Sales and Shipment Update - Modernist Cuisine

Sales and Shipment Update

MCMarch 28, 2011

Here is the latest word on the shipments of Modernist Cuisine from the printer.


Somewhere between Vancouver and Toronto, there are 250 copies on a train. This is the first shipment to Amazon Canada, where Modernist Cuisine has been long awaited by Canadian customers, as well as a few people outside of Canada who ordered from Amazon Canada. These copies are expected to arrive by March 31 and will be shipped as soon as possible after that.

There are 500 copies on a train to an Amazon service center in Indiana, from where they will likely ship on April 4. Another 600 copies are due to arrive at an Amazon facility in Arizona on March 29.


The last ship left China today, which means that there are 4,130 copies of Modernist Cuisine across a series of nine boats bound for ports in the U.S. and Europe. A boat docks in New York City on March 31 and every few days after that. Some of the boats will not reach their destination for a couple more weeks, but by mid-April, all of the first printing should have shipped to customers.


Total orders for Modernist Cuisine now total about 7,600. The pace of orders has fluctuated a bit as major press pieces come out, but has remained pretty steady.

Second Printing

The second printing is happening! The presses are running today for Volume 1 and we are busy making minor corrections to the other volumes. They will all be in press by the end of the week.

54 Responses to “Sales and Shipment Update”

  1. Gavin Scott

    Here’s hoping my November Amazon order will be among those 1,100.

    So it sounds like the second printing will include correction of errata from the first. Will you be publishing an errata list for those of us getting the 1st printing? Is there anything else you’re tuning based on experience so far?

    Can you share what you eventually decided on for the 2nd print run quantity?

    Congrats on the NY week. The Today segment came off extremely well for four minutes with clueless TV personalities 🙂 Looked like significantly more fun than a typical book publicity tour.


    • Our second print run is well underway and will produce at least 25,000 copies. We are assembling a user-friendly web page and PDF of all the errata and clarifications corrected in the second printing, and that will appear here on the website at some point next week.

    • Rudy, the answer is almost definitely yes. Nathan mentioned over 7000 copies sold to date and the first run was 6000 so unless you find a retailer that received more copies than pre-orders and so still has inventory then you’ll be waiting a while for the 2nd printing

    • Mary Lou Lageson

      We are a community college outside of Seattle and are trying to order Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of cooking. It is out of stock. Our fiscal year ends on June 30th, 2011 and we have to have ordered and received all items by 5:00pm on the 30th of June. Is there any way we can order, pay and receive this book by the June date?
      Thanks, in advance.
      Mary Lou
      Culinary arts sec.
      Edmonds Community College
      Lynnwood, WA

    • They will be identical for the most part. We did correct a few errors in the second print run, but it is a minuscule fraction of the content that changed. The colophon in Volume 5 will read “First edition, second printing” for the books that arrive this summer.

  2. Crossing my fingers that my August order for the book will be in the first Amazon ship out. Wish we had numbers to know where we stand in line!

    Like everyone else I am so excited and anxious!

  3. I placed my order with Amazon in late October and was notified this morning that my shipment is being prepared (I’m in California so the train must have made it to the Arizona warehouse)! I have a delivery date of April 7th.

  4. Gavin Scott

    My copy ended up departing Indianapolis today (even though I’m in California), and will be here Monday the 4th.

    Looking forward to it.


  5. Taschen sent me notice that they are publishing the upcoming foreign language editions of Modernist Cuisine. Good choice for overseas editions. I would also recommend them as excellent consultants on how to format future editions at a more affordable price for the masses. They know how to keep a book arty and edgey for later editions, while at the same time knowing how to keep publishing cost low without diminishing the “high production values” of the tome. best, S

  6. Scott C

    That’s exciting that February orders are shipping. I ordered mine March 2. While based on earlier posts I think I will be in the first printing, I’ll feel better when I get a shipping notice.

  7. Hi,

    Does anyone know about UK shipment?

