Win a Copy of The Witch Watch

By Shamus Posted Thursday Apr 26, 2012

Filed under: Notices 47 comments

A while back, I sent a pile of signed copies of my book to The Escapist, and they’re now giving them away. Even if you’re not looking for a copy of the book, it might be worth taking the quiz. (I wrote it.)

Amazon.co.uk keeps selling out of The Witch Watch. This sounds like a brag, but the truth is they seem to only stock five copies at a time. Those sell right away, and then they’re “out of stock” for a month. So it’s not so much that Amazon.uk is selling a lot, they just don’t keep any on hand. Sorry. Nothing I can do about that.

On the other hand, I hear The Book Depository is a pretty good deal. Available in most countries, and free shipping.

 


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47 thoughts on “Win a Copy of The Witch Watch

  1. Mephane says:

    Another reason why digital is the way of the future. No more “out of stock” messages! :D

    1. Mistwraithe says:

      Yeah, you say that now, but what happens when the bits run out? Heh? Then we’ll all be screwed!

      1. Mephane says:

        Nah, we will just print more ones and zeros. It seems to work with money, so why shouldn’t it work with bits. ;)

    2. Jack V says:

      You would think so, wouldn’t you? But I worry that many deals may not be for “as many as you can sell” for some reason, just because that’s how people are used to doing it.

    3. some random dood says:

      Still waiting for a waterproof device. I often read in the bath, so need my reading material to be able to survive a little water. On the few times when I actually dropped a book it was just a matter of careful drying and waiting (and accepting that the book would never close properly afterwards). With an e-reader, I think it might be a bit bigger issue!
      Oh, and Shamus? About Witch Watch? Great read, thanks! (I was lucky getting one of those Amazon UK batches.)

      1. Mephane says:

        Couldn’t you just wrap one in transparent film? There are even bags designed specifically for using non-waterproof devices (e.g. cameras) in water, if I were to read in the tub, I would get one of those.

        1. some random dood says:

          No idea! I’d just been waiting for devices advertised as water-proof (or at least -resistant) rather than bagging one up, so thanks for the suggestion. Wonder how that would work as most devices are touch-screen these days? Anyway, I saw that a manufacturer is looking at bringing a water-proof tablet to the market, so I think I’ll wait for reviews of that.

      2. I just use a giant ziplock bag for my kindle. And just double the bags if you are particularly nervous. Also works for smartphones.

        1. Mephane says:

          Thanks, I was already worrying that my idea sounded rather ridiculous compared to just bringing an ordinary book made of paper, heh.

  2. Bubble181 says:

    Hmm, hadn’t seen the Book Depository stocked your book. Oh well.
    Just an FYI for other readers in Europe: Amazon.de has cheaper rates all over Europe than the UK, and it seems to stock more Witch Watches, too.

    1. Sumanai says:

      Note to people: The last time I tried ordering through Amazon.de it was in German and lumped a pile of extra costs at the last minute on top of the shipping and the price of the stuff as VAT or something.

      1. Zak McKracken says:

        Hmm… where did you order to? UK?

        Within Germany, you pay the price and with Amazon, books are free to ship.
        The Book Depository offers the book (very slightly) cheaper and with no shipping charge worldwide, though. Also, they’re no a monopolist, just sayin’

        In Germany we have 19% VAT on everything except food (and some other weeeiiird exceptions), but that’s always already in the price you see on the website. Maybe international shipping costs extra? Or they add another charge for shipping to the UK, in order to “compensate” the price difference between amazon.uk and amazon.de.

        It’s quite weird. I’m in the UK often, but I find that almost everything (except Gas and Electricity) is cheaper in Germany (actually in most of the Euro zone), even though the Pound is supposed to have dropped soo far.

        1. Sumanai says:

          I’m in Finland. Since Bubble181 directed his hint towards all Europians, I don’t think it’s right to focus on how it works if you order within Germany only. Don’t remember if it was a book, but I think it doesn’t hurt to double check the price it’s showing right at the end and make sure the number you’re looking at really is the final price that is going to be charged.

  3. Dev Null says:

    I bought a digital copy, so I’ll go in the draw for a dusty old-school dead tree version. And I’d want to keep it, but that reminds me of a question I’d been meaning to ask, because I know so many people who’ve published books lately:

    How do you feel about your book being sold used?

