Friday, January 20, 2006

I've Been Bootlegged!

Somebody in the U.K. got hold of an advance copy of Mom's Cancer and is auctioning it on eBay. Bidding starts at £2, which is about $3.50 U.S. Right now there are no bids, so if you've just got to read my book immediately, go for it. With my blessing...I guess.

I have mixed feelings. Advance copies are only supposed to go to publishing pros, media, reviewers and such for professional purposes. Heck, they only sent me five copies; I gave two to my sisters and, when I asked editor Charlie last week when I could get some more, he said he thought they were still on the boat. So the part of me that seethes when I see people cut in line hopes the seller gets absolutely no bids and makes no profit whatsoever.

On the other hand, my ego would be considerably heartened by a cut-throat bidding war that took the price into the stratosphere. Or at least above retail.

And yeah, I'm slightly tempted to bid on it myself. But that's just stupid.

In any case, this completely made my week--and it's been a hard week of work, so I deserve the laugh.


ronnie said...

Holy Cats, Brian! I don't know what to say...

I notice the seller says he ships to the UK only, if that makes a difference one way or another.

I'd consider it more evidence of the buzz that seems to be building around the book...

Our seller hasn't done his research, though; he's only got yer as being "nominated" for an Eisner! ;)

Wouldn't Mom have gotten an unbelievable kick out of this?

Ah, just wait until you find out someone is selling your chewed gum on Ebay...

BrianFies said...

The seller's wording isn't clear, but I think the "U.K. only" phrasing applies just to that particular postal rate. Looking down a couple of grafs, they say that overseas postage will cost more, implying that they'll ship it anywhere.

Still zero bids as of Sunday morning, with three days to go... I may have to bid on it just to salvage my pride.

Mom would have thought this was a hoot. I think there will be many occasions in the months to come that Mom would have enjoyed and that I will wish she could have seen.

Kid Sis said...


I could use another copy for our star legend who wants to give a quote. I might bid.

It's really a shame, because I'm going horsebackriding today with two showrunners and know quite a few "players" in Hollywood. If I had 20 copies I could get the movie rights sold before the book release, which would get it in the trades and boost book sales.

Lynne said...

Brian, this is very cool. (though under-handed).

I'm going to keep my eyes on it. I'm tempted to bid, too, but then I'm poor. :)

And, Mom IS seeing it all. I am certain of it. She's tickled pink, I bet. Maybe even had a hand in it?

The Drive-by Blogger said...

I'm just curious, if this was happening here instead of the U.K. would you be able to take any legal action?

BrianFies said...

Kid Sis, we'll talk.

Lynne, you don't wanna bid. Don't worry; I know a guy who knows a guy who can hook you up.

Drive-By, thanks for looking in. I'm not really sure the seller has done anything wrong. Publishers send out free advance copies to many people hoping they'll write reviews, do interviews, etc.--and I assume our seller is one of those people--but they're not under any obligation to do what we want. Hey, maybe the seller is a critic who wrote a glowing review to be published in March and doesn't need it anymore.

I think it would be more...sporting...of them to wait until the book is available publicly. And I could understand that a publisher might stop sending them advance copies if it became a habit. But I'm not exactly J.K. Rowling and "Mom's Cancer" ain't the next "Harry Potter."

Personally, I'm mildly amused. Having said that, Abrams is looking into it and I'm sure I'll follow their lead. I suspect this is pretty routine...just new to me.

Robin (from racs) said...

20 hours to go, and some serious bids now, from four bidders; it's past retail price, at least. Interesting barometer ... Good luck with the launch, Brian!

Brian Fies said...

Thanks, Robin! The official launch is at the New York Comic-Con at the end of February. I'm getting a little feels like a lot is starting to happen. We'll see how it goes.