Hello? Anyone Out There? Earth to Publishing!

Man Booker Longlist Announced, But Several of the Nominees Unavailable  in the States
A very tense morning as I and hundreds, thousands millions of others around the world waited for the announcement of the Man Booker Longlist.
I was surprised to realize that the judges were still duking it out this morning. I imagined they had this all worked out last week, and today would simply coronate the finalists in a tedious ceremony complete with PR drivel.  Much more exciting that they hash the thing out at the last minute.
But my elation with the release of the list quickly turned into disappointment as I see how few of these titles are available in the United States.
Oh Come ON!!!!  Global Village? Remember the Global Village?

Clearly, publishing is living on a small asteroid several lightyears from the global village. In fact, they may not even realize we’re out here. Quick, someone launch a SETI program to reach these extraterrestrials. Where is Carl Sagan when you need him?
Am I foolish to hope things will rapidly improve? Probably.
Anyway, without further ado or disappointed carping, here’s the list:

The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman (Sceptre)

Philida by André Brink (Harvill Secker)

The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (Myrmidon Books)

Skios by Michael Frayn (Faber & Faber)

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (Doubleday)

Swimming Home by Deborah Levy (And Other Stories)

Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (Fourth Estate)

The Lighthouse by Alison Moore (Salt)

Umbrella by Will Self (Bloomsbury)

Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil (Faber & Faber)

Communion Town by Sam Thompson (Fourth Estate)

And which of these are actually available?
You can download to Kindle or buy an actual book of these:
The Garden of Evening Mists (but only for delivery Sept. 4. MORONS)
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
Bring Up the Bodies
There are no Kindle editions of these, but you can buy a book:
Swimming Home
Communion Town
The Yips
And here’s some ever-so-helpful information:
Teleportation Accident is due for release March 5
Philida comes out Oct. 23
Umbrella is released Jan 8.
Several of these titles are available on the UK Amazon site. I’m not sure whether Kindle owners in the US can download from this source. I’ll find out and report back.
By day’s end, Dan Campbell and I will announce our reading list. Please join us in reading and talking about the finalists.
And write a nasty letter to a few publishers while you’re at it.

This Just In: The Dan Campbell Report

Dan says: I did call Amazon last year about downloading books from their U.K. site. The first guy I spoke to seemed totally mystified as to why I would even want to do that. I hung up on him. The second guy said there was no way I could do that. I didn’t hang up on him. The third guy said I could but, that I would then have to reset my settings to actually read it, although he wasn’t sure why. I didn’t hang up on him. The 4th guy said I could, but said I would pay much more for it since I would have to pay the equivalent in English pounds. As you know, the rate is not in our favour….(did you like the English spelling?) I called the 5th guy. He said it couldn’t be done. And then he said it was kind of weird because several of his “call-buddies” had recieved a number of calls about this very same question.

Needless to say, I hung up on him.


  1. Hi
    I’m the moron from Myrmidon (the original publisher of Tan Twan Eng’s The Garden of Evening Mists which has just been longlisted for The Booker and that you can’t download on Kindle yet.) Your right: publishing hasn’t gotten to grips with the global village yet and, yes, it’s crazy.
    I can explain why you can’t get this book yet in the US and it will probably be the same reason you can’t get the others too. Would you be interested in finding out why? You can put it on your site if you like. It’ll be fun for me.




      • Cool. But it’s a complicated (though interesting) story. I’m not sure how many words these boxes give me.
        How about pinging me your email address and I’ll send it to you?
        Otherwise, the short answer is that we can’t make this title available in the US because we aren’t allowed to.

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