A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson was finally published today, as both hardcover and audiobook, certainly in the US and the UK and probably lots of other places too. But the eBook is not available until 9 April.
Anyone in the US intending to read the audiobook version has known for months that it would be available from today on Audible.com, because it was listed as a pre-order item on their website. The situation for users of Audible.co.uk was quite different. There is no pre-order system and no news about upcoming releases on the site either. I had no specific reason to worry that the UK would be left out in the audiobook stakes, but I have learned to take nothing for granted in the publishing world. Neal Stephenson’s latest novel Reamde and most of his older novels are available from Audible.co.uk, but not his penultimate book, Anathem, although it has been on the US Audible site from the off. No rhyme nor reason, it is all down to the whim of who owns the specific rights to the specific formats of specific books in different territories.
So it was with trepidation that I eschewed sleep at midnight last night, checking on my phone to see if AMoL had appeared on the listings. Of course, it hadn’t. It was still the 7th in the US. What was I thinking? In the event the key moment turned out to be midnight USA West Coast time, corresponding to 8am UK time.
I had the book downloading a matter of a couple of minutes past the turn of the hour and was reading it on my morning walk with the dog not long after that. So all is well and I can enjoy the final instalment of the Wheel of Time at the same time as everyone else. But seriously, Audible UK really does need to get its act together. Having major new releases appear out of the blue, unannounced is just not good enough.