Before becoming a librarian, I worked in a big chain bookstore, and one of the first things I was taught was the SOS Date or Strict on Sale Date. This date is printed all over the outside of the box as it is shipped from the publisher. Now, as I work in libraries, I know the dates of major young adult releases off the top of my head. Cassandra Clare’s City of Lost Souls? May 9, 2012. Richelle Mead’s The Golden Lily? June 19, 2012. John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars? January 10, 2012. Or it was until there was an error and Barnes and Noble shipped copies of the book this week.
If you don’t know, the journey of The Fault in Our Stars is an awesome one: shortly after the book was announced in June 2011 with a May 2012 release date, the book shot to number 1 on Amazon. Green then said he would sign ALL 150,000 pre-ordered copies. No matter where you ordered it, you would get a signed copy of the book. Since Nerdfighters are so amazing, the release date of the book was pushed up from May 2012 to January 2012. The cover of the book was revealed in October, and chapters one and two of the book are currently available to read (or have them read to you).
John Green has done an amazing thing with this book and made it special for his readers. He’s going on tour in January to promote the book and now one error has put a slight damper on all the awesomeness surrounding this book. He’s understandably upset.
What I want to know is, how did this happen? Why did this happen? I’m sad to say that this is not the first time a YA book has been shipped early. In the past four months I have received three pre-orders early. I was shipped Shut Out by Kody Keplinger three weeks before the scheduled publication date and Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor two weeks early. Can you imagine if this happened to Stephen King? Why does this seem to be happening to YA books? Has this happened to any other books? Sadly, we may never get answers, but all we can do is hope that the people who already have their copies respect the book and respect John Green enough to not spoil it for the rest of us.
— Faythe Arredondo, currently reading Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle