Liars and Outliers Update

Liars and Outliers is available. Amazon and Barnes & Noble have been shipping the book since the beginning of the month. Both the Kindle and the Nook versions are available for download. I have received 250 books myself. Everyone who read and commented on a draft will get a copy in the mail. And as of today, I have shipped books to everyone who ordered a signed copy.

I've seen five more reviews. And there's one print and one audio (there's also a transcript) interview about the book.

A bunch of people on Twitter have announced that they're enjoying the book. Right now, there are only three reviews on Amazon. Please, leave a review on Amazon. (I'll write about the problem of fake reviews on these sorts of sites in another post.)

I'm not sure, but I think the Kindle price is going to increase. So if you want the book at the current $10 price, now is the time to buy it.

Posted on February 13, 2012 at 2:53 PM • 41 Comments

Comments

Geoffrey KiddFebruary 13, 2012 3:08 PM

The Nook version is not available for download. It IS available for preorder. However, I strongly counsel against pre-ordering any eBook, as publishers forced already-paid-for order cancellations during the Great Amazon-Publisher War, and are simply not to be trusted in such matters.

jbvFebruary 13, 2012 3:19 PM

At least one of the three Amazon reviews fails the "fake review" test from the linked article.

I'm half-way through the book and enjoying it very much, but I kind of suspect that reviews that are solicited by the author on his blog will only lead to more quasi-fake adulatory reviews by his pre-selected fans.

My only gripe, so far, is that having 100 pages with separate sections for Notes and References is mighty confusing. They require a lot of hunting back-and-forth, and with no "links" to the references, it's hard to know when to look for them.

willFebruary 13, 2012 4:15 PM

I've been reading the Kindle version. Good start - I'm only 1/3 through so far.

One nit: when reading in 'white on black' mode with either the Mac or Android readers there is occasionally a line missing from the top of the display. I haven't seen this with any other ebooks. The workaround isn't too hard, albeit annoying - simply flip to black on white. Is anyone else seeing this?

JurFebruary 13, 2012 4:55 PM

I posted my review on Goodreads. It's not a professional job, but what I took from the book.

Anyway, thanks again for the galley copy. I passed it on to a Dutch IT security expert, who put me onto this blog in the first place. The pleasure was all mine, and I'm grateful that I could use the book as an excuse.

Bruce SchneierFebruary 13, 2012 5:24 PM

"My only gripe, so far, is that having 100 pages with separate sections for Notes and References is mighty confusing. They require a lot of hunting back-and-forth, and with no 'links' to the references, it's hard to know when to look for them."

They're called "trailer cues," and I hate them too. They're increasingly common, because publishers like them. Footnotes are scary to readers, so hiding them in believed to help sales.

Anon Poster if BrucedomFebruary 13, 2012 5:50 PM

"Footnotes are scary to readers, so hiding them in believed to help sales."

Alas the truth arrives too late for Will Cuppy. On the other hand no Pratchett or Gardner fan complains.

It's amazing too me that Amazon could spend so much money on building a device, yet not improve the reading experience one iota.

NixFebruary 13, 2012 5:53 PM

Anon Poster, my experience varies. Just not having a huge mass of books to lug around is helpful. Not having to hold the things open with both hands lest they fold themselves shut is helpful. Being able to read them one- or no-handed is helpful. Being able to scribble in them without actually permanently affecting them in any way is helpful. On the downside, I really really wish the Kindle realised what hyphens were for (e.g. that you can line-break on them). Why didn't they just use the TeX line-breaking algorithm? It's not like they didn't have the computer power...

J.C. DentonFebruary 13, 2012 6:04 PM

I'm going to read and review the book as soon as I have the time to do so. Liars and Outliers is certainly worth reading! Nevertheless I think the same applies to the following resource, Mr Schneier. (Side note: I'm not one of those nerds that wears strange T-shirts all day.) :-]

http://www.defectivebydesign.org/

AntonFebruary 13, 2012 6:10 PM

"It's amazing too me that Amazon could spend so much money on building a device, yet not improve the reading experience one iota."