    I ordered back in mid November, and Amazon have just sent me an email saying they don’t now know when it will ship.


    • I’m told that 260 sets are en route to the U.K. and will ship to customers in about two weeks. There are more than 260 preorders from Amazon UK, so unfortunately not everyone who preordered there will receive their book that soon. But most will.

  8. Olof Öberg

    I ordered mine October 8 and estimated dispatch was yesterday, but it changed to “We regret to inform you that your order will take longer to fulfill than originally estimated.” early this morning.

    But I am so happy North Americans that ordered in February will get their books now..

  9. John Barton

    I pre ordered my copy from amazon uk and up untill yesterday i had a dispatch estimate on 5th april, however i recieved an email this morning saying that my copy will not be dispatching on the 5th april and they could not give me a date of when it will be dispatched to me. Have i missed the first printing or have amazon uk run out of copies that they ordered and are waiting for more to come in? and if so will this be the second printing? Starting to get impatient now because the waiting is killing me!

    • I’m told that a container of books has arrived at Amazon UK. Once it clear customs and is processed into Amazon inventory, it should start shipping to customers who preordered.

  10. Amazon had a delivery date of April 5, 2011 on my order but now I got an email from them saying: “We regret to inform you that your order will take longer to fulfill than originally estimated. Our supplier has notified us that there is a delay obtaining stock for the following items you ordered on January 03 2011.”

    And when I go to the webpage it says: “Temporarily out of stock.”

    Does this mean that it’s sold out and I’m not getting a copy of the 1st print?

    • Not necessarily. Not all of the shipments of the first printing have made it to Amazon and other booksellers yet. New books have been arriving each week for the past month or so, and another is due in this week.

  11. Whoa – the morning’s shot, my book arrived!! I was supposed to be doing taxes today – but that’s not happening.

    Whoever designed the packaging is a genius because someone dropped the box on its bottom edge and left a 1 1/4″ deep V shaped gash – no damage!

    The book is amazing, larger than I imagined and HEAVY. It will take me a month to read it and much longer than that to digest it all. The level of detail, the charts and reference tables, and the way the recipes are presented are all excellent.

    I initially couldn’t figure out why Volume 6 was separate, but in fact it is fantastic, as it contains all of the recipes in a format for use in the kitchen along with very useful tables and information. One suggestion is that this volume needs its own index such that one could look up “chicken” and see all of the recipes based on chicken for example.

    The only other quibble is that Volume 3 seems to have had too much glue in some places. This is especially noticeable where two black pages face each other, such that when the book is opened it pulls the pages apart at the seam leaving white paper showing. Pages 174/175 and 306/307 were especially bad. I’ll probably take a dark marker to them. I haven’t had a chance to go through all of the volumes yet, but the first two volumes did not have this issue.

    Congratulations to the entire team for a fantastic job well done (or is that medium rare)….

    • Could you please email a photo of the problem to Glue is applied only to the outside of the book block, so I’m wondering if what you’re seeing might be the white thread used in the binding to stitch the signatures together? Or is the paper actually tearing on these spreads?

      • Gavin Scott

        It’s an issue every few pages actually where around 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch of the pages are glued together at the spine, so if you hold the book open the two pages you’re viewing don’t quite reach to the edges of the book. If you hold the pages in place when the book is nearly closed and then force it open, the two pages will peel apart with the paper tearing rather than the glue failing first.

        I think it may be between each signature, where the glue applied to the spine wicked up about 1/4″ between each pair of signatures.

        I’ll try to confirm this and send you a couple photos.

        It definitely seems to affect most/all of the volumes so far. As I said before it doesn’t bother me terribly as I’m quite careful when reading the book. It does mean that every few pages you come to a point where the pages really won’t lay flat though as a result of being stuck together.


        • Gavin Scott

          Yes, that’s exactly it. Each signature is glued to the adjacent one to a distance of about 1/8″, and occasionally (rarely) 1/4″, from the spine. all other pages in the books pivot from the thread binding the signature together, but the pair of pages making up a signature boundary are stuck together at the gutter and will thus not lay open flat and resist spreading out.

