You Won’t Find the Hardcover of Dave Eggers’s Next Novel on Amazon

From The New York Times:

Dave Eggers has a new novel coming out in the fall called “The Every.” But you won’t be able to buy it in all the usual places — at least not right away.

The hardcover of “The Every” will be published by McSweeney’s, which Eggers founded in 1998, and will be released on Oct. 5, but only in independent bookstores. The novel will have at least 32 different covers randomly distributed.

Six weeks later, Vintage will publish the e-book and paperback, which will have only one cover. They will be available everywhere, as will the audiobook edition, which comes out the same day.

But you still won’t be able to buy the hardcover on Amazon; that version will only be available at independent stores, and on the McSweeney’s website.

“I don’t like bullies,” Eggers wrote in an email. “Amazon has been kicking sand in the face of independent bookstores for decades now.”

The novel follows a former forest ranger and tech skeptic, Delaney Wells, as she tries to take down a dangerous monopoly from the inside: a company called The Every, formed when the world’s most powerful e-commerce site merged with the biggest social media company/search engine.

“One of the themes of the book is the power of monopolies to dictate our choices, so it seemed a good opportunity to push back a bit against the monopoly, Amazon, that currently rules the book world,” he said. “So we started looking into how feasible it would be to make the hardcover available only through independent bookstores. Turns out it is very, very hard.”

Eggers said that even distributing the book in a way that excluded Amazon was a challenge, because McSweeney’s usual agreement with its distributor, Baker & Taylor Publisher Services, prevented it from circumventing the retail giant. Vintage, part of Penguin Random House, would not be in a position to skip around them either.

“We’re retail-agnostic,” said Paul Bogaards, deputy publisher and executive director of communications at Knopf and Pantheon. But this arrangement, he said, is good for all parties involved. “They go out and they’re supporting indies,” Bogaards said of the hardcover plan, “and then six weeks later we get the trade paperback, which is great for us.”

Link to the rest at The New York Times

Awwww. How precious.

This will impress about 1% of the literate population of New York City and .000000001% of the rest of the world’s population.

PG says that, to support Dave, you should only purchase anything he writes from an indie bookstore that also sells strictly vegan food and snacks, recycles the entire store every week and donates 90% of its gross revenues to saving endangered furry lobsters wherever they may be.

Any store employee who takes a selfie after egging Jeff Bezos’ car qualifies for a free winter living in a commune outside of Yellowknife while providing volunteer snow-shoveling services for members of indigenous tribes and providing support services and counseling to needy musk oxen.

8 thoughts on “You Won’t Find the Hardcover of Dave Eggers’s Next Novel on Amazon”

  1. Dave who?
    This might have a bit of meaning if it was Patterson or King doing it…
    …maybe.

    His previous hardcovers mostly hover around number 1m at Amazon. From 850,000 to 1.4M. Not bad in a catalog 5M deep but I’m not sure Amazon will notice.

    I wonder what his agent has to say.

    Reply
  2. It’s about time people finally worry about the musk oxen. They have children and dreams just like the rest of us.

    Reply
  3. Now wait just a minute. Furry lobsters need all the protection they can get. They must be really, really endangered. When’s the last time you saw even a picture of a furry lobster in the wild?

    If that’s how he wants to make his work available to the public, that’s his choice. The real problem is any misreading or assumption that “…therefore, anyone who does anything different is wrong. And evil. And not one of the kewl kidz.” The irony that if Amazon really was a monopoly (or even oligopolist with determinative market power), he wouldn’t be able to do this, seems to have escaped Mr Eggers.

    If he really wanted to make a statement against purported “monopolies” in book distribution, he’d instead offer copies of the casebound edition to every public library in America for $1 plus the actual cost of shipping. That, however, is not the real objective here; the real objective is ideological. (And I say that as a leftist with a pretty strong track record on “unfair trade practices,” of which monopoly power is just one variety.)

    Reply
  4. And… this lack of hardcovers on Amazon will last EXACTLY until the first “used” book is offered for sale. Since professional “used book” dealers will often jack the price high enough to cover buying a new copy and still profiting (under unusual circumstances which permit that), all they have to do is wait for someone on Amazon to come along and buy a “new” hardcover copy from the “other sellers” market, and then saunter down to the little shops and buy it from them to pass along.

    Reply
    • Indeed.
      Also, lots of (the smarter) non-chain bookstores sell online via Amazon. It’s what kept them afloat through the lockdowns. And, BTW, Amazon makes more money from their merchant services than direct sales. Minor detail.

      Between merchant services and used books Amazon gets hardcover stock to sell and the publisher gets zero money from used HC sales to half the market. But, hey they’re “sticking it to the man”.

      Sounds like tbey think it’s still 1995.

      Reply
  5. It is also apparently going to be excluded from Barnes & Noble, at least that’s what I’m reading into this. And if it is out of Baker & Taylor will libraries even know the book exists?

    Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.