    On the one hand, you’d get no money for it, so thats obviously bad. But on the other hand, it could expose your book and your name to people who might not otherwise have encountered it, which is presumably a good thing. And maybe those folks would look you up on amazon and buy your next book…

    I buy most of my books from our local used bookstore, because its good, and local, and cheap. But with all the discussions about Evil Evil Gamestop Destroying Video Games For All Time, I guess its got me thinking about how authors might feel about the used book market… and here’s my chance to just ask one.

    1. Shamus says:

      “How do you feel about your book being sold used?”

      I see it as a good thing.

      I’d lower the price of the paperback if I could. (Yahtzee, who went with a big publisher, can sell his book for $7. When I sell through Amazon, because I’m publishing through print-on-demand CreateSpace, they keep $14+ from the sales price, and I can’t set the price lower than $18 or so.) So maybe someone wants it, but not for $20. Used copies gives them a way to get my book.

      If I had the clout, I’d squeeze the used market a bit by nudging my hardcopy price down over time. Still, the used market is a good thing for both me and the consumer.

      1. Jeff says:

        I suspect it obviously depends on the renown of the writer. Getting word out when you’re still new is good – it’s not exactly lost income if he wasn’t going to buy it because he’d never heard of you in the first place.

        When you’re a rich best selling author, you’d probably count those as lost sales.

        1. Shamus says:

          I can’t see doing that myself, simply because I understand peripheral markets.

          I’m a big fan of (say) survival horror, sims, and RPG’s. But driving games? Meh. I’m not very good, and they’re not very fun to me. But for $5? I’d buy a driving game for five bucks and blow a couple of hours on it. I don’t expect publishers to release a AAA driving game at $5 just to get my business, though.

          But if the game gets to be a few years old and they want to unload it? I’ll buy it. If a driving fan wants to unload it to get some money for the next driving game? I’ll buy it.

          Either way the publisher wins. Either they take my $5 directly, long after release, or their game is $5 “cheaper” for their intended audience. There is never a situation where I’ll pay $60 for a driving game, so this is not a “lost” sale. It’s a sale that can only take place through discounts and used markets.

          1. Ringwraith says:

            This is what companies don’t seem to get.
            Some people don’t choose used copies because they’re cheaper than new ones, the choose them because they are the only ones they can afford. If they weren’t there they won’t go out and buy new copies.

          2. Shimmin says:

            Here’s another couple of thoughts related to that.

            My classic D&D 10’x10′ room has more than four hundred books in. More than a hundred of them I haven’t read yet. So often, I’ll pass over books by even authors I like, simply because why spend £10 on something I might not read for a couple of years that’ll take up space now? Only if I’m sure I’ll read it soon. But if I’m in town and see something odd or interesting in a second-hand shop, I might still pick it up for £3 to glance at at lunchtime or read on a train journey. It’s cheap enough not to count as expenditure and be minimal guilt for my reading-pile :) If it turns out to be good, great, I found a new author, and I’ll tell my friends and plug the book on LibaryThing. If not, I can dump it without guilt. Shamus doesn’t lose out by pricing his book at £3 for everyone to get my custom, and I still read it. One thing this leads to is that sometimes I’ll get a second-had book, and then buy full-price copies for other people as gifts. So it’s not just getting the word out, it directly creates sales.

            Also, this is possibly me being mad, but there are quite a few books out there I’ve bought several times. For a journey or if I’m feeling down, I might pick up a copy of an old favourite to read, then drop it at a charity shop when I’m done, or pass it on to someone else, because I don’t need to keep it. Quite often this is people who wouldn’t have bought it, but might enjoy it – whatever friends or family I’m visiting, or someone at work. Maybe they go on and buy copies for people too.

            Basically, similar to what Shamus said, there’s different categories of books. There’s “books I’ll pay £10 for because I’ll read and enjoy them”, and “books I’ll not pay £10 for because they’re not a high priority and I might never read them”. But a low-cost option, be it second-hand sales or discount bookshops, creates a third option of “books I’ll take a chance on for £3” that can have useful knock-on effects.

          3. Zak McKracken says:

            Thanks for writing this.

            I see the other benefit in used sales thusly: If I’m not sure whether a new expensive thing is actually to my liking, and I’ve no way to find out without buying it, I’m much more likely to buy it if I know that I’ll be able to just sell it a bit cheaper in a month if I want to.

      2. Dev Null says:

        Thanks for the feedback. Still reckon I’ll keep yours if I win the contest… then when you’re rich and famous I can sell a signed first edition to some crazy collector for a mint.

  4. Josh says:

    “The Witch Watch” is a novel by Miracle of Sound.

