1 . . .

Final Countdown!

Got the song stuck in your head? Me too. Well, tomorrow is the day. By now, most bookstores will probably have already shelved the thing, which means WOOL is now out there for a gaggle of new readers to discover. In a lot of ways, this week is the most important of the book’s life. Think of a baby with a soft crown or a chick that needs to imprint on its caretaker. It’s make or break time.

If WOOL has any chance of showing up on a bestseller list, this week is its best chance. Now, most of you have supported me with far more generosity than I deserve, and so I don’t want you spending another penny on a book you’ve already read. But if you know someone who would enjoy this book, this is the week to urge them to go buy a copy. For several reasons.

First: I know what the print runs were on this book, and they’re gonna want a first printing. Trust me. All the cool kids have them. They won’t be around for long.

Second: How many copies bookstores stock and where they shelve them is entirely dependent on this initial rush. Even if you already own a copy, just calling your local store to see if they have it (and commenting below to let me know how that goes) will raise awareness. Sending in your luddite friends and family members to finally get on this bandwagon does the same thing.

Third: I will probably never earn out my advance for this print edition; none of this impacts me financially; but I want the book to do well for even better reasons. I don’t want this unusual publishing deal to go badly and undo the progress I feel like we’ve made for other indies. I hope Simon & Schuster make back all their money and then some. The rest of the publishing industry is watching how this plays out. Successful indies are turning down contracts that don’t make sense. Let’s show them a contract that makes sense for everyone. (I have a surprise coming up that will demonstrate how seriously I take this).

55 responses to “1 . . .”

  1. I just read at Kristine Rusch’s blog about this concept – bestsellers depend on velocity as well as sales:

    She states:
    “Remember, bestseller lists are based on velocity as well as number of copies sold. In other words, if you sell 5,000 books in the first week of publication and only 1,000 more books in the next 51 weeks, you might hit a bestseller list. But if you sell 1,000 books for 52 weeks out of the year, you won’t hit a bestseller list—even though you’ve sold 46,000 more copies of your book than the so-called bestseller did. If you don’t believe me, look at this article in The Wall Street Journal, exposing a marketing firm that buys its clients onto the WSJ bestseller list.” (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323864304578316143623600544.html)
    I’ll call our local B&N and ask them if they have it in! Best wishes on your take off velocity! – Lyn

  2. I want to do my part. I’ve ordered the Hardback from Amazon because my local independent bookstore said they didn’t have any on order. As a bonus It’ll be delivered today a day early. That copy is to keep. I’ll buy the paperback at the local bookstore to give to a friend.

    I feel like the ebook price was too low for the story I got so I gotta buy some copies to make up for it!

  3. B&N in Edison, NJ didn’t have any. The lady that answered the phone said she would put in an order for a few paperbacks.

    1. Thanks for doing this. B&N is not currently onboard with this book. Every call makes a HUGE difference.

  4. I called my local B&N and he said he’s not sure :/. He said I can call back later this afternoon after their truck arrives to see if it’s there. You can believe I’ll be calling back!

    1. Went to my B&N to see if they had it since no one on the phone seemed to have an answer, but it wasn’t there. The lady at the info desk said it’s marked in the computer as “Home order only.” Ugh. I’m so disappointed in B&N, what are they thinking? Once again, they’re missing out! I’m going to try our local Indie store.

      1. Success! Our local Indie bookstore has copies and when I asked about it she said, “Yes, people have been asking about this one!” She looked and said they only had two copies left, so I reserved mine and told her she should order more. She said she already had planned to order more!!!

  5. OK….so I am a sucker for hardcover and have mine ordered already (since I didn’t get in on the older printing).
    I bought several over the holidays for friends and family…since they were gifts, I couldn’t wait for the S&S printing Hugh, sorry!
    Will call all local BAM and B&N tonight and update you here.

  6. Everything crossed for good luck. Is this book being released on the same day in Canada? If not when?

  7. We’ll all be doing our part. I’ll be buying some early birthday and Christmas presents this week!

  8. You’re gonna love this Hugh. I called Powell’s in Portland OR to reserve a few copies of the hardback. When the customer service woman on the phone picked up I told her I wanted to put a book on hold that wasn’t even out yet, she said “Lemme guess, WOOL, by Hugh Howey.” I was shocked and asked her how she had heard of it. For the next ten minutes she went on and on about how much she loves your stories and how she discovered you on multiple websites. She has had many people call in to inquire about the release of the book. She had already read SHIFT and told me to go read ‘Hugh Howey Must Die’.

    A fan a enthusiastic as me! If this is any indication of what is about to happen, hold on to your butt Hugh. You’re on a rocket ship!

    Btw, you really need to visit Powell’s in Portland OR. We are BOOK CRAZY here in the northwest, and I’ve been marketing for you for a solid year now. The turnout would be HUGE!!

