NEWS - BLOCKADE BILLY
Read the complete text
Lilja: So the first edition is limited to just 10,000 copies. Were there any proofs for the book?
Richard Chizmar: Because of time constraints, we actually needed to produce two states of the ARC (Advanced Reading Copies). The first (with a plain white cover) was only sent to four trade reviewers from places like PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY, BOOKLIST, etc, because they needed the ARCs so far in advance. The rest of the reviewers were sent an ARC featuring the full color artwork 2-3 weeks later.
This galley will be very hard to find by here you can see what it looks like.
Hodder & Stoughton also told me today that they will be using the same cover for their edition as Scribner does. The UK edition is released on May 25th.
Here are the information about the books:
Just 350 hand-numbered copies printed on a high quality paper stock (different from any other edition) and featuring a fine leather binding, two color printing throughout the book, a color frontispiece by Glen Orbik, eleven interior illustrations by Alex McVey, a sewn-in ribbon page marker, a custom deluxe traycase with pullout ribbon, an illustrated signature sheet signed by the artists, and Stephen King's first-ever baseball card, SIGNED by King as his way of signing this special edition. Also includes a copy of the authentic William "Blockade Billy" Blakely baseball card Cemetery Dance printed for their 1st edition hardcover ($450)
52 hand-lettered copies with all of the special features of the Limited Edition plus a "THREE PIECE" binding featuring a special Japanese cloth and a fine leather, an exclusive artwork page in each book featuring an original piece of artwork to make EACH copy unique, a bonus art portfolio featuring Limited Edition prints of the artwork from the book, and a deluxe hand-made custom box ($1,250)
Head over to Lonley Road Books to find out more about this book.
A sidenote: It looks like Scribner will release 500,000 copies of their edition.
NEW NOVELLA FROM STEPHEN KING BOUGHT BY HODDER & STOUGHTON FOR FATHER’S DAY
An explosion of interest across the world in King’s novella, BLOCKADE BILLY, has prompted Philippa Pride, King’s UK editor, to step up to the plate and acquire for Hodder & Stoughton, from Chuck Verrill in the States, UK and Commonwealth rights to the publication – which includes a bonus story, the chilling MORALITY. The story of BLOCKADE BILLY is the baseball story that King has long been asked to write by his fans: ‘Ask no more; this is it,’ King Says. ‘I love old-school baseball, and I also love the way people who’ve spent a lifetime in the game talk about it. I tried to combine those things in a story of suspense.’ The novella tells the story of William Blakely, unknown baseball player for the New Jersey Titans, whose baseball days in the late 50s are relayed in first person narrative to Stephen King by George ‘Granny’ Grantham, who coached third base at the time. Pride commented: ‘It’s another gripping, tale from the master: how does he captivate you so completely from page one and hold you in his brilliantly powerful and dark grip until the last page? He’s just got that inimitable X factor, hasn’t he?’
Hodder will publish in hardback, on 25 May 2010, at £9.99.
An audio version of the book will also be available.
Read the complete text
- Scribner, May 2010
- Paper Over Board, 144 pages
- Price: $14.99
- ISBN-10: 1451608217
- ISBN-13: 9781451608212
UPDATE: Stephen and Cemetery Dance have made an arrangement with Scribner to make available a less expensive hardcover edition of Blockade Billy, with an on-sale date of May 25th, the same date the audiobook goes on sale. The Scribner edition will be available in all U.S. and Canadian retail outlets. Both the Scribner book and the Simon & Schuster audiobook will feature a bonus short story ("Morality"). In the meantime, an eBook edition of Blockade Billy should go on sale through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Sony on April 20th.
Remember though that there ARE some difference between this edition and Cemetery Dance's 1st edition. The Cemetery Dance edition...
- has a very limited print run of just 10,000 copies
- is heavily illustrated unlike a standard New York edition
- is shrink-wrapped to protect the book
- includes the Limited Edition William "Blockade Billy" Blakely baseball card, which will never be reprinted
- is beautifully designed with both the collector and general reader in mind
The print run of Cemetery Dance's 1st Edition/1st Printing is about 1/100 of what King's New York publishers print for a new hardcover, making this easily the lowest print run of any new King trade edition since the 1970s!
From CEMETERY DANCE Publisher Richard Chizmar…
First and foremost, I want to say that working on Blockade Billy these past couple months has been one of the most rewarding – and definitely the most fun – experiences I've had in over two decades of publishing. As I noted in the press release, "Stephen King and I have corresponded about baseball and books for almost 20 years now…so to combine the two is a dream come true for me."
