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Black Sheep, the Good, the Bad, the Winner

Okay.

After close to two and a half years, Black Sheep was finally available from the printer on Friday 15th, according to Sean Wallace (oldcharliebrown).

Unfortunately, the book no longer has a print run, and is instead, POD (print on demand). This is an unpleasant turn of events, but there's nothing to be done about it now. The reality of the situation at the moment, however, is that the book itself is going to be a lot harder to find. There are no chain orders, despite the fact that a year ago there were quite strong ones for an unknown like me; but the delays have killed that, and reportedly they won't have anything to do with it now. In addition to that, there are no advance reviews at all, and no advance publicity, since I haven't been able to do any due to the shifting release, and that means that the only people who know about the book are me and you and the audience of this blog.

I suppose it's hardly surprising that this is the situation, but it is one I could have done without. At any rate, we're now back to relying on word of mouth, and pretty much the same tactics that I've used to sell 26Lies online.

Welcome to my Tuesday morning.




For those curious, the winner of our little publication date game was tanuja. Email me at benpeek at livejournal.com, T, and give me your address. I'll send out a copy when some comps arrive.

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Comments

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chrisbarnes
Jun. 19th, 2007 12:23 am (UTC)
That's a bummer, Ben. I hope word of mouth (word of blog?) works out well for the book, but it's sure not the same as actual books in stores, reviews in newspapers and all that.

Anyway, I've just ordered a copy, so I guess word of blog is working already. :)
benpeek
Jun. 19th, 2007 12:32 am (UTC)
thanks, man. the book needs all it can get :)
ellen_datlow
Jun. 19th, 2007 04:20 am (UTC)
Oh man. That really sucks. I'm sorry, Ben.
benpeek
Jun. 19th, 2007 04:27 am (UTC)
thanks, ellen.
coalescent
Jun. 19th, 2007 12:42 am (UTC)
Can you get a copy to me for SH reviews? (I realise we haven't reviewed 26Lies yet, but we will.)
benpeek
Jun. 19th, 2007 12:56 am (UTC)
sure. you can probably hit up sean for a copy, but if that fails, when i get some comps, i'll organise it.
lucius_t
Jun. 19th, 2007 12:59 am (UTC)
Sheesh. Drag, man. Whenever I've been fucked over, and believe me I got stories, I just write harder. You, too.
benpeek
Jun. 19th, 2007 01:01 am (UTC)
that be the plan.

it's not the first time things ain't gone the way i thought, probably won't be the last, either.
lucius_t
Jun. 19th, 2007 01:05 am (UTC)
And remember, you always have the contract killer option. :|
benpeek
Jun. 19th, 2007 01:10 am (UTC)
back on speed dial that goes.
(Anonymous)
Jun. 19th, 2007 01:54 am (UTC)
I had a bad feeling about this.

Don't want to be an absolute bitch about it but what's the guarantee that the books are even going to be printed?

Sounds like to me that the publisher is having problems and if this POD situation is going to be that the books are printed when x amount of orders arrive well that could just suck for everyone.

For example if 50 folk order the book but it's not going to be printed until 100 orders arrive then those 50 folk could be waiting for who knows how long.

Reviews are great but if readers are waiting a month, two months, or longer for the book to arrive it's likely to create ill will...especially for those completely unaware of what's going on.

---factory farmer
benpeek
Jun. 19th, 2007 02:04 am (UTC)
no, the one thing i'll say about my experience with POD, as an author and purchaser, is that they don't print when there is a certain amount of orders. you order a book, you get a book. i've never had (or heard) of any hassle in that area.

to be honest, if the chains won't order it after all the delays (we had good orders last year, or so i heard, but the delay saw them canceled) then the book is better off in POD.
(Anonymous)
Jun. 19th, 2007 02:22 am (UTC)
I hope for your sake and your readers that this does work out the way it's being described.

I have a bad feeling about it still.

---factory farmer
benpeek
Jun. 19th, 2007 03:24 am (UTC)
yeah, well, it's not the best of situations. guess i'll see how it works out eventually.
(Anonymous)
Jun. 19th, 2007 04:01 am (UTC)
Yeah, I wish that I were getting your Black Sheep as part of Wheatland's buy one get one free promotion.

