Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Quick WHTTWOT Update

Just a few brief notes about Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow?

More nice people are asking when it'll be released. I don't know! My best answer right now is "May." Amazon says April, my publisher's website says June, I split the difference. I know of someone who ordered a copy for her husband's birthday in April and I feel bad it won't be there in time. Maybe that person should drop me an e-mail.

A friend recently ordered WHTTWOT from a local bookseller who promised it'd be delivered in a week or two. That ain't gonna happen. (That bookseller also gazed into his computer and told my friend that pre-orders for the book looked strong. I don't know how they know that--I don't even know that!--but it's straw at which I'll gladly grasp.)

Amazon.com is offering two used copies for sale (at $96!). They lie. There are no used copies, unless that extremely high mark-up covers the cost of time travel.

Here's what I know: while I was on vacation last week, I reviewed proofs of the book's cover. Editor Charlie arranged for a set to be delivered to my hotel while he got an identical set in New York. Mine arrrived on time while his was a day late, its flight from the Chinese printer interrupted by the Mount Redoubt eruption in Alaska. I told Charlie that this will probably be the only book in his career delayed by volcano. He didn't seem to find that as funny as I thought he would.

We discovered a few things to fix, which have probably been taken care of by now. The printers will soon do that voodoo that they do so well, then pack boxes of my finished book onto a very slow ship that'll round the Cape of Good Hope and, with luck, catch a trade wind for the West Indies, all the while keeping a clear-eyed lad in the crow's nest to watch for krakens and pirates. Transportation takes a while.

The next I expect to hear from WHTTWOT is the day I get a box of them delivered to my doorstep. When I learn more, you'll be the first to know.


sarah said...

I can't wait to get my copy!

Kidsis said...


Sherwood Harrington said...

[Comment deleted, edited for some typos, and reposted TWICE. Sorry.]


Just received this from Amazon.com:

Hello from Amazon.com.

We're writing about the order you placed on March 01 2009 00:02 PST (Order# [...]). Unfortunately, the release date for the item(s) listed below has changed, and we need to provide you with a new delivery estimate based on the new release date:

Brian Fies "Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow?" [Hardcover]
Estimated arrival date: 07/07/2009

If there are other items in your order, they'll be shipped according to the delivery estimates listed in the order details in "Your Account" (www.amazon.com/your-account).

If you still want us to ship the delayed items when they do become available (though they may arrive later than expected) please visit this address to approve the delay:


If you do not approve this delay by May 07 2009, we will cancel the item. However, if the item becomes available before that date, we will automatically ship it to you.

By approving the new delivery estimate, you are letting us know that you still want the item(s) though they may arrive later than expected. If there are other items in your order, they will ship according to the delivery estimates listed in the order details in "Your Account" (http://www.amazon.com/your-account).

We apologize for the inconvenience caused by this delay.

I wonder if they're just being very, very conservative with that July 7 date. However, the thing that concerns me is the requirement that a customer to take positive action to avoid having his/her order canceled on May 7th. I hope this doesn't cause you to lose any sales!

Brian Fies said...

Huh. That's the darnedest thing, Sherwood. July is way later than the latest availability date I've heard. Thanks for the information, I'll look into it and see if we can figure out what Amazon's thinking.

I do appreciate Amazon's policy: some announced books never come out, and you don't want to hold onto a customer's money indefinitely. I'd like to believe that someone interested in my book would stick it out a few weeks longer. Besides, if they don't, they won't know what all their friends and neighbors are talking about over the watercooler!*

*Hyperbole for comic effect.