    I win, right?

    1. krellen says:

      My favourite is “the music of the 1800s is old”.

      1. Bubble181 says:

        I like that one, because it’s funny *and* the correct answer.

        1. ENC says:

          Ehh old is subjective, but I imagine it would’ve trumped a lot of people who assume old = Baroque when Baroque = 1600-1750 (no I didn’t have to google that).

          Would be nice to have a copy but I made have to end up buying a digital copy if I don’t get it.

          I’d also prefer a DD link Shamus, even if it’s the same price as elsewhere, to support indie writers more.

    2. Aldowyn says:

      I liked that one too. I think I actually tweeted something mentioning it to Shamus…

    3. Tzeneth says:

      Don’t forget about London and its beautiful clean air during the Victorian era, heck the air was amazing for the entirety of the 19th century :)

  5. Jamas Enright says:

    While I look Book Depository (10% off at the moment!), it’s not free shipping, it’s hidden shipping. They simply incorporate the shipping cost into the price you see (which changes depending on your IP!). And it was brought by Amazon last year. Indeed, the price is basically the Amazon price plus the Amazon item shipping cost, with no per order cost…

    1. Sumanai says:

      I wouldn’t call that hidden shipping. Hidden implies that I can’t make an informed decision about it. If the shipping is included in the price, as it is in every place with “free shipping”, I can easily tell what the total price of the product is and compare to other locations to determine what is the best choice for me.

    2. Xapi says:

      I’m seeing it at a $20 price tag with free shipping to Argentina, so I don’t think there’s a hidden shipping charge.

      I’m not seeing that 10% off though.

    3. Zak McKracken says:

      hmm… not for me. I see a price that is 10 cent below the Amazon price. But both vendors don’t charge extra for shipping.

    4. Marcellus says:

      I’ve just ordered a copy from Hungary. It was listed at €14.80, which is pretty much equal to $20, so no extra shipping charge here.

  6. Otakun says:

    Shamus, whats the best (as in, you get most revenue) way to buy a digital copy? I have a Kindle. I would be willing to buy direct from you as well if that’s an option (assuming you can mail a PDF)

    1. Shamus says:

      Smashwords. Smashwords is the way to go for digital, because it gives us the biggest cut and gives you the most options with regard to format.

      1. Bubble181 says:

        Is it against contract rules of some kind to just e-mail the pdf to people who donate/send money through paypal? I mean, assuming there’re still Shamusheads out there who haven’t bought it yet, I’d imagine there’d be those who’d be willing to just give you $5 for a mail with an attachment – and that way, you keep 100%. Not viable for all sales, obviously.

        1. Shamus says:

          Heh. I wouldn’t be allowed to do this if I was with a big publisher, but sure. I own it and I can do what I like. My wife has been setting up something along these lines: Paypal for a download link.

          I’d ask her about it now, but she’s super sick. :(

          1. Tzeneth says:

            I hope she gets better quickly.

            1. Bubble181 says:

              Same. Speedy recovery, misses Young!

  7. Blake says:

    Tried this, couldn’t log into The Escapist via Facebook (screw making a new account for something else I’ll never use), tried it in my usual Firefox installation (which has flashblock, ad-block, and DNT (first 2 disabled here of course), then I tried it with my stock Chrome installation, no change.

    Guess it just doesn’t want me doing the quiz then.

  8. Even says:

    I’d still heartily recommend checking Cdon.com for anyone in Scandinavia or Finland. At least for Finland there’s no credit card needed and you can have them deliver the package with the bill instead. The book is a bit more pricey than in The Book Depository (22.95€) though and the shipping is 3€ extra unless you have a discount code.

  9. Gamer says:

    I said this on twitter, but it was a well-written and fun little quiz.

    Nice work, Shamus.

  10. Gahrer says:

    Huh. This explains why Amazon tells me that my copy will arrive in one month.

  11. Dmatix says:

    Awesome, the Book Depository has it now. Time for me to finally get a copy.

  12. Steve C says:

    I read your site daily during lunch. I’m highly amused that the contest is 18hrs long and will be over 20mins from the time I first found out about it.

    1. Shamus says:

      The contest is almost a week old. I just neglected to link it because… Actually, I have no idea why I didn’t link it sooner.

  13. Ramsus says:

    Gone before I could even enter. =(

  14. Ian Miller says:

    Are there any sales numbers or general “yay it’s selling well/beter/worse than expected” things you can tell us?

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