Thursday, February 28, 2008

Suicide strike

As my books usually take about six years to break even, while the last couple of hundred copies sell out in 2 days flat, I have decided to try something new for the book 6 pre-order. I have to sell about 400 to break even, so the first 400 will come with a random hand-drawn postcard by me. Some are felt-tip line-drawings, some are done with brush markers or pencils, a few are in colour, I may paint a couple to be won like golden tickets. My question to you, readers, before I break my body and mind forever in completing this task, is does this provide the necessary frisson to speed your early purchase?

OTHER BUSINESS
A few weeks ago I may have lightly poked fun at XKCD. This was done out of pure jealousy at its enormous readership and minimal artistic effort, probably after a day spent agonising over drawing someone's shoulders correctly. It was not a very nice thing to do. Randall Munroe is just a man doing his level best in the world and receiving towering wheelbarrows of money and gems as a result.

I am not as successful as Randall Munroe because, instead of making humorous comics about lofty scientific and mathematic principles, my comics are emotionally impenetrable thousand-yard stares into the void masquerading as hi-jinks. From now on, this is going to change.

(Thinks for a minute, I do not know anything about science, all my expertise lies in skylarking and tomfoolery, what have I done &etc)

I have been forced by circumstances to change back.

36 comments:

Gareth said...

I will preorder with free art or without. Free art would be a nice bonus though and would certainly encourage an early order of the book, from me.

Donna Marijne said...

Extra goodies are always welcome but to be honest I would buy it fairly promptly if you wrapped it in old bin liner and instructed the postman to kick me in the shins as he handed it over.

Brett said...

I am a bad, bad person and am more likely to order early if bribed. I won't lie about it.

Leah said...

The postcard will, in fact, get me to pre-order instead of following the dictates of the bank on when it might be "safe" to "spend". Perhaps you can save your sanity by doing fewer of them?

Brian G. said...

Seeing as how I never seem to get the books until two weeks before you release the new one, I think some sweet, sweet original art would be the punch in the knickers I need.

Lisa Martincik said...

I will buy your book right away as soon as I remember or am reminded it is available.

Roman said...

The sinking dollar will not prevent me from buying your book, sir.

crake said...

Is the postcard thing just an idea or a plan you're about to put into action A-Team stylee? It would make me pre-order.

Chris said...

sounds like a good plan to me! hooray extra goodies!

John A said...

Crake, I am 45 postcards to the good already (the idea is to draw a certain number every day before the books get here).

Jon said...

I usually like to buy the books from you in person at San Diego for some reason, but I would happily perform this pre-order action if it helps you go to bed knowing you have done right.

John A said...

Jon, you might be waiting a while to repeat that experience as I am NEVER GOING BACK yeah I said it mang I said it.

Stephen said...

I'd buy the book even if you weren't selling it. I'd break into your abode and pilfer a copy, leaving a bag of pennies as I scarpered.

Karl said...

That preorder would do it for me. I'm a bit behind in SGR books and had been planning on getting them in order - and, um, I've barely up as they go out of print - so a combination preorder combo pack would really do it, finally giving me an excuse to drop some low-quality American money on books 3, 4, and 5 as well.

giles said...

I don't know what frisson is, but it sounds fantastic. I must certainly need more of it.

spugmeistress said...

i too am easily swayed by free stuff and would definitely pre-order. the fact i might soon actually be getting a job that pays real money also helps!

Kenny said...

I usually like to wait until there are several things I want before making the leap into a purchase, but yes, this would incentivize things further. I would also go back and buy your Ghosts book that came out right after my last go-round.

Robert said...

Not that I wouldn't be trying to buy it soon anyway, but an art-ified postcard would certainly be a tasty, tasty dangling carrot.

fontgoddess said...

Can I just send you my money right now while I can blame bugetary indescretions on the recent lunar eclipse?

gordon said...

Now you've mentioned it, yes a postcard would entice me to pre-order.

Although so would "Hey guys, it would really help out if as many of you as possible could pre-order the book"

Mike said...

Um, yes. Just opening up pre-orders will be enough to thrust money at you. A postcard may just be enough to make me all sorts of joyous.

So, that's 19 of us. Only 381 to go!

Reuss said...

I feel your frisson. Lead me to the pre-order.

Hermit Guy said...

Count me in, even if you run out of arty cards and have to send me one of Oldham instead.

La Chelsa said...

I agree that the art is the fillip I would need to preorder the book right away, rather than waiting for a more financially wise time to buy it.

Jamie M. said...

By the way, if you were to make "There Will Be Blood" caricature shirts, kites or glove socks, I think I might buy a lot of them ... My friend Molly said she would, too. See, I even conducted a focus group!

Laura said...

I would buy your book on preorder even without the cards but I would love to recieve one! Esp excited about the 'golden ticket' idea!

D said...

That sounds awesome, but surely an obscene amount of work for you?

By the way, since I'm thinking of placing an order to get the books I don't have yet in one fell swoop, how far off is the 6th one likely to be?

Christopher said...

John, let me tell you this: I fully intended on buying the next book when it came out regardless of whether anything special came with it or not. Now, the fact that free art is going to come with it seals the deal more than ever and I very much want to pre-order it as soon as possible. If there's such a thing as a pre-pre-order let me know, until then I will wait patiently for the actually pre-order like the rest of the suckers.

Rene Engström said...

I would have gotten the book regardless but I see this as a lovely bonus and will definately preorder.

Tamara said...

Typically I wait until a birthday or Christmas and beg for the new SGR book as a present so that I can spend my own meager student funds on things like jam and cheese. But if there is art then I will definitely forego a weekly ration of cheese and pre-order the book.

Sparkles F said...

Seeing as you don't have to compete with the ridiculous euro-dollar exchange rate (you know, the one for buying things which are necessary for livin') as I am back in the states (maybe for good), I have returned to buying your insanely cheap (if you live in England)/insanely expensive (if you live in the land of recession, no matter what the POTUS says) goods. You may now rejoice that I will be back to paying a fifth of your power bill once every two months. :)

stereo-tzu said...

I will be buying the book regardless Mr John... I have all the rest and it'd be bad juju to leave one out of the collection.

I would like a Golden ticket to see Willy Wonka though however... why was all the chocolate from the film release limited edition - I want morrrreeee...

rin said...

If, Sir John A., you were to package a copy of Blame the Sky in honor of this little American cousin's birthday today with her preorder, I would definitely buy it!

I say this because I got the rest of the collection for my birthday. And there is a sad little hole between LBE and Skellington.

Tranquil said...

Yep.

I generally order something like this as I know about it and postcards are a super bonus.

Steve said...

I had sworn that I would buy a copy of the Looks, Brains Reissue as soon as it came out. And I really meant it at the time. However, I just this month actually ordered and received it (along with the half of the books I didn't already have). I am ashamed, but also a realist. A promise of personalized postcards would force my hand for sure.

Sleepery said...

Yes, this would induce me to pre-order :)