Sunday, June 04, 2006

New Clancy 1 Fiasco

A new book by Tom Clancy is always a major event. Anything with his name on it sells thousands of copies. Fans wait in anticipation as they count down to the publication date for the book at Amazon. Customers can discuss the book on its Amazon page before it is even published.

For months, Amazon has listed a new book by Clancy as "New Clancy 1." It was scheduled for publication May 31, 2006. As the day approached, I periodically checked the Amazon page to see if they had any more info on it--the for-real title or a book description. But nothing.

The Clancy FAQ site listed the upcoming book with a link to Amazon.

I also watched as the sales ranking of this upcoming book moved lower as May 31 approached. It went down to something like #8,000.

But then, May 31 came and--no book! No official title. No book description. No explanation from Amazon. It's as if the date was always meaningless and not to be taken seriously.

Will a book really be published anytime soon, or is this page nothing more than a placemarker for the future Clancy novel which we all know will eventually be published at some time in the future?

As pointed out on the Clancy Wikipedia page, other book sites give varying dates of publication for the new Clancy book. The UK Amazon site gives publication as August 31, 2006. Should I believe that date is any more accurate than the US site? Barnes & Noble lists an upcoming untitled Clancy work "Unt #3, Clancy" to be published in June 2006. No specific day, just June. Advantage B&N, for not damaging their credibility with a specific day, like Amazon did.

The Amazon page already includes a few reviews of the mythical book. They have nothing to say about it, of course, but rather take Amazon to task for tricking them. One of them notes that the release date was changed, so that means Amazon has been monitoring it.

It's not a bad way to sell something in an underhanded way--create a page for a famous author, set a publication date, and watch the orders roll in for a nonexistent book.

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