We Pause for this Commercial Interruption: Newton and the Counterfeiter/Kindle redux edition
Well, that was an annoying ride.
I mean the seemingly endless saga of achieving the possibilty of Kindle/ebook sales for my poor but honest offering, Newton and the Counterfeiter. (Dead tree versions here: Amazon, Powells, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound and across the pond at Amazon.co.uk, Waterstones, Blackwells, Borders, and John Smith & Son.)
Loyal readers may recall that it took more than six or seven weeks between delivering the file to Amazon (a bit late, but not that late, in the context of the hard cover pub. date). Amazon is, apparently, notoriously slow and creaky around at least some of its interactions with publishers. (I do know that it took a very long time to get this book-promo video up on the US site…and that the interaction between my British publisher Faber & Faber and Amazon UK went much more smoothly than the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Amazon.com pairing did.)
But then came an email from old friend and former MIT colleague (not to mention tech/net education guru, Phillip Long, who complained that he could not get a Kindle edition of the book until next April, coinciding with the paperback release.
Apparently Amazon got its algorithm in a twist once HMH uploaded data about the upcoming new edition of an existing title.
Somehow — and I truly don’t understand how this could have happened, because it’s not exactly a new phenomenon in publishing to have a soft cover version follow a hard cover one into the wide world — my poor little book, highly praised though it may be, had to be denied the chance to take part in the day Kindle sales beat dead tree versions on the Amazon site.
Not for lack of effort on the part of HMH’s team, I must say. I notified my peeps over there as soon as Phil let me know of the glitch, and they’ve been working on it for at least three weeks. And today, I’m happy to say, HMH electronic stalwart Sanj Kharbanda was able to report success. Now, at last, you can get your Kindle edition of Newton and the Counterfeiter.
So: all of you gifted (that unlovely neologism) with Kindles (or the Kindle app on your iPhone, and soon, on your Blackberry!) in recent memory may now load up your new gizmo with your own personal copy of that thrilling true crime tale that both tracks Newton as he tracks the dapper don of his day — and that tells a tale of how the scientific revolution got mixed up with the financial one — to our continuing gain and sorrow. Seriously, it’s a great read, I’ve been told, and if you want to test that claim electronically, by all means, be my guest. (Not for a a moment to disparage dead tree versions of course, for those (like me) that still love that sense of time measured in turning leaves.)
There. I think I’ve shilled enough for one day.
Image: Rembrandt van Rijn, “Two Old Men Disputing,” 1628.