Dave Eggers has a new novel coming out in the fall called “The Avery.” But you won’t be able to buy it in all the usual places – at least not now.
A hardcover of “The Avery” will be published by McSweeney, founded by Eggers in 1998, and will be released on October 5, but only in independent bookstores. The novel will have at least 32 different covers randomly distributed.
Six weeks later, Vintage would publish the e-book and paperback, with only one cover. They’ll be available everywhere, as will the audiobook version, which will come out the same day.
But you still won’t be able to buy hardcover on Amazon; That version will only be available at independent stores and on McSweeney’s website.
“I don’t like bullies,” Eggers wrote in an email. “Amazon has been sanding down the front of independent bookstores for decades.”
The novel follows Delaney Wells, a former forest ranger and tech skeptic, as she tries to take down a dangerous monopoly from the inside: a company called The Avery, formed when the world’s most powerful e-commerce company The site merged with the largest social media company. /Search engine.
“One of the themes of the book is the power of monopolies to determine our choices, so this seems like a good opportunity to push back a little bit against the monopoly, Amazon, that currently rules the book world,” he said. said. “So we started looking at how feasible it would be to make hardcover available only through independent bookstores. It turns out it’s very hard.”
Eggers said it was also a challenge to distribute the book in a way that excluded Amazon, as the general agreement with McSweeney’s distributor, Baker & Taylor Publisher Services, prevented it from bypassing the retail giant. The vintage, part of Penguin Random House, wouldn’t be in a position to even go around them.
“We are retail-agnostic,” said Paul Bogards, 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 backing the Indies,” Bogards said of the hardcover plan, “and then six weeks later we get the trade paperback, which is great for us.”
“The Avery” Is a Follow-up “Circle,” A huge hit with 750,000 copies sold. But Bogards said that when the new novel is published, Vintage expects to see an increase in sales of Eggers’ older work that goes beyond just “The Circle.” Eggers has 15 backlisted titles in Vintage, a catalog that has sold millions of copies, and all of his books will be reissued over the course of the next year.
This sales plan is unusual in that it is not the first time Eggers has had an unconventional publishing arrangement. In 2002, he also worked around Amazon, distributing hardcovers of “You Shall Know Our Velocity” directly through nearly 500 independent bookstores. “But apparently,” he said of Amazon, “their reach has increased dramatically since then.”
“We’ve got to get used to the algorithms and monopoly making some of the decisions for us,” said McSweeney publisher Amanda Uhle. “We’re not going to break the whole system here, we’re not trying to do that. But if we opened a door for someone to go out and ask them to go to the shop around the corner, and Finds out what’s out there, so it’s a win.”