This is going to be a long post. If you want to know how to get numbered copies of the book, scroll down.
ITEM #1: THE TOUR
Tor is almost ready to announce the book tour. When it gets announced, all of the signings will be listed on my events page, so check out that page to see if I'm signing near you. I can tell you now that the tour will contain only US and Canadian cities, and it will be split into two sections.
I do plan to take a trip to Europe sometime in 2013, but it hasn't been arranged yet. If you want a signed copy of the book and won't be able to make it to one of my tour cities, there will be a couple additional ways to get signed copies. But if you want your book personalized, the best way to make that happen is to call one of the bookstores on my tour and ask if they can arrange it for you. As I'll mention below, the Weller Book Works signing by mail has already sold out.
The focus on my tour stops will be on getting everyone's books signed. I'll probably read and answer questions at every stop, but I will also try to pre-sign some stock so if you just want a signed book and don't want to stand in line for me to personalize it for you, you can just grab the book and go.
Harriet will be joining me on some tour stops; more details will be forthcoming when the tour is announced.
Some of the events might be ticketed, which means that the bookstore requires you to buy the book FROM THEM in order to get it signed. I've asked for this to happen at as few booksellers as possible, but each store has the final call. Why would they do this? Well, a lot of stores have to bring in extra staff (or even rent extra space) in order to handle an enormous event like this. In the past, they've spent this money and then had everyone bring in books they bought from Amazon to get signed. It makes them very bitter, as they lose money after all the work they put into holding an event. (In one famous case I heard of, a small bookstore held a signing where they spent hundreds on staff, promotion, and cookies, only to have over a hundred people, out of the hundred and twenty who came, bring in books they bought from Amazon.)
As I said, I've requested that the signings all be open to anyone. However, I can see the bookstores' point. Please be respectful and realize one of the reasons that places like Amazon can give you the books so cheaply is that they don't have to maintain or pay rent on expensive storefronts in retail areas. Support your local booksellers; it's because of them that we can have signing events. If possible, I'd ask that you go and buy the book from the store where you're planning to see me. You can buy it early and keep the receipt. If you bring the receipt with you to the signing, that's as good as buying the book at the signing. Generally, at ticketed events, as long as you buy any hardcover book, they will let you get your other books signed. So, for instance, you could buy A MEMORY OF LIGHT and then get it, THE GATHERING STORM, and TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT (or any of my other books) signed. And even if you don't buy your copy of AMoL at the signing, it's nice to support the store hosting me by buying at least one book (by any author) while you're there.
I don't know which events will be ticketed—or even if any will. I'm slowly gathering information on this. There probably won't be many that are, but I wanted to lay the groundwork just in case. I'll add more information to the events page as it trickles in.
Finally, there may be a cap on the number of books I will personalize for you at a time. I'll sign all your books, but personalizations can take a while, so if there's a large crowd, to keep the line moving I may only personalize three books at a time. However, it's just fine if you want to go to the end of the line again and wait to get three more books personalized. I WILL sign paperbacks. I WILL NOT sign books I did not write—e.g. the Wheel of Time books before THE GATHERING STORM. Yes, people have asked; often about one per signing. However, for the signings on this tour where Harriet will be with me, she will be happy to sign them.
ITEM #2: RELEASE EVENTS
I will be doing two special signings in conjunction with the book's release on January 8th. Like with my previous books, I will be numbering copies in conjunction with these release events. The two events are: the BYU Bookstore midnight release and the Weller Book Works mail order event (SOLD OUT).
What does it mean to get a numbered copy? Well, just what it sounds like. If you get a book from one of the two release events, I'll number your copy. I intend to give out as many numbers as there are people who participate in those events (unless we run out of books). In a way, these numbers are less about being limited editions and more about getting a special add-on, an indication that you made it to one of the initial events. This is something I started doing for fun with my first book, and I had originally intended to limit the numbers to the first fifty people who got to me. However, I found that I felt bad stopping numbering if someone went to all the trouble to come to the release party, so I shifted to doing it this way.
I generally stagger my numbering so that lower numbers can be picked up from each signing. Each number is unique. I will rotate by 100s. (So, 1–100 are at BYU, 101–200 are at Weller Book Works, 201–300 are at BYU, etc.)
Each event will have its own rules regarding how you get your number and which number you get. Read on for info.
ITEM #3: BYU MIDNIGHT RELEASE
At 12:00 a.m. on January 8th, I will be doing the world's first signing for A MEMORY OF LIGHT. Numbers 1–100 will be given out at this signing. (Though everyone who comes will get a numbered copy unless they run out of books.) All numbers will be given out in the ORDER YOU ARRIVE TO WAIT IN LINE IN. Let me make this clear. It doesn't matter how early you preorder. Numbers will be given out based on line order. Details follow.
The line will start forming at the northwest entrance here:
In past years, people have started lining up even a few days ahead of time, so the BYU Bookstore is going to be handing out numbers to people in line to take some of the pressure off you. They will start doing this MONDAY MORNING at 7:30 a.m. Book #1 will go to the first person in this line at 7:30, #2 to the second, and so forth. You can only buy ONE copy of the book in the low numbers per person waiting. (In other words, if you are there in line, you can't buy #1–10 by yourself. You have to have ten people if you want to do that.) If you need multiple copies but don't have multiple people, that's fine—we'll give you #1 and then some higher numbers. This restriction goes for anyone in the first hundred spots.
Here are some more details from the bookstore:
- Numbered tickets will be given out on Monday, January 7th, beginning at 7:30 a.m.
- Numbered tickets will be given out in the ORDER YOU ARRIVE TO WAIT IN LINE.
- You may hold a place in line for NO MORE THAN ONE PERSON for NO MORE THAN ONE HOUR. (The line will be largely self-policing, and exceptions will have to be decided mutually.)
- If you're camping out ahead of time, be aware of the following issues:
- Between December 14th and January 7th, campus will be essentially shut down.
- This means that the Wilkinson Center will be completely closed each night between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m., and all day on Sundays.
- This means NO BATHROOM ACCESS during the hours the Wilkinson Center is not open.
- Also, if you plug something into an exterior outlet and blow a fuse like happened last time, no one will be around to fix it.
- Sorry about this! We tried to arrange a way for the camping line to relocate to a local campground, but they will be either under construction or otherwise unavailable.
- We salute your dedication.
- Each person in line will only receive ONE ticket for ONE numbered book. ONE numbered book per ONE numbered ticket per person.
- You will be asked to prepay for your book to receive a numbered ticket. If you have already prepaid, bring your receipt or confirmation number to claim your number, but that doesn't affect which number you receive. Please check in at the guest table to make sure your paperwork is in order for the book distribution.
- Once you have paid for your book and received your numbered ticket, you are free to leave until right before 11:30 p.m., BUT:
- The northwest entrance of the BYU Bookstore will be opened at 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. (exact time is yet to be determined) when the A Memory of Light Release Party will begin. Please check back here for more details as the day approaches.
- There will be games, a drawing for prizes, and treats!
- Beginning at 11:30 p.m., fans will be asked to line up, in order, according the numbered ticket that they received.
- If you are not in your numbered location by 11:45 p.m. you will be asked to get in the back of the line. You will still need to present the numbered ticket to get the correct numbered book.
- Once you have received your numbered book, you are free to leave or stick around to have the book personalized by Brandon.
- The current plan is for people to be called up in groups according to their book numbers. So you don't have to wait in line the whole time; you can relax, go for a Denny's run, whatever. If you miss your number being called, go up with the next group after you get back.
- Brandon will personalize up to three books per person in each signing group. If you would like to have him personalize more than three, then please wait until all the signing groups have had their chance.
The bookstore has asked me to get there a bit early so I can be finished signing and numbering all the books by 9:00 or so. Once I am done, they will let everyone in and we'll have a meet & greet where you can talk to me, ask me your burning questions, take pictures, etc. (The idea is that this will help the personalization line move more quickly after midnight.) There will also be things like trivia contests going on during this time.
Around 10:30 I will do a reading and/or a general Q&A, and at around 11:15 there will be a prize drawing. Then at 11:30 they want everyone to line up again in preparation for midnight, as explained above.
I will personalize as long as I can, but I expect this to be the largest crowd ever at a signing, and previous events have finished after 3:00 a.m. Since all of the books will be pre-signed and numbered, everyone will get a numbered edition if they come. As I'm local, you can always just come, pick up a book, and leave—then get it personalized at some other signing when things aren't so crazy. This will probably be a busy event, but it should be very easy to just come, get a pre-signed/numbered book, then buy it and take off without waiting in any lines after midnight.
Now, here's the important part. It's hard for stores to judge how many copies to order for this sort of event, and I'm worried that BYU might not order enough. THEY MIGHT RUN OUT. Therefore, they are letting you preorder to be assured you get a book. If you preorder, you get $8.75 off the cover price and you are guaranteed a book. If you don't preorder, it's first come first served. If a lot of people preorder, they will get in more books to make sure everyone who ordered early is covered.
So, for this event, I strongly encourage you to call and buy your book ahead of time. It will save you money and will make things easier for us. Let me say one more time, however, that you do not get your number based on when you preorder. You get it based on when you arrive in line, starting at 7:30 a.m. Preordering just guarantees that you get a copy, not that you get a low number. Still—please, please preorder soon so they can be sure to have enough books for the event.
BYU Bookstore, Provo, UT
12:00 a.m. January 8th (Monday night/Tuesday morning) (book released)
~9:00 p.m. January 7th (doors open)
7:30 a.m. January 7th (numbers distributed)
Preorder by calling (801) 422-2400 or (800) 253-2578, or by going to the BYU Bookstore website. (For the shipping option, choose "pick up at service desk.") You'll need to bring your receipt or confirmation number to the midnight release and stand in line with everyone else in order to get your number.
ITEM #4: WELLER BOOK WORKS BY MAIL
Weller Book Works is now SOLD OUT. All of the 1000 books they ordered have already been reserved by readers. If you want a signed copy of the book and won't be able to make it to one of my tour cities, there will be a couple additional ways to get signed copies. (I'll post details later.) But if you want your book personalized, the best way to make that happen is to call one of the bookstores on my tour and ask if they can arrange it for you.
I will be going to Weller Book Works in late December to sign, number, and personalize 1000 copies. Weller's will then ship them out; they will try to time the shipping so the book arrives at your door on the 8th. However, they're not allowed to deliver before that date, so they can't cut things too close and some books may arrive after the 8th. If that's the case, though, they'll try to keep the delay as short as possible. International orders will be shipped first, since those have the longest transit time. (Note that Sam Weller's cannot track packages internationally. They've tried.) I'm really very sorry that the shipping cost has gone up so much this year, but the size of a book like this limits their shipping options.
I am also going to be signing at Weller Book Works again in the middle of the tour, so if you want a signed book and can't make it to any of the other signings, that may be a good option for you. Any copies I sign for Weller's after December won't be numbered, however.
If you call Weller's or any other tour bookstore to order a signed book, please be certain to tell them (even if they don't ask) specifically how you want the book personalized. If you don't tell them specifically, they will have it signed but not personalized. Simply telling them your name is not enough. You have to tell them "I want it personalized to John" (for example). If you don't want it personalized, tell them "Signature Only" just in case.
Unfortunately, since I'm signing all the Weller preorder books weeks before the tour starts, Harriet will not be there to sign them as well.
Thank you all for reading, and I hope to sign a book for you at one of the tour events. Let me apologize in advance for how sloppy my signature is.