When Stephen King's agent, Chuck Verrill, emailed last year and told me that Steve thought BILLY would be a good fit for CEMETERY DANCE because he knew how much of a baseball fan I was, I knew this book was going to be something special. But I didn't know the half of it…
If you had told me then that word of our secret, little Stephen King baseball project would end up traveling all over the world, drawing attention from Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, Time Magazine, GQ, New York Magazine, ESPN, ABC, Sports Illustrated, Fangoria, PerezHilton.com, Gather.com, The Independent (UK), The Guardian (UK), Reuters, Examiner.com (New York), Publishers Weekly, Publishers Lunch, Shelf Awareness, The Washington Post, LA Times, Bloomberg, The San Francisco Chronicle, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Miami Herald, The Boston Herald, Bangor Daily News, Baltimore Sun, Maryland Daily Record, Sacramento Bee, a newspaper in South Africa, and dozens of blogs and websites…I would have thought that you were crazy.
If you had told me we would end up selling all 10,000 first edition trade copies to individual readers (which is exactly what will happen in the next couple weeks), I would have sworn up and down that you were crazy.
If you had told me Stephen would graciously allow us to reprint another 10,000 copies of the trade edition and all of them would be swallowed up by just libraries (that's right, not a single retail account in the bunch), I would have known that you were crazy.
And, finally…if you had told me that retail demand – make that retail frenzy – for our secret, little Stephen King baseball project (which was always meant to have a very limited printing) would lead to Steve and CEMETERY DANCE working out a deal with Scribner to make Blockade Billy available to all his Constant Readers, I would have asked what planet you were living on... which, incidentally, is exactly what the head buyer at one of the country's biggest booksellers asked Cemetery Dance Marketing Director Brian Freeman when he explained to them that they would not be receiving any copies of our edition of the book!
But Blockade Billy really did take the world by storm, blowing away the expectations of everyone involved – and we're very proud of the role we've played in bringing Stephen King's first baseball story to readers. In just one week our World's First Edition/First Printing will begin shipping…and that's only the beginning. Who knows what kind of news our secret, little Stephen King baseball project is going to generate next.
Cemetery Dance Publications’ beautiful hardcover of Blockade Billy is a limited edition, and we all know what that means—there won’t be enough copies to go around. Because of high demand from devoted readers and obligations to libraries, and—alas—contrary to pre-order invitations from online retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, it won’t be possible to ship copies of the limited edition to retail bookstores. Don’t blame Amazon! Don’t blame Barnes & Noble! Together with Cemetery Dance, Stephen is exploring ways to make the novella available to all his Constant Readers as soon as possible, at least by the time the Simon & Schuster audiobook goes on sale. More definite word on this should come shortly. But if you want that one-of-a-kind authentic William "Blockade Billy" Blakely baseball card which has time-traveled all the way from 1957, place your order online with Cemetery Dance.
It has also been revealed that Craig Wasson will narrate the audio edition.
Thanks to Bev Vincent
Today Cemetery Dance also released some illustrations from the book. You can see them here.
And here is a Q&A about the book that Cemetery Dance has sent out:
Q: What makes this book collectible?
A: This is the WORLD'S FIRST PRINTING of a brand new book by Stephen King, a must-have for any King collection, and we are printing a tiny fraction of the number of copies a big New York publisher would be printing. There are some collectors who are already speculating this could become the most valuable Stephen King first trade printing since the 1970s because of the very limited print run. We can't say we think they're wrong. When was the last time King let a small press debut one of his new books? There are millions of Stephen King fans and collectors who won't know about this 1st Printing, 1st Edition until it's already gone.
Q: How do you know people aren't hoarding copies now that word is getting around about how limited this book actually is?
A: To prevent hoarders from grabbing up all of the copies to resell later at inflated prices, we've had to place a strict limit of THREE per person or household. If you've already ordered one copy and have decided you want two more, you can do that, but please don't abuse the system. We really want to make sure our limited supply reaches as many different readers/collectors as possible.
Q: I saw someone say this is sounding more like a "Gift Edition" due to the set print run. What does that mean?
A: In a way, they're correct because we ARE only printing a set number. Some of the key features that will make our edition different than the Stephen King books you usually see in stores are:
* a very limited print run, just like our collectible "Gift Editions"
* beautifully designed with both the collector and general reader in mind
* heavily illustrated unlike a standard New York edition
* first printing, first edition is shrinkwrapped to protect your book
* first printing, first edition includes the Limited Edition William "Blockade Billy" Blakely baseball card, which will never be reprinted
Q: Can I see some samples of the artwork?
