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Max Barry wrote the novels Syrup, Jennifer Government, Company, Machine Man, and Lexicon. He also created the game NationStates and once found a sock full of pennies.

Blog

Thu 30
Jun
2011

Magnets: How do they get into my possession?

Machine Man Machine Man the novel is out August 9, unless you live in one of those countries that hates me, like the UK. Seriously, UK. What have I ever done to you? Aside from those Bedford blogs. Those were totally justified. Bedford is horrible.

Anyway, the point is: look at me with this actual book! The publishers have started printing. A couple days ago I was asked whether I’d miss the sensation of holding a physical copy of my book, since I allegedly believe ebooks are destined to take over from print. And as much as I wanted to say no, because, hey, bring on the electrons, the answer was yes. I do find it incredibly rewarding to hold my book, made real. I mean made physical. Ebooks are real. I never said otherwise. But a thing, a touchable, material thing, does validate the book’s existence in a straightforward and undeniable way. When I dreamed of being a published writer, I was mostly imagining a shelf full of physical objects. Those objects may not be important, in the long run. They may be the medium and nothing more. But boy, they are something.

Some promotional stuff is brewing. First, if you’re in Australia, Scribe is doing a very cool thing whereby you can buy the print version and get a Booki.sh e-copy for free. See here under “ebook bundle”. If you’re not in Australia, and can get to San Diego for Comic-Con 2011, Vintage will be giving away Advanced Reader Copies* and more importantly AWESOME MAGNETS. Look at these things. You can mix and match human and artificial parts. You know you want that more than life itself. That isn’t just me.

If you can’t get to San Diego, you can win magnets and possibly something else via a competition I haven’t invented yet. The important thing is I promise there will be access to magnets. Stay tuned. And suggest some competition ideas. Because seriously, I need to think of something.

Finally: US book tour. There isn’t one. Or at least, not a physical one. This is mainly because flying an author thousands of miles to sell three dozen copies of a book is not very cost-effective. Especially when that author tends to order a lot of room service and make long international phone calls. But also because I have an idea for a virtual book tour, which is cheaper and appropriate for the novel and solves the problem of people complaining I’m visiting every city in the world except their one. Details to come on that, too. I just wanted to let you know early so you’re not hanging around postponing your vacation in case I come to Tallahassee that precise weekend. Go ahead. Book the flight. You deserve it.


(* Advanced Reader Copies are early versions given out to reviewers and bloggers and, for some reason, Comic-Con 2011 attendees. Sometimes these wind up on ebay and people like you wonder if they should buy them. I think they make neat collectibles, but they’re inferior to the final book in three ways: the text is uncorrected, meaning it contains typos and things I changed at the last minute, the cover and front/back matter is different, and the production quality of the book itself is lower. Also I don’t get paid for ARCs. So that’s four ways.)

Comments

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Caleb Crotzer (#1461)

Location: California, USA
Quote: "Breathe!!"
Posted: 2669 days ago

Cool. I look forward to reading it. I tried the first 4 or 5 installments on-line, but the format just wasn't for me. I thought it was an interesting idea to write a "book" in that way, but I just want to keep reading when I have a good story in hand.
Keep writing, Max!

Machine Man subscriber Marleen (#2741)

Location: Berlin, Germany
Quote: "I want more expensive shoes in one place than I've ever seen in my whole life."
Posted: 2669 days ago

Awesome.

PS: Want the magnets.

PPS: Make the competition so people post their favourite quote from the book or online version as a twitter or facebook update. Free promo and more followers for you, magnets for me?

Ben Moss (#109)

Location: New York, NY
Posted: 2669 days ago

virtual book tour, psh, didn't Margaret Atwood already do that?
www.collisiondetection.net/mt/archives/2006/03/margaret_atwood.php

Thomas (#1221)

Location: Germany
Quote: "One more, and I'm going to consider you my penpal."
Posted: 2669 days ago

I'll take one.

Even though I'm slightly scared of you, now that I've seen that pic of you as the creepy waiter in Syrup.

Oh, also, can't wait to watch Syrup.