Sadly, I've had the same experience and brings me to the conclusion that corporations spend huge resources to follow their own short term financial interests and to feed customer desire, but completely ignore legitimate customer needs.

Billy Gates deserves the medal for introducing this kind of mentality and Steve Jobs (as always) honed it to perfection.

chumpaFebruary 13, 2012 6:55 PM

$16 for the hardcover, $15 for the ebook

I Want to buy this book, but I will not support an industry that's hell bent of screwing it's customers. Sigh...

Vadim LebedevFebruary 14, 2012 1:07 AM

These Amazon prices for Kindle editions
are simply rape:

Kindle Edition $22.45
Hardcover $15.96

Burce, Please, Please can't you provide it
non-DRM format for reasonable (cheaper the hardcover) price?
Here for example: http://www.baenebooks.com/

VlesFebruary 14, 2012 1:36 AM

@Jur +1 to .nl :)

Took out this little snippet:
Modern societies have developed ways for people to defect without being ostracised from society as a whole.

This makes me think of Dan Greer's take on resilient communities as read here. Leads me to think of the one force present in such communities: eviction.

Old greeks weren't that crazy after all. :o) We might want to look at the social tool called ostracism again. Prisons are perhaps but a poor implementation of the old ostrakon - pottery shard way.

disc. havenĀ“t read the book yet.

Momma MiaFebruary 14, 2012 2:00 AM

Did not know you were a Sociobiologist.

Or is you just trying to not disappoint the golf lads of Harvard Yard?

Best with the New English. Some call it a Fad. Others, a Meme.

Bruce SchneierFebruary 14, 2012 12:33 PM

"$16 for the hardcover, $15 for the ebook"

What country are you logging in from? The Kindle e-book is $10 from the U.S.

Bruce SchneierFebruary 14, 2012 12:34 PM

"It's amazing too me that Amazon could spend so much money on building a device, yet not improve the reading experience one iota."

The Kindle has improved my reading experience by orders of magnitude. Specifically, it has allowed me to read books while traveling, without having to deal with the weight and volume of books. I don't buy paper books anymore.

Bruce SchneierFebruary 14, 2012 12:35 PM

"So, any reason I can't get a Kindle version in Canada?"

I think it has something to do with taxes. My publisher reads these threads, so hopefully they can chime in.

Bruce SchneierFebruary 14, 2012 12:37 PM

"These Amazon prices for Kindle editions
are simply rape:

Kindle Edition $22.45
Hardcover $15.96"

I just checked, and the Kindle price I see is $9.99.

"Burce, Please, Please can't you provide it
non-DRM format for reasonable (cheaper the hardcover) price?"

I'm not in charge of this decision. But I know you can easily remove the DRM from your Kindle version, and it's already cheaper than the hardcover.

EllenFebruary 14, 2012 12:46 PM

I'm with Wiley, and I have no idea why the Canadian Amazon site does not list the Kindle version. I don't have an answer but will look into it and let you know. Thanks for asking the question.

EllenFebruary 14, 2012 1:11 PM

I am told that amazon.ca does not have a Kindle book store. Going on the site, I even see that you can't buy a Kindle on Amazon.ca - it sends you to Kindle.com. Apparently, Canadian customers need to go to Amazon.com in the US to purchase the book. Where it indeed is $9.99 US. Right now. Who knows for how long.

Mike WymanFebruary 14, 2012 1:19 PM

"I'm not sure, but I think the Kindle price is going to increase. So if you want the book at the current $10 price, now is the time to buy it."

This seems reminiscent of car salesmen I've encountered! In any event, at $9.99 it sneaks under my impulse buy threshold and is now on my Kindle.

Nick PFebruary 14, 2012 4:14 PM

The good news for you is the book isn't on the torrents or pdf download sites. Yet. So, a portion of those folks will actually buy a copy.

