Updates 03 Feb 2011 08:34 am by David !
Three months on, we’re ecstatic to look back and see what’s been accomplished. We just sent a fourth printing of books to our distributor, PGW, and we have approved a co-op deal with Barnes & Noble that will place us on the “New & Hot” table starting in March. At least I think that is what we approved.
We were reviewed in the Onion AV Club:
Machine Of Death is a marvelous collection, riddled with intelligence, creative reach, and a frankness that makes the best use of the central gimmick…Whether taken as an experiment in the new wave of self-publishing or as a proof of concept in the realm of artistic crowdsourcing, it’s a fascinating artifact and a really good read.
With a little genre-hopping and excellent illustrations from the likes of Jeffrey Brown, Shannon Wheeler and Kean Soo, MACHINE OF DEATH is unlike anything you’ll read this year. That’s a good thing, people, provided it doesn’t kill you.
And just the other day, in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
The Machine of Death, like the Delphic Oracle, is artfully, sometimes cruelly, vague in its predictions. For example, a girl who drew BOAT as her terminal fate avoided the sea but was killed when a towed cabin cruiser jackknifed in front of her on the freeway. The anthology’s authors, including comics creators, bloggers, gaming writers and fictioneers, enjoy tormenting their protagonists with those fatal ambiguities. But as a group, they also do a remarkable job of exploring the cultural changes such a machine could bring.
Which has also been very interesting because we’ve watched this exact review get syndicated around to many different local newspapers across the country. Educational, this process has been!
In case you missed them and care, here are some neat interviews with us as well! Ryan spoke to fellow Canadian Jesse Brown on the Search Engine podcast:
Updates 27 Jan 2011 01:22 am by Matthew
If we’d known ahead of time that so many people would love Machine of Death as much as we do, we probably would have done a few things differently. For instance, we might have thought a little more carefully about our release date. The total of all the thinking that went into picking October 26 can be summed up thusly: “Hey, the book is finished! When should we publish it? How about Tuesday? Okay!”
But we’ve since learned that if you publish a book at the very end of October and if you don’t provide advance copies to anybody, it means you will probably be too late to be considered for anybody’s “best of the year” list. (We only qualified for Amazon’s top ten customer favorite list by a scant five days!) It also means that people won’t necessarily have time to read your book before they have to nominate stories for many of the year’s awards.
Well, luckily there are at least a few awards still taking nominations, and they’re some of the big ones!
The Nebulas: The Nebulas are selected by the members of the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA). Most members are eligible to nominate stories in length-based categories through February 15, 2011. The top six vote-getters in each category will then proceed to the official ballot, which active members will vote on.
The Hugos: These are selected by the attendees of Science Fiction Worldcon. Nominations are open until March 26, 2011, but in order to have your nominations counted you will need to confirm your eligibility by January 31, 2011. Details on how you become eligible are here.
Unfortunately, neither the Nebulas nor the Hugos have an anthology category, so the book as a whole doesn’t really fit anywhere on their ballots. However, if you’re eligible to nominate or vote for either of these awards, we ask you to keep our writers in mind for the short story and novelette categories.
If you haven’t finished reading the book yet, we as editors would suggest you look at and consider “ALMOND” by John Chernega for the novelette category (over 7500 words) and “LOSS OF BLOOD” by Jeff Stautz for the short story category. A free PDF of the entire book (including both of these stories) is available for download here.
Updates 22 Dec 2010 01:54 pm by David !
Pic from Barnes & Noble, Evanston IL.
We’re hearing reports from all corners of North America that Machine of Death has started arriving in brick & mortar stores! The first update came from Pittsburgh — that canary in the coal-mine-that-is-America — and from there, it spread…
• @trislegomenon: Elliot Bay Books in Seattle has copies of Machine of Death on display at the front of the store. I don’t have pictures though.
BAM. CONTINENT-WIDE HUG. And on our Facebook page…
I personally visited a Barnes & Noble in Los Angeles and first checked New Releases — then New in Paperback — then New Fiction — then New Science Fiction — then Fiction Anthologies — then Fiction — then SF/Fantasy Anthologies — then, finally, general Science Fiction. And there it was, filed under “North.”
This is a first step. In conversations with our distributor and in their conversations with the retailers, we’ve discussed promotions, ways to get it onto the front tables and very visible places. When you see books placed prominently by the front door of a big bookstore, or on the endcap of an aisle, usually that’s the result of a “co-op” agreement, where the publisher pays the bookstore for the favorable real estate. (It’s also kind of a sneaky way for the bookstore to make money whether or not the books ever sell. They can always return unsold books to the publisher for a refund, but of course they keep the co-op money.) Our distributor is helping us decide how much co-op money, if any, we want to spend and what kinds of deals the bookstores will give us. The bottom line is that the better the book does for the store, the nicer they will be to us.
Undecided on a gift for Uncle Morty? Well, since you’re probably going to be at the Barnes & Noble anyway… (Just a suggestion.)
We’ve also started the gears turning towards higher-profile press and review coverage. (Please contact us if you would like to write an article about MOD for the press. We give excellent sound bites.) We anticipate that the bulk of that coverage will fall in January, and we presume that increased sales will result in more thoughtful store placement as well.
And in some venues, that’s already started: The Chapters chain in Canada has very kindly committed to featuring the book prominently in all their larger stores, and we’ve received this report from an employee in Toronto:
Please let your readers know that the Chapters at John & Richmond is where you’ll find the most copies in town! 😀
It is currently on display at: the Books with Buzz Wall on the first floor.
The Staff Picks wall on the second floor.
In section at Sci-Fi/Fantasy Anthologies on the third floor.
Ryan is also working to possibly set up a signing in Toronto sometime in the new year!