Machine Man subscriber Alan W (#1427)

Location: Spokane, Washington
Quote: "Corgis are like potato chips"
Posted: 2669 days ago

I'll be getting this at the iBook Store as soon as it's available! I have made the decision to go to purely digital books. It's not that I don't love paper books, I just don't have the space.

Machine Man subscriber Tim (#2866)

Location: Brighton, England
Quote: "How much do you know about yourself if you've never been in a fight?"
Posted: 2669 days ago

What is happening with publishing the book in the UK? What about meeeee? :( Can you post me a copy? Thanks :)

Machine Man subscriber Guy Wright (#2861)

Location: Toronto, Canada, eh
Quote: "push the button max! (Jack Lemmon as Prof. Fate)"
Posted: 2669 days ago

OK then, how about this. Margaret Atwood, Famous Canadian Author (TM) is associated with a product called the "LongPen" (see link below), devised as a way for authors to conduct book signings even though they are half way around the world (which is actually the case when we are talking about you in Australia and me in Canada, eh). Do you get the symmetry here Max? Machine Man book. Automated pen. Author signing book with automated pen. ...No, you're right. It's too cute. Forget I ever mentioned it....
But I would love to have a signed copy of that book.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LongPen

Machine Man subscriber tim (#3234)

Location: chattanooga, TN, USA
Quote: """
Posted: 2669 days ago

what I want to know is; How the hell are there two tim's?

Machine Man subscriber gStein (#585)

Location: 127.0.0.1
Quote: "That's not change! That's more of the same!"
Posted: 2669 days ago

i preordered my copy on amazon a few weeks ago... can't wait!

John (#4508)

Location: Austin, Texas
Posted: 2669 days ago

Gonna preorder my copy of it on Barnes & Noble... Like what voidref said, I'm also going to all eBooks, because of the space issue (it's so awesome to have a gazillion books at your fingertips, plus you can't get paper cuts!).

Can't wait to read it! I'm a little sad you're not doing another US book tour (I loved it when you did a reading from Company and an early preview of Machine Man in Austin at the BookPeople store), but a virtual tour is kinda neat too, and as you said, very fitting.

Brittany O. (#1688)

Location: Montana
Quote: "people are kind of overrated "
Posted: 2669 days ago

Oh, I WANT those magnets.
And PLEASE do not do something via a social network. YOU were the coolest thing because you had a BLOG. What happened to doing a contest from here. (I closed all my accounts as I had a creepy stalker find me on Facebook- down with social networking)

And again, Magnets, Yes Please!

Machine Man subscriber b3n3llis (#3159)

Location: UK
Posted: 2669 days ago

The person who converts the highest percentage of their own body 'meat' to 'machine' wins a book and magnets.

The competition writes itself.

jessica (#3063)

Location: austin, tx
Quote: "You can't start a fire worrying about your little world falling apart."
Posted: 2669 days ago

Cover looks awesome! Congrats on a real live book to hold! Hmmm...maybe you could have a caption contest regarding the magnets or a random picture...or the magnets placed in a setting somewhere?! Best caption wins!

Ben (#5426)

Location: SoCal
Posted: 2669 days ago

It's just not cost effective for me to buy a ticket to Comic-Con for a magnet. There must be an easier way for me to get one. I have a spot saved on my fridge and everything.

stanley becker (#5283)

Location: black hole
Quote: "DON"T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER!!"
Posted: 2669 days ago

Its your magnetic personality or a psychopomp dressed up as one - if I knew what I am talking about, I wouldn't talk, ......... all this magnetism has drained my brain - like Philip K. Dick said "Do Magnetic sheep dream of androids" - attractive stuff aka magnets

Machine Man subscriber Max

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote: "I'm my number one fan!"
Posted: 2669 days ago

That Atwood robot pen is fantastic. You just know they're working on a version that can kill people.

Alex (#4996)

Location: Chicago
Quote: "I am not a number! I am a free man! *is handed a printout* ...Oh, I guess I'm actually #4996. "
Posted: 2669 days ago

Fucking magnets, how do they work?

