Dave Eggers has a brand new novel popping out in the fall known as “The Every.” But you received’t have the ability to purchase it in all the traditional locations — a minimum of not instantly.
The hardcover of “The Every” might be revealed by McSweeney’s, which Eggers based in 1998, and might be launched on Oct. 5, however solely in impartial bookstores. The novel could have a minimum of 32 completely different covers randomly distributed.
Six weeks later, Vintage will publish the e-book and paperback, which could have just one cowl. They might be accessible in all places, as will the audiobook version, which comes out the similar day.
But you continue to received’t have the ability to purchase the hardcover on Amazon; that model will solely be accessible at impartial shops, and on the McSweeney’s web site.
“I don’t like bullies,” Eggers wrote in an electronic mail. “Amazon has been kicking sand in the face of independent bookstores for decades now.”
The novel follows a former forest ranger and tech skeptic, Delaney Wells, as she tries to take down a harmful monopoly from the inside: an organization known as The Every, shaped when the world’s strongest e-commerce website merged with the largest social media firm/search engine.
“One of the themes of the book is the power of monopolies to dictate our choices, so it seemed a good opportunity to push back a bit against the monopoly, Amazon, that currently rules the book world,” he mentioned. “So we started looking into how feasible it would be to make the hardcover available only through independent bookstores. Turns out it is very, very hard.”
Dave Eggers, whose subsequent novel, “The Every,” won’t be accessible in hardcover on Amazon.Credit…Brecht von Maele
Eggers mentioned that even distributing the e book in a manner that excluded Amazon was a problem, as a result of McSweeney’s traditional settlement with its distributor, Baker & Taylor Publisher Services, prevented it from circumventing the retail large. Vintage, half of Penguin Random House, wouldn’t be ready to skip round them both.
“We’re retail-agnostic,” mentioned Paul Bogaards, deputy writer and govt director of communications at Knopf and Pantheon. But this association, he mentioned, is nice for all events concerned. “They go out and they’re supporting indies,” Bogaards mentioned of the hardcover plan, “and then six weeks later we get the trade paperback, which is great for us.”
“The Every” is a follow-up to “The Circle,” a serious hit that has offered 750,000 copies. But Bogaards mentioned that when the new novel publishes, Vintage hopes to see a lift in gross sales for Eggers’s older work extending past simply “The Circle.” Eggers has 15 backlist titles at Vintage, a catalog that has offered thousands and thousands of copies, and all of his books might be repackaged over the course of the subsequent yr.
Unusual as this gross sales plan is, it’s not the first time Eggers has had unorthodox publishing preparations. In 2002, he additionally labored round Amazon, distributing the hardcover of “You Shall Know Our Velocity” straight by way of about 500 impartial bookstores. “But obviously,” he mentioned of Amazon, “their reach has dramatically increased since then.”
“We’ve gotten so used to letting the algorithms and the monopolies make some decisions for us,” mentioned Amanda Uhle, the writer of McSweeney’s. “We’re not going to break the whole system here, we’re not trying to do that. But if we have opened a door for someone to walk outside and into the shop around the corner from them, and discover what’s there, that’s a win.”