FINALLY: The book’s distribution kicking into effect means that it is starting to become available in other online outlets as well. Two in particular that we’d like to mention:
• Indiebound is an online bookstore that allows you to purchase from independent booksellers in your community (or anywhere) if you’d rather your money not go to monolithic megacorporations who desperately need your money to stave off bankruptcy. They now list MOD in their catalog and can help connect you to indie bookstores in your area who can either sell you the book online, or order it for you to pick up in-store.
• The Book Depository is another online bookstore. Based in the UK, The Book Depository’s main gimmick is free online shipping worldwide. Like Kinokinuya, mentioned in the Facebook thread above, TBD is an international bookstore, meaning they import books from various markets and sell them in other markets.
We do expect to have traditional distribution set up in the UK/Australia/NZ next year, although it may be a few months before all the pieces settle into place. It may also make it to some non-English-speaking countries as well, though we can’t say for certain. In the meantime, The Book Depository has MOD in stock and will ship it to you anywhere in the world (including the US) for free.
Direct link to MOD on The Book Depository US site, which ships worldwide: http://machineofdeath.net/intl/
Our listing on The Book Depository UK site (faster shipping to the UK/Europe): http://machineofdeath.net/europe/
Have you seen MOD in a local store? Especially a non-chain store? We’re always keen to hear how broad our reach is! Leave us a comment and/or post a picture on our Facebook!
Updates 24 Nov 2010 12:02 am by David !
Hey look at this! We have made it onto an Amazon “Best Books of 2010” list (Customer Favorites, Sci-Fi & Fantasy)! Hurrah!
We don’t want to be disingenuous here — this is not an editorially-curated selection. According to the Amazon page, this particular subcategory is a list of “the bestselling science fiction and fantasy at Amazon.com during 2010. (Ranked according to customer orders through October.)” So discerning Amazon editors have not peered over their glasses to rest laurels upon our little book; it’s purely a sales metric.
But let us put that another way:
We were one of Amazon’s top ten best-selling sci-fi/fantasy books of 2010 (at least through October).
Oh and BY THE WAY here is a new review by author (and well-respected anthologist in his own right) Jeff VanderMeer on Omnivoracious, the official Amazon books blog. This is an Amazon editor’s opinion:
Personally, I found Machine of Death a lively, self-assured, and diverse read…This is DIY publishing at its best, and a perfect example of the way in which creative, clever editors can use to their advantage the new leveling of hierarchies, existence of more accessible means of distribution, and diversity of ways to make a project visible to readers.
But, when it comes down to it, you have to have the quality to back up the hype. You have to bring the heat, and Machine of Death does bring the heat. Not only that — it showcases a lot of talented writers you might not have encountered before. I know I have a few more “check out their other work” names after reading the anthology.
When Jeff contacted us for a review copy, days after we reached Amazon #1 and while we were still tittering about Glenn Beck, he indicated that he wanted to cover the actual book itself, rather than the furor around it. We’re glad he did and double-glad he enjoyed it! After all, we like it too.
For US retailers and bookstores who would like to stock Machine of Death: It is now available through PGW/Perseus. I am told this is the information you need:
Pubnet SAN number 631760X
KABAM there you go.
Here’s a new interview with us by Chris Sims at Comics Alliance:
DM!: Picture this: someone on the East Coast hears the show. They comment on the blog. I tweet about it, and as Glenn Beck’s show is panning across the continent with the sun, someone tunes in to listen strictly on our behalf. It’s amazing when you think about it that way.
The interview also features a ton of the art from the book!
Other exciting news:
• The book will be in Canadian bookstores, and presumably Amazon.ca, before Christmas. (Canadian bookstores: watch for info forthcoming from your PGC rep.)
• We have had some tentative interest from foreign publishers in publishing translated editions of MOD internationally. We are moving to secure additional rights from our authors in order to further pursue these opportunities.
• The ebook edition is now available in the Barnes & Noble NOOKstore.
• We have been listed in the Boing Boing 2010 Gift Guide as one of Cory’s “Fiction” picks! Thanks, Cory!
• Our editor Ryan has a new book of Dinosaur Comics out!
• Everybody reading this gets a hug
Updates 10 Nov 2010 11:46 am by David !
Today we’ve signed a deal that will bring Machine of Death into bookstores across the United States. We’re talking Barnes & Noble, Borders, indies, airports — this deal will make it available to everyone. We are negotiating Canadian and UK distribution as well.
We couldn’t have done it without you — this is the direct result of people in publishing waking up on October 26 and seeing something they didn’t recognize do something they couldn’t believe. They Googled us. They emailed us. They called us. “What are you doing?” they said, or “We get what you’re doing, and it’s amazing.” This was invariably followed up with “I’ve ordered my copy.”
And sometimes, a week later, followed up again with “This book is incredible.”
And we just smiled and said “We know! That’s the point!”
In the next few weeks we’ll be focusing on making sure the bookstores who stock our book don’t regret their decision. But there’s one very important, very mechanical task in front of us right now — one you can help with!
We’re going back to the press with a new printing of the book, and we want to take this opportunity to fix the handful of typos that crept into the manuscript. After the jump we’ve compiled a list of the ones we’ve found so far. (Some of these have already been fixed in the digital versions.) We want the next printing to be perfect! So please leave a comment with any others we may have missed, and we’ll update the post accordingly. We only have a day or so to make these changes, so we’re hoping you can help — if nothing else, verify that we’ve caught everything!
UPDATE: Thanks so much for your eagle eyes! We’ve made notations as to the corrections in the comments. We are preparing your prizes this weekend and will be announcing them soon!
if you find any more errors for Pete’s sake keep them to yourself we have a lot of books on the press now
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