I'm going to put in an order for Black Sheep soon but expect to hear from me if it doesn't arrive in 30 days after order.

I understand that there's nothing you can do about it (other than what Lucius mentioned) and it's not your fault but I do think you ought to know about it.

There was a comment posted a month or so ago on Sean's blog asking about the publication date and nary a response.

---factory farmer
benpeek
Jun. 19th, 2007 04:30 am (UTC)
yeah, ff, i'm real sorry about the whole thing. i hope it arrives for you--it'll be a kind of bad situation if the book doesn't, so i think you ought to be safe.

but i do apologise for the delays. the faults not mine, but i'm the public face for the book, and i am sorry for it.
mariness
Jun. 19th, 2007 12:16 pm (UTC)
Nope. POD books are printed per order -- so if you order one book through Barnes and Noble, the POD printer will print precisely one book.

There's a couple of small poetry presses in Florida that use a POD system (largely because poetry - not much of a best seller) and while they will order 100 orders to handle Amazon and small local booksellers, orders that go through other bookstores are handled on a one by one basis, which admittedly rarely leaves much profit for the press.
ironed_orchid
Jun. 19th, 2007 04:53 am (UTC)
Wow. That sort of sucks. Also, it appears to have a completely new cover.

Maybe we can confound the public and make them think it's related to that film.
benpeek
Jun. 19th, 2007 09:58 am (UTC)
the cover on amazon is just a temp cover, at least to my knowledge. it just hasn't been updated. of course, should the book arrive with that cover...
kaolinfire
Jun. 19th, 2007 06:47 am (UTC)
Dammit, it's still the 18th here! ;)

But really. Damn. I'm sorry to hear it's gone POD and that there are no pre-orders.

That's a shit of a way to start a day.

Any cross-promotion GUD can jump in on, just holler.

That's a gorgeous cover.
benpeek
Jun. 19th, 2007 09:59 am (UTC)
the book was printed up on friday, or so wallace said.

there are some preorders, i think. for epople who ordered it through amazon. anyhow, thanks for the cover, man.

to my knowlede, that isn't the cover--and it doesn't look so cool up close.
ex_chrisbil
Jun. 19th, 2007 09:57 am (UTC)
So skint... but it's my birthday in August, and it's on the wishlist. It is indeed a beautiful cover. Can't wait to read it, sorry about the hassles.
benpeek
Jun. 19th, 2007 10:00 am (UTC)
thanks, man.
paulhaines
Jun. 19th, 2007 10:17 am (UTC)
well, how about that? wanna kill someone?
benpeek
Jun. 19th, 2007 11:25 am (UTC)
speed dial, man, speed dial.
bodhichitta0
Jun. 26th, 2007 06:06 pm (UTC)
I got my copy while I was gone and just opened it. That is bad news but I will pimp for you in whatever way I can as soon as I catch up and read it. <3
benpeek
Jun. 27th, 2007 02:15 am (UTC)
hey, someone has it. how's it look?
bodhichitta0
Jun. 27th, 2007 01:02 pm (UTC)
It looks good. That quote from Jeff still totally cracks me up. :-) The cover is attention-getting and the font inside is quite readable (though that isn't such an issue for me since I got the bifocals in September *coughs*). I should be starting on it this weekend. I must have got it Friday or Saturday last week? Was waiting here when we got back from vacation.
benpeek
Jun. 28th, 2007 04:43 am (UTC)
well, i'm glad it looks good. other people are being told that their copies are shipping now, so... hopefully, you know?
(Anonymous)
Jun. 27th, 2007 03:14 am (UTC)
Well, after reassuring Amazon *twice* that I really did want _Black Sheep_ I finally got a nice email from them saying it's in the mail. Yay! Looking forward to its arrival any day now. I really enjoyed _26 Lies/One Truth_ and have pimped it to a friend who convenes a uni course on popular fiction. I am of the opinion that all the kids should read it. Kirsty.
benpeek
Jun. 27th, 2007 03:35 am (UTC)
that's cool :) how'd your friend go with it?

i hope you dig BLACK SHEEP, though after such a long wait, i wonder if it could even live up to that. heh. ah well.
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