Connor C. (#3507)

Location: San Antonio, TX & Peoria, IL
Quote: "I think, therefore I am. This but merely scratches the surface of what it is to be Human"
Posted: 2669 days ago

I'll be looking for the first edition. I will also be looking for your signature to add to the collection with the other three.

If I get the advanced reader copy I'll make sure to send you 20$ or w/e it's going to cost. :)

Machine Man subscriber Gareth Ablett (#4348)

Location: Chichester - UK
Quote: "RT 4348 Gareth Ablett Chichester - UK"
Posted: 2669 days ago

Any idea when us brits might see it on the shelves?

Can't wait to see whats changed from the online version.

Machine Man subscriber lance (#4940)

Location: newcastle nsw
Posted: 2669 days ago

What version do you make more money on yourself ebook or print?

stanley becker (#5283)

Location: black hole
Quote: "DON"T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER!!"
Posted: 2669 days ago

The Atwood pen. What will archaeologists say in the Future about Margaret's misanthropy. Yes Max, I agree with you 100% "somebodies gonna die" Remember "First they burn the books, then they burn the people"

towr (#1914)

Location: Netherlands
Posted: 2669 days ago

I've preordered it ten minutes ago, so have an order of fries on me; and if your cut of the book's price is big enough have a milkshake too. :P

Machine Man subscriber Katie Ellert (#207)

Location: Calgary AB Canada
Quote: "Where's Lola? WHERE'S LOLA?!?!"
Posted: 2668 days ago

I want magnets, pre-orders should come with them. Just saying.
Also, I'm amused that the ebooks through scribe are called "bookish".
Also, if you do a virtual tour, how are you going to sign all my books for me - especially this one with my name in it **squeals with excitement**

Working in print, I know how exciting it is getting that first final hard copy of something you've been working so hard on :)

I'm getting very excited!

Abgrund (#3357)

Location: Atlantis
Quote: ""Redeem your mind from the hockshops of authority." - Ayn Rand"
Posted: 2668 days ago

I suspect that a lot of the pleasure readers get from meeting an author in person is the same as that derived from holding an actual, physical book in one's hands. Although one hopes that fewer spines get broken.

Machine Man subscriber Toby O (#2900)

Location: Sydney
Quote: "You can't sell your soul to the devil if he's not buying"
Posted: 2668 days ago

I'm way too tempted by this idea of "competition" so here's my suggestion: something along the lines of Cranium, where the entrant uses a photo, drawing, clay figure (photo of), or acting out to represent something out of the book. Voted by readers. Winning categories include: most Aussie votes, most global votes, and most non-human votes.

I know... all this for a few lousy magnets.

Jack Brownfield (#5166)

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Quote: "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."
Posted: 2667 days ago

How about (for the contest) a tournament that pits the entrants against each other. Each entrant submits something to do with Machine Man, like a photo, short video of one scene, or whatever. Then members vote on which is the best, and the winners advance to the next round.

Iain Grant (#5501)

Location: United Kingdom
Quote: "should cannibalism be grounds for leniancy in murder as it's less wasteful? Discuss. "
Posted: 2665 days ago

Damn my country! I live in Bedfordshire and I agree with Max! Bedford is horrible...

More Max less Tax!

ryandake (#2199)

Location: scenic monterey, ca
Quote: ""The rest is not our business.""
Posted: 2665 days ago

join us on Goodreads for your virtual tour! say yes!

Machine Man subscriber Adam (#24)

Location: Morristown, Indiana
Quote: "Why do I blog? Simple, because Max Barry blogs."
Posted: 2662 days ago

I think you should do a random drawing like you did for the zephyr holdings cup and poster...that worked out well for me.

Or you can give the magnets to the person who writes the best haiku:

Max Barry is awesome
Magnets should be sent to me
Seriously. NOW!

-Adam

Machine Man subscriber Bushra (#36)

Location: Fremont, California
Quote: "www.caffeinatedmuslim.com"
Posted: 2648 days ago

Ah! No book tour?! I was totally going to have you sign the Australian version of Syrup I got when I was in Australia last year (I liked the cover better than the one on the American version I already have).

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