          This affects every signature boundary in every volume of my set that I’ve looked at.

          At 1/8″ it’s only a minor annoyance to me and does not really affect my enjoyment of the book.

          It would be nice to know though what’s the printer’s specification is for this parameter of the binding.

          Let me know if you’re still interested in pictures.


        • I spoke with our production manager about this. He agrees that it sounds like your books have too much glue on the spine and the signatures are sticking together as a result. He will be in touch with you directly by email about fixing the problem. Thanks for your patience.

  12. Gavin Scott

    Same issue here looking at those pages in Volume 3. But in mine it’s maybe not as bad as I think I could read it just fine without ever having to pull the pages apart.


    • Yes, we are preparing a web page with corrections and clarifications for those receiving the first printing. We will also make this available in PDF format so that you can print it and keep a copy with the books.

      • That sounds awesome! Thanks a lot – the incredible effort you guys have put into Molecular Gastronomy has been awe inspiring. I’ve written some material on Sous Vide cooking at home as well as lectured on the subject here in Austin, TX, and one look at the layout and coverage of the sous vide section made me realize that while I had an idea of where I wanted to go and what I wanted to cover in my material, you guys managed to fully realize it. Bravo!

  13. Steve Jantscher

    Hi All. I placed my order on Feb 17 with Amazon, received my book yesterday (Apr 6), just to give some others an idea of where Amazon stands in fulfillment. I’m not a foodie ( I just started to visit eGullet after I placed an order for this book), but this book is one I’ll keep for a very long time. It is a great accomplishment, a fascinating read and a book I’ll refer to for the rest of my life. My only small criticism (besides the lack of an additional index of recipes in vol.6 as mentioned above) is that these books are large and heavy. I’m a big guy, but my lap isn’t big enough. Be prepared for a “heavy” reading experience.
    I’ve picked out a typo or two. Is anybody collecting them for the second printing? Where do you want us to send them?

  14. Darlene Weberg

    I called Barnes & Noble about the order we placed in February. They don’t have a clue about when I’ll be getting my books. We ordered them in the expectations that they’d be shipped from the first set of books. Now, they say that they won’t be getting any until July – does that mean that my order isn’t going in until they get some huge shipment from the second set of books? Very frustrating indeed!

    • We have contacted Barnes & Noble to get clarification from them about the situation. We’ll post an update on the blog with what we learn. I’m sorry for the frustration.

      • Has there been any update with B&N? I ordered my books in February too. When I called a few days ago they had no clue as to the status?

  15. Brandon A

    Got it today…just in time for long road trip of relaxation and jumping into the books! They are beautiful and looking forward to digging in! Thank you for the hard work!

  16. Just got word from Amazon (US-Chicago):
    Ordered the book March 9th, the original estimated delivery was April 22-May 13.
    New Estimate: April 19-April 23

    Very excited! I was a little worried since I thought March 9th was right on the border of falling into the second printing…

  17. Håvard

    oh! sweet marshmellow!

    my book has shiped from the uk today. hopefully i’ll receive it here in norway before the holidays (ordered it form amazon in feb).

    i’m so eager to finally get to dig in to all the tremendous work you’ve put in to this book!


  18. Got an email yesterday saying my order shipped and will arrive on April 19. Received the tracking number and it is actually arriving today. I love Amazon Prime, shipping a 50 pound box overnight for $3.99.

  19. Ordered the books on March 6th at Amazon Germany. Shipping date was supposed to be April 7th. On that date the status changed to “delivery date unknown”. Is there any information available when the books will be delivered in Germany?

  20. Thomas

    ordered form Amazon UK and order was cxld. Ordered form Barnes and Noble in US a few days ago and received confirmation that it was shipped to UK yesterday – A work collegue ordered yesterday form B&N and received message that it will not be avialable untile September 1st. Was I that lucky??