A: Certainly! There are now artwork samples from Blockade Billy on our website where you can see some of Alex McVey's work and also view more details of the bonus Limited Edition "Blockade Billy" baseball card.
Q: Is that a real baseball card?
A: Yes! This card is designed to mimic the era it came from and was professional printed by one of the leading baseball card printing companies in America. To say more would give away too much about the story, though! The card has a VERY limited printing and we will never print more.
Q: What about the second printing? Will that be available in stores?
A: We were authorized to do a small second printing due to the incredible demand for this title, but as of today we have so many purchase orders for it that we are only going to be able to fill library orders. That means you won't be seeing our special hardcover edition of Stephen King's first-ever baseball story in bookstores anywhere!
Q: What about Amazon or another online store?
A: We will NOT be sending ANY copies of our first OR second printing to Amazon or any of the other big bookstores or distributors for bookstores. Those websites can list any book with an ISBN, and they can offer any discount they want, but that doesn't mean they are getting copies. We are working on a way to fill that demand from booksellers, but it won't be with the 1st or 2nd printing of our collectible hardcover, so this is going to be a rare Stephen King trade edition that is actually worth something to collectors down the road!
Q: Will this novella be included in King's upcoming collection, Full Dark, No Stars?
A: Nope, it will not! At this time there are no plans to include Blockade Billy in any Stephen King collection. And for more information on Full Dark, No Stars, scroll down this newsletter to the next section.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
A quirky baseball player with a past shrouded in secrecy is the tragic hero of this macabre tale from the dark side of the all-American sport. In the voice of George "Granny" Grantham, retired third-base coach of the New Jersey Titans, King (Under the Dome) recalls the spring of 1957, when Billy Blakely, a catcher called up from the Titans' Iowa farm system, helped to boost the team out of the basement and add some excitement to the national pastime. Billy hits with such power and guards the plate with such determination (hence his eponymous nickname) that teammates are willing to forgive such eccentricities as his frequently addressing himself in the third person, or bloodying runners who collide with him. Of course, these kinks are clues to a shocking pathology that King coaxes out in a narrative steeped so perfectly in the argot of the game and the behavior of its players and fans that readers will willingly suspend their disbelief. As King's fiction goes, this suspenseful short is a deftly executed suicide squeeze, with sharp spikes hoisted high and aimed at the jugular on the slide home. (May)
Thanks to Willowlove
Cemetery Dance also tells me that the first edition/first printing with the bonus Blockade Billy limited edition baseball card is now over 50% sold out. This edition will not be in stores so if a collector wants one, they need to order through their website. This first edition/first printing will easily have the lowest first printing of any Stephen King trade edition in a very long time.
You can order here.
Cemetery Dance Publications Announces Blockade Billy by Stephen King
Includes an Authentic William "Blockade Billy" Blakely Baseball Card
BALTIMORE -- March 29, 2010 -- Cemetery Dance Publications, the world’s leading independent publisher of collectible horror and suspense books, has just announced Blockade Billy by Stephen King, an original, never-before-published novella that only the King of Horror could have dreamed up. The Cemetery Dance exclusive hardcover will ship mid-April.
"I love old-school baseball," Stephen King said, "and I also love the way people who've spent a lifetime in the game talk about the game. I tried to combine those things in a story of suspense. People have asked me for years when I was going to write a baseball story. Ask no more; this is it."
Cemetery Dance and Stephen King kept Blockade Billy under tight wraps so it could be a surprise publication for the beginning of the baseball season. Even diehard baseball fans don't know the true story of William Blakely, but in just a few weeks readers will be holding this dark tale in their own two hands.
"As a lifelong baseball fan -- and long suffering Orioles' fan -- I can't think of a better way to open the 2010 season than publishing Blockade Billy," said Cemetery Dance Publisher Richard Chizmar. "Stephen King and I have corresponded about baseball and books for almost 20 years now... So to combine the two is a dream come true for me."
Chuck Verrill, King's agent, said: "Any time a Red Sox fan, an Orioles fan, and a Yankees fan can cooperate on something, the result is bound to be fantastic."
For a very limited time only, Cemetery Dance Publications will include an authentic William "Blockade Billy" Blakely baseball card with every copy of the trade hardcover.
Please visit http://www.BlockadeBilly.com, http://www.CemeteryDance.com or http://www.stephenking.com for more information.