Via Publisher's Lunch:
Eldest Moves Past Printing Error In Big Release
Last Tuesday's big 1.3 million-copy laydown of Christopher Paolini's
ELDEST was made more complicated by a printing gaffe--in which a portion
of copies were missing a signature, inexplicably replaced by a signature
from competitor Cornelia Funke's October release INKSPELL instead.
Tomorrow morning Random House will announce their estimate of initial
sell-through, along with announcing a big reprint, expected to be well
into six figures. Random House Children's executive director of
publicity Judith Haut, on tour with Paolini, says that a signing
yesterday at a Bethesda, MD Barnes & Noble lasted for over four hours,
with a "mob scene" of fans "lined up out the door and down the block."
One informal estimate has put the crowd at 1,500 people.
Retailers were notified of the misprint right before the release of
ELDEST, and Haut says that "the majority of them [the misprinted
copies] didn't even leave our distribution center." With multiple sales
outlets having jumped the August 23 release date, it wasn't clear to
Haut whether the printing error was detected internally or first noticed
by an early reader.
Late last week Random House spokesman Stuart Applebaum estimated that
about 13,000 copies were misprinted in all, and Haut says "we think just
a couple of thousand copies may have left" the warehouse. The Des Moines
Register indicated on Friday that Applebaum said most of the bad copies
landed in New York and New Jersey--and at least a few in Iowa. Barnes &
Noble told the paper it sold a "very limited number" of the misprinted
Random House officials declined to confirm the printer for the
books--said to be Donnelly, where a spokesman did not deny printing the
books and referred any questions back to Random House--or even indicate
if the original printer would also handle the reprint.
Applebaum also suggested to the Register that the misprinted copies
could become collectors' items: "We would understand if (readers) want
to keep something that is the equivalent of a dollar bill with the wrong
insignia" rather than return the bad copy in order to get a correct
edition. So far, however, we could only find one such copy offered
online, with no bidders yet at eBay for an opening price of $18.99.
Des Moines Register