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Home News by Category The Pale King TPK Release Online vs Bricks-and-Mortar

TPK Release Online vs Bricks-and-Mortar

A few more pieces about the confusion surrounding the release of The Pale King.
First from The Wheeler Centre in Melbourne, Australia, Online retailers get the jump on David Foster Wallace novel:
One of the year’s most anticipated publishing events has become just a fraction less anticipated. It was commonly believed that David Foster Wallace’s posthumous novel The Pale King was due to be published on April 15. But pre-order copies of the novel have been available to buy on Amazon since March 22 – and some booksellers in the US are already selling the novel. On the strength of this alone, the book is already topping the March Top Ten list at The Millions.

And from The Green Apple Core, Pale King: An Editorial:

For months, Hachette Book Group has been counting down to the April 15 release of the late David Foster Wallace's unfinished novel, The Pale King. (A gimmick, see: the plot revolves around the IRS and, as everyone knows, April 15 is tax day.) Hence the counter above, which can be downloaded from the book page at Hachette.

So when word began spreading Wednesday morning that the novel was available on Amazon and the Barnes & Noble website two weeks before its "official" publication date, independent booksellers--yours truly among them--were left to wonder why the book was not yet on our shelves. (As if Amazon, with its predatory pricing scheme, needs the boost it surely got by having an in-demand book available before most retailers.)

So much for fair competition.

While it's not uncommon for books to be shipped and sold before their official publication date, there's reason enough in this case, given the cult status DFW has attained since his suicide in 2007, for even the NY Times to wade into the controversy with this article, in which several booksellers express their dismay at Hachette's seemingly underhanded (or, at best, willfully naive) act. In its defense, the publisher's representatives state that the official on-sale date of the book was, in fact, March 22, while the official publication date remained April 15. Confused yet?
Last Updated on Monday, 04 April 2011 19:15  

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