A kindly reader emailed me some information that I decided to investigate, to wit:
It would be a good idea to encourage everybody who follows WEIT and who intends to make the purchase not to wait, but to pre-order.Your readers will help the book gain the attention of many more readers by pre-ordering at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, or at an independent bookstore. All pre-orders count as first-week sales, and the first week’s sales of any book affect its future by determining how many copies bookstores order, whether it appears on recommended lists, and so on. So these are the best sales to have, because they can boost a book like yours into best-seller territory right away.
I checked with my publisher (Viking/Penguin/Random House) about this, and my editor and others told me not only that the information is correct, but also urged me (translation: demanded) that I put up pre-order information now and keep it on the site. (Pre-ordering links will be the same as ordering links, I suppose, and the book will be available May 19.)
Until I get my web designer to put in permanent links in the upper-right-hand corner, I’ll try to construct a “welcome” page that has the information below. I haven’t yet done this, and am not sure how it works, but it will probably be the page you see when you first click on this website. Do not be frightened when you see it!
As for now, and given the information above, I beseech readers to preorder Faith versus Fact rather than wait until it appears. Look at it this way: if you’ve read this site since the beginning, it’s an investment of less than $4 per year (1¢ per day), and you’ve never seen an ad except this one! Further, by May 19, you’ll have forgotten the expense. (And I’m told that Amazon, at least, doesn’t charge you until the book is shipped.)
Here are three blurbs from those who have read the galleys:
The truth is not always half way between two extremes: some propositions are flat wrong. In this timely and important book, Jerry Coyne expertly exposes the incoherence of the increasingly popular belief that you can have it both ways: that God (or something God-ish, God-like, or God-oid) sort-of exists; that miracles kind-of happen; and that the truthiness of dogma is somewhat-a-little-bit-more-or-less-who’s-to-say-it-isn’t like the truths of science and reason.
—Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of The Better Angels of Our Nature
Many people are confused about science—about what it is, how it is practiced, and why it is the most powerful method for understanding ourselves and the universe that our species has ever devised. In Faith Versus Fact, Coyne has written a wonderful primer on what it means to think scientifically, showing that the honest doubts of science are better—and more noble—than the false certainties of religion. This is a profound and lovely book. It should be required reading at every college on earth.
—Sam Harris, author of the New York Times bestsellers The End of Faith, The Moral Landscape, and Waking Up.
The distinguished geneticist Jerry Coyne trains his formidable intellectual fire power on religious faith, and it’s hard to see how any reasonable person can resist the conclusions of his superbly argued book. Though religion will live on in the minds of the unlettered, in educated circles faith is entering its death throes. Symptomatic of its terminal desperation are the “apophatic” pretensions of “sophisticated theologians”, for whose empty obscurantism Coyne reserves his most devastating sallies. Read this book and recommend it to two friends.
And here are the direct links for pre-ordering: