Pale King Confusion

March 31, 2011 | 1 book mentioned 7

After our discovery yesterday that The Pale King was already on sale, the New York Times finds lots of angry booksellers, but not much by way of explanation.

created The Millions and is its publisher. He and his family live in New Jersey.


  1. OK, this seems to be telling a different story than yesterday’s discussion, when it seemed that bookstores also got the book early and could start selling…

  2. Yes. It appears that there was some miscommunication, with some in the supply chain focusing on the 4/15 date and others not. I know that Amazon’s policy is that unless there is a specific “do not sell until” date specified by the publisher, they will start shipping the book as soon as they have copies to ship.

  3. Yeah, now I’m frustrated and angry on behalf of others. If it just went out early all-around, then I wouldn’t see the deal so much, but with it not going out early all-around and with some, such as City Lights, apparently having been told that the there was a specific “do not sell until” date, there’s reason to be upset.

  4. While I understand the frustration that independent bookstores must be feeling right now, I do not understand how there is a bookseller in Brooklyn who’s real name is Zack Zook.

  5. First, the whole strict on sale/lay down/street date is a pain in the ass. Is it really that hard to ship books to arrive simultaneously? You know…man on the moon and all that. Most booksellers now do not seem to know the difference between strict on sale and pub date, so if you call to find a book you get some really inaccurate information.

    I found out that Pale King was available when I checked the St. Mark’s (Bowery, NYC) regular Wednesday New Titles list and saw they had 35 copies on hand. I found my copy yesterday at The New England Mobile Book Fair in Dedham MA. Both are independent bookstores.

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