now you can pre-order the new Ask a Manager book

My book is now available for pre-order!

Ask a Manager: How to Navigate Clueless Colleagues, Lunch-Stealing Bosses, and the Rest of Your Life at Work will be published by Random House/Ballantine on May 1, but you can pre-order it now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Powell’s, and more.

It’s nearly all new content that you haven’t read here, and I’m so excited about it!

It tackles more than 200 difficult conversations you might need to have during your career (with your boss, your coworkers, your employees, or your job interviewer) and gives you the wording to do it … focusing especially on the awkward and cringey conversations that people dread the most. (My friend suggested that we title it “Lately I’ve Been Able to Smell You From My Cubicle,” but we did not.)

If you like reading about awkward situations and getting advice and scripts for addressing them,  this book is for you! You can place your pre-order here and you’ll get it as soon as it publishes. (And pre-orders are really good for authors, so please don’t wait if you want it!)

{ 185 comments… read them below }

    1. Snark*

      That’s the first album from my AAM-themed officecore band, Wakeen and the Llamas. We’re planning to drop our first single, “Baby You Ghosted Me (But Now I’m Your Boss)” on the same day Alison’s book launches.

      1. Southern Ladybug*

        Please tell me you will have a special holiday album featuring your the holiday standby “Hanukkah Balls.”

        1. Miss Pantalones en Fuego (formerly Floundering Mander)*

          Don’t forget the classics “No, That’s Not Illegal” and “Wow”.

            1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

              I literally just lol’d. OP, you have been killing the comments this week!

      2. CM*

        Don’t forget “I’m Puttin’ a Voodoo Spell On You,” “Pigeon Panic,” and the old chestnut, “Quack Quack (Get in the Duck Club).”

    2. Tuesday Next*

      “Lately I Can Smell You From My Cubicle” – there’s something perfect about this. I think Alison’s friend should write a guest post.

  1. FD*

    Congratulations! I’ll be excited to get this.

    Also, I’m extremely amused that the post about the coworker with the x-rated book is a related post… Perhaps we should be imagining the sensual touch of the paper against our wrists as we turn each page, eagerly exploring the perfect scripts for speaking to our colleagues?

  2. Larina*

    I pre-ordered two copies. One for me, and one for my desk drawer for when I need to maybe pass along some of the good advice.

  3. Anonymous Poster*


    I like that one of the suggested links was the story about the self-published X-rated book. Maybe I should use that as a how-to-promote things in my own workplace…

    (I kid. But only a little.)

  4. Amber Rose*

    Is it just US Amazon, or Canada too? My phone is having issues with pulling it up.

    I can (and will) go through Kobo I just really dislike them so…

    1. missvancity*

      You should be able to order from, Kobo, Chapters/Indigo, or any independent bookstore at this point.

      1. KarenT*

        This Canadian has pre-ordered.

        As a former employee, love that you published with Penguin Random House!

      2. oranges & lemons*

        Ordered one copy for now–I feel like I should lay in a stock of these for future gifts though.

    2. missvancity*

      Just a note that you can also let your local library know you’d be interested in ordering the book which will trigger them to order it.

  5. ThisIsNotWhoYouThinkItIs*

    Is there an affiliate link? Wasn’t sure. Not sure how that works if you are the author! Wanted to check before I ordered from Amazon. :)

    Otherwise, absolutely yes to the preorder. Congrats!

      1. ThisIsNotWhoYouThinkItIs*

        :D Preordered a paper copy and may come back for a Kindle one. :) Thanks for all that you do, Alison, and congratulations!

  6. H.C.*

    I’m amused that the first related post link is the one about co-worker publishing an X-rated book.

    I presume yours will be PG-13 at best (worst) ;)

          1. Camellia*

            Whoever they are, they have to be able to say “Ack! Don’t do that.” in the proper tone of voice.

      1. OlympiasEpiriot*

        Unfortunately, LaWanda Page has passed. I would love to hear Aunt Esther reading these scripts.

        (Yes, I’m old. And Sanford and Son is still wonderful.)

        1. Arjay*

          Hee, I misunderstood and thought you meant she had “passed” on the recording project, not that she had passed from this mortal coil.

        1. nutella fitzgerald*

          Then when it becomes a movie that can be a nice piece of trivia for the Amazon Prime X-Ray. “nutella fitzgerald, who voiced the role of Fergus in the audiobook, is a three-time user of advice from the Ask a Manager blog to maintain steady employment (2012, 2014, 2015).”

      2. Sarah in Boston*

        That’s the only reason I’m holding off on pre-ordering. I’m hoping the audio version will have you narrating! (Well that and it’s not available for pre-order on Audible yet and I think it’s such a perfect book for the audio format.)

    1. Mephyle*

      Alternatively cool would be to have it narrated a voice artist who can bring our favourite office personalities to life; Jane, Wakeen, Fergus, Bob and all the rest of the gang.

      1. Snark*

        I’m just imagining a bunch of AAM fans showing up to signings in cosplay – people in suits with Fergus and Jane nametags, a chocolate teapot here or there, some llamas, Duck Club t-shirts – and nobody else knowing what the hell is going on.

        1. Jadelyn*

          …well, I know what my Halloween costume for next year will be.

          (I’m thinking, dressed as a llama in a duck club tshirt with a Wakeen nametag, carrying a chocolate teapot. I look forward to the bewildered expressions on my coworkers’ faces.)

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I don’t think so, but I don’t actually know — we haven’t started talking publicity yet, although I imagine we will have to soon.

      My understanding is that book tours aren’t so much a thing anymore unless you’re a celebrity, but I’ll keep you posted!

      1. Detective Amy Santiago*

        A friend of mine recently had a book published and did a book tour. I’m pretty sure he’s not a celebrity, but his stuff is kind of niche. So it’s possible that you might get one since you are also kind of niche.

      2. Mike C.*

        If it’s something you want to do, the major independent book stores in the Seattle area (Third Place Books comes to mind) have several smaller authors doing events several times a week. Or maybe Cascadia is just full of weirdos, who knows.

        In any case, congrats!

      3. Julie Clare*

        Chanting: TOUR TOUR TOUR

        For serious, if you want to do Politics & Prose or another DC area store, I know a guy…

  7. JeanB in NC*

    I wasn’t able to get the pre-order for the ebook to work but I’ll try the link at home to see if it works.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          See above — basically, I’m not sure, but I think book tours aren’t used as much as they were in the past. But once we start talking more concretely about publicity stuff, I will let you all know!

          1. Bibliovore*

            Perhaps a contest for a location on the launