the End of the Lane. The second half will be stories and Q&A, and FourPlay and possibly even some songs. Tickets at this link.

More importantly, on the 21st, it's the Mona Bushfire Fundraiser Concert. The Tasmanian fires have been terrible things, and I've already been working with my publishers to get books to students at this school:

Probably you want to see me and Jherek Bischoff with special guest David Byrne doing some weird and wonderful stuff on stage. (We have over an hour to fill. We have plans. They will be weird. They will be wonderful.)  But we are only a very small part of the entertainment:

MONA is pleased to announce a Mona Bushfire Fundraiser Concert to raise funds for the Australian Red Cross Tasmanian Bushfires 2013 Appeal.
Buy tickets:
The Hoodoo Gurus
The Break
Kate Miller-Heidke
Evan Dando & Spencer P Jones
Neil Gaiman and Jherek Bischoff (special guest David Byrne)
Taiko Drum
Monday January 21, 2013
Princes Wharf 1 (PW1), Hobart
Doors open 5.30pm for 6pm, until late
On sale now:
All profits from the concert go to the Australian Red Cross Tasmanian Bushfires 2013 Appeal. Production costs kept low by the generous donation of time and services by dozens of companies and individuals. 
Mona and MONA FOMA staff are hosting the event. Suppliers will provide equipment and services, including artist accommodation; volunteers will staff the concert, and artists are performing for free. Mona has waived ticket booking fees and is giving all food and bar profits from the evening to the Red Cross.

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