Samurai Shortstop sightings!

>> Friday, May 12, 2006

We're at T-minus five days and counting until Samurai Shortstop's official on-sale date (May 18th), and reports are coming in from my field agents (whom I have dubbed "Team Banzai") that copies are already finding their way onto bookstore shelves! Check this out:

Our most dogged agents (read: my parents) discovered these two copies of Samurai Shortstop on the young adult shelves at the Knoxville Books-a-Million and took a photo as evidence. Agents Ron-san and Dotiko graciously left the two copies unpurchased, as they already have a number on order from a large, online retailer named after a long river in South America.

I particularly like how both my name and the book title stand out from even this distance, while the books beside Samurai Shortstop are somewhat harder to read. My shelf neighbors are noteworthy though: the Tales of the Otori series by Lian Hearn on the left are set in a fantasy world that closely resembles sixteenth-century Japan (nice synchronicity there) and Looking for Alaska on the right is a buzzworthy Printz award-winner from 2005. Good company indeed.

Now for the fun part. Note that the above picture is how they found the books, and then compare that to how they left the books, below . . .

Yes, congratulations are in order: my parents have joined the Face Front Club! The FFC is a loose organization of authors and supportive friends and family who shamelessly face out books that were previously spined out, as Samurai was in the first picture. Not only did my parents spine out the Printz award-winner in favor of Samurai Shortstop, they slid John Green out of alphabetical order to maintain the shelf asthetic! Now that's dedication. You should all learn from their example.

Before we leave the Knoxville Books-a-Million (where, after three straight days of visits, my father is now routinely tracked by the security cameras in the ceiling), here's one more picture. It's a bit darker, but shows you how I further lucked out by getting prime top-shelf real estate, right under the "Teens" sign. Just a happy coincidence of alphabetical geography:

Too sweet. As is tonight's news from Ben "Sulu" Mitchell, our Team Banzai man in Florida. While I was busy blogging about the Knoxville sighting, he e-mailed me to report a similar encounter at the Fort Walton Beach Books-a-Million! Agent Sulu was unable to take a picture of the lone copy, but reports that he took it home with him as evidence. We're assuming that means he actually bought the book, because part of the Team Banzai credo reminds us that "Crime doesn't pay . . . royalties."

Just remember, if you see a copy of Samurai Shortstop on the shelves of your local bookstore, the first thing to do is not panic. Panic will only frighten and confuse the booksellers. The second thing to do is to take a picture of the book and e-mail the jpg to Alan-san at Doing so will automatically make you a full-fledged field agent of Team Banzai. Third, you should buy the copy. If you already own one, buy a copy for a friend. They make great holiday presents, and can be used as paper weights or coffee table shims.



Niki,  May 17, 2006 at 11:41 PM  

Hey Alan - I just got a groovy new camera phone (do they even make cell phones without cameras any more?), so if I find any copies when I'm out and about can I just send them to your cell, or do you lack the required technology?

Anonymous,  May 18, 2006 at 3:57 AM  


Any chance of the book getting translated into Japanese for the market there?


Niki,  May 19, 2006 at 10:55 PM  

FYI, snipped from your Amazon page at 10:50 pm EDT on 5/19. Because, clearly, I have nothing better to do on a Friday night. Sales Rank: #19,087 in Books (See Top Sellers in Books)
Yesterday: #174,289 in Books

Alan May 20, 2006 at 10:46 AM  

Niki -

Thanks for the Amazon updates! The highest I've seen it was around #3,980 a couple of weeks back - and we have absolutely no idea why that particular day it soared so high. It usually reverts to the 150,000 range, but #19,087 is awesome! (Especially considering it was around 175,000 the previous day.)

Danny -

I hope that Samurai gets picked up by foreign publishers - especially someone in Japan. I think we may have to wait until next year's Bologna Book Festival to find out though. That's where many American books are acquired for foreign translation. It will help that my book will have almost a year of sales under its belt by that time. Trust me - if I sell the foreign rights anywhere, I'll be sure to blog about it!

- Alan

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