A Nonny BunnyFebruary 15, 2012 12:51 AM

It seems a bit odd that prices for the Kindle edition vary so much depending on from which country (or proxy) you come:

us $9.99
nl $13.79
uk $15.58
ch $19.96

Perhaps this difference is due to VAT and tariffs or something.

If you want to pay the lowest price, maybe it's an option to buy it via a US proxy?

DFebruary 15, 2012 7:26 AM

@Geoffrey Kidd: The Nook version was available about 24 hours after your comment. The diagrams are a little hard to read on it, but not bad. I haven't seen any problems with pre-order cancellations from B&N, and in any case if they don't take my money that's a loss to them as well.

More of Less Anon Bruce PosterFebruary 15, 2012 10:37 AM

"It's amazing too me that Amazon could spend so much money on building a device, yet not improve the reading experience one iota."

Ach, I wasn't clear. I was talking about the difference between 2008 Kindle software and the 2012 Kindle software. I love reading on a tablet now - but the software hasn't gotten much better. NM, nothing to see here...

HaydenFebruary 15, 2012 12:49 PM

The Barnes and Nobles nook price is $16.71 while the hardback is $15.96 in both US and Canada. Tell me how that makes sense?

I'm an epub fan. I don't like the idea of a closed ebook format.

PaulFebruary 15, 2012 5:04 PM

I'd like to buy the e-book, but I can't. All my computers run Linux and Adobe has chosen not to support my operating system.

KarlFebruary 15, 2012 5:20 PM

Got my copy, via Kindle.
I'm only about 10% of the way through it right now, but I'll have a review before too long.

In the mean time, anything I need to see in color, I can view on the Kindle app on my PC.

YaronDFebruary 16, 2012 10:41 AM

Kindle version 11.99$ from Israel.


This is the basic 9.99$, plus 2$ they add to almost all books for... well... apparently to cover cellular agreements (that they don't even have in this country) so I could (when and if they'll have them) download the book over the 3G network (that I don't want to do since I organize my entire library on the PC anyway and so will always prefer USB sync) to my Kindle 3 WiFi device (which is physically incapable of doing, since I bought from Amazon the device that doesn't even have the hardware for 3G connections, and Amazon know this).

Amazon don't provide any way to opt-out of this mandatory... international shipping charge.


That's why almost all of the eBooks I bought so far were not bought from Amazon.
It's worth it to pay more for the physical book and not feel like I'm being screwed paying extra for absolutely nothing.


(
BTW, Bruce, being able to remove the DRM on the PC isn't a good reason to add it in the first place.
Saying that your publisher insists on it and you didn't have an option is legitimate, and I can't fault you for it, that's just a very small part of the business decision of which publisher to work with.
But implying that being able to remove it makes it a non-issue is very wrong. *I* may have already set everything up to automatically strip the DRM from the very few books I do buy from Amazon, but a lot of people don't know how to do that and will find it very far from trivial. And even if it's trivial I still find the need to do it objectionable.
)

BobFebruary 16, 2012 11:04 AM

I received my signed copy on Monday! I haven't started reading, yet, but I'm sure excited to. And I love the way the cover turned out.

My only gripe is the signature itself. I'm sure Bruce had ungodly numbers of books to sign so he had to streamline a bit to save time (and sanity), but (at least in my copy) his signature is little more than a straight line across the page. Really? Is this the case for everyone who received a signed copy?

MadLogicianFebruary 18, 2012 8:03 PM

I've bought the Kindle version from Amazon UK - but I had to pay nearer $15 than $10 for it. Annoyingly although books are free from Value Added Tax here eBooks aren't.

Roger HaxbyFebruary 20, 2012 4:44 PM

Enjoying the content, but the kindle book needs some work - I cannot read the full page diagrams at all, they do not zoom enough. The table on p129 is especially bad.

Bruce SchneierApril 28, 2012 8:38 PM

"Both Nook and Kindle versions are $11.99 now."

Yes, I noticed that. It's B&N and Amazon who did it. Wiley does not set Nook or Kindle prices; the retail stores do.

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