    1. Ha! Love it! The indie bookstores have been awesome to WOOL. Hey, indies for indies!

  9. I bought the only hard copy ordered and on the shelf at our Books A Million in Lake Charles, La. I then ordered two more that will be shipped to my home for our school library. They had about 5 or 6 paperbacks on the shelf. I will let everyone I know in on the first edition copy thing. Some of my students will be very eager to get their hands on one!

  10. Yes, I have that song in my head now too! And I picture Gob Bluth dancing around in bookstores promoting your book. Disturbing image. ;)

    Congratulations Hugh! I can’t wait to go to the bookstore after work tomorrow and look for it!

  11. Called my local B&N. They said they were not slated to receive any. I told the lady she needed to get on the line and get some copies in. She offered to order one for me. I told her I already had one ordered, but I had suggested to some people to go look for a copy. She said she would get some copies ordered. Hopefully, she meant it.

    1. Very troubling. I think the book is going to be everywhere EXCEPT at B&N. Thanks for reporting in.

      1. At our local B&N stores here in Richmond’s West End, same story: they’ll order it for me, but they aren’t carrying it (or planning to at the moment).

        But after I encourage a few friends to call and ask after it, they’re sure to come around eventually.

        1. Craziness. The indies and airports are carrying it, but not the bookstore I used to work at.

  12. I just contacted a local independent bookseller, and they’re setting aside a hard cover for me. Great Christmas present for my Dad, who really fell in love with the story. It’s come full circle – my Dad introduced me to many a great writer, and now I had the opportunity to do the same.

    I mentioned to the owner that they really need to try to get you to Ann Arbor, and she laughed nicely and said, “Oh, believe me. We’d love to have him come here!” So, if you ever hear from Nicola’s Books, tell ’em I sent ya. ;)

    1. (Not that I’ll wait for Christmas – I’m not that organized. We’ll call it an Easter gift.)

  13. B&N in Springfield IL didn’t have any or have any expected/scheduled in.  Went ahead and paid for/ordered one in person at the store.  Will be delivered straight to my home rather than to the store for pickup.  Didn’t occur to me till later whether that matters.  Also didn’t think to specify hardcover versus trade paperback…. Judging from the price, I’m assuming it’s the hardcover.

  14. Hugh-
    Regarding your post earlier this week, is there an easy way to determine whether the hardback is a first printing or second printing?

    Calling local stores regarding Wool orders as we speak; we are BN heavy so it will be interesting to see whether its around.

    1. I don’t think B&N is carrying it. Everyone else seems to be.

  15. Not going to BN here either– they are not pushing the book because they are pissy over Nook sales? Incredible.

  16. Just picked up my copy at Books a Million in Myrtle Beach. Right now, it is on the bottom shelf at the beginning of the science fiction section. I moved some copies to the display at the end of the aisle.

    You inspired me to finally write the book I’ve had in my mind. It was the least I could do.

  17. Heather Weidle Avatar

    Ponte Vedra Beach, Fl Books a Million lady said they had a couple of paperbacks but no hardcover in stock. I ordered a hardcover. BaN in Jacksonville is not carrying it but they allowed me to order one in paperback to have sent to my house. The Bookmark in Neptune Beach has one in paperback waiting for me to pick up tomorrow. One for me, two for gifts!

    Good luck Hugh!

  18. I just finished Wool this weekend and absolutely loved it. I will be stocking up on all your other books and highly recommending Wool to my friends.
    Thank you

  19. Called B&N in Pineville NC and asked if they had Wool yet. They arent planning on carrying it, but ordered one for me to deliver directly to my house. Call your B&N and ask….force them to realize what they are missing!

    1. So disappointing! B&N seems to be the one chain missing out on this. :(

  20. just called the local B&N – they did not have any in stock, nor did they have any on hand to be released for tomorrow. However, I did speak with the store manager (she had actually answered when I called) – she offered to ship directly to my house. When I mentioned that you would be in town next week for a signing she went and ordered several HC for the store (since she said there were some in their “warehouse” and they should be there in 2-3 days – well before your visit on the 19th) – and she kindly reserved me a copy. Not sure how many she ordered – but I will update once they are in stock.

    I already had ordered 5 directly from Books Inc – where the reading will take place in Berkeley – they did not have any HC on hand either but special ordered them for me (I hope they are first printings :). Hopefully they will have more in stock the day of the reading/signing.

    I also started the Hugh Howey thread on thedarktower forum (mainly a Stephen king forum – but has several sub-forums for other authors) – and several people there had asked me to get some signed and ship out to them…so I will have a stack of books. Cannot wait.

    1. Thanks, Chad! I appreciate the info and the orders. See you soon.

  21. So I’m on the fan bandwagon, too, and I called our local Barnes and Noble in Rhode Island. The woman at the order desk said that it was only available for “direct ship to home” and I’d do better ordering from their website. I have my copy from Amazon (it came today!), but I was disappointed to think it wouldn’t be on display in the local B&N store. I’m going to call the local independent bookstore tomorrow to see if they are getting a shipment. I am planning on few copies for gifts for friends–I’d love to support a local bookstore in the process. Boo to Barnes and Noble for not carrying it right away. My guess is that they will be kicking themselves and buying in bulk in the next few weeks once they see all the press and get hounded by requests.

    1. They are really missing out!

  22. Will Swardstrom Avatar
    Will Swardstrom

    I ordered my hardback from Amazon since I live in a rural area and the soonest I would get to a city to get it would be Saturday. I will treasure this book — you are an inspiration to me to finally get off my kiester and write the book I’ve been intending to for a decade.

  23. Couldn’t help myself….just ordered hardcopy from Amazon!

  24. By the way…the second reading of wool and shift series is even better! I flew through the first readings to find out what happened next. I,m now savoring a second and slower read…slow build up to Dust.

  25. I stopped by my local indie bookstore today and found they had 2 copies of the paperback in stock. After a bit of an internal debate, I only bought 1 and left the other for another fan (or possibly a lucky newcomer!).

    Hugh, I thought you would like to know that the 2 copies were fronted out, which leads me to believe they may have had more in stock before I got there. Either way, good for business!

    1. Yay! Thanks for this, Pete!

  26. Will stop in B&N tomorrow and bug them — so at least they’ll know. I’ll try an indie bookstore too.

    Years ago I happened to be in Alaska on a cruise when my kids were young. We called the local big chain store because it was the release date for the 3rd Harry Potter — were they opening at midnight? Um… no. Called an indie store, which was. But we had no car (but had a ship leaving the next day!) and the chain store was withing walking distance. So we called them again, and they had decided to open at midnight. Because we called! They figured if someone from Connecticut was willing to walk to their store in Fairbanks… anyway, we were probably not the only ones. But they caved to the fans, and it was very cool to walk through the Alaskan twilight at midnight and get that haunting book.

    Hugh Howey, you are going to be a legend. B&N will look back at this and groan.

  27. Good luck with the release Hugh. I hope it goes well.

  28. Barnes and Noble in El Paso, two stores, no copies. Boo to them! E-Book success envy! We will overcome! Just ordered a Hard Copy and three Paperbacks to give away. Go Hugh!

      1. Called three Barnes and Nobles in the area as well as Hastings. None of them have the book today. I asked when they would receive and got the same reply, “only for home delivery.” One woman at the B & N said, I’ve never seen this before! When Shades of Gray was first put into print, she said they had it. Never seen any book that was listed for home delivery only! Conspiracy!

        1. I think you’re more right than you know.

  29. Most of the readers I know are either e-book people or online shoppers, but I’ve been telling everyone I know about Wool and how much they MUST read it. I’ve bought the kindle versions of all the Silo books so far, but I’m an old-fashioned gal at heart, and still love the feeling of an actual book in my hands, so I definitely plan on buying a hardcover anyway.

    Btw, I found the Wool section on cafepress.com and bought a couple of shirts. You should find an artist to do an official series of shirts, stickers, mugs, etc. There’ll be tribes of Woolites running around, spreading the word!

    1. Holly – Hugh is tied in with cafe press. I’ve been wearing my Farmer level T shirt for a year now. Cool stuff!!

      1. I couldn’t find the stuff easily but finally did. Here’s a link:


      2. Ahhh, that makes sense!! I was thrilled to find the Wool merchandise there – got my shirt last week.

        I wish I had known about Wool and Hugh a year ago! I feel almost deprived, but have wasted no time in getting up-to-date with my Hugh Howey reading. So amazing.

    2. I do need a Wool coffee mug. I didn’t know I needed it until 3 minutes ago, but now can’t live without it.

  30. Called B&N in Springfield, MO, which isn’t that big but is third largest city in the state. The clerk said it’s already in the “warehouse” and available for home delivery or purchase through them one-by-one if orders are made and paid for in advance.
    Best of luck with your sales!

  31. None of the B&N here in Orlando have them. The BAM stores do have them; unfortunately, no hardcovers. No need for luck, you’ll make the best seller list.

  32. Went to two seperate Barnes and Nobles in the Columbus, OH area and neither had Wool. Ended up going to an independent book store, the Book Loft (which is bad-ass with its 35 rooms in a 100 year old house), to order it. Cant wait for it to come in to re-re-read.

  33. I am very angry at Amazon. Why? Because I’d very much like to buy hardback WOOL, but they don’t sell it to my country. It’s not the first ime when we living outside USA are treated like shit. Not only we pay much more for books than americans (and I mean Kindle edition and wireless delivery, not talking about the shipping over seas which, usually, cost ten times more than the book itself!), but Amazon don’t sell us books we’d like to have. So… sorry, Hugh, I cannot help you, and it’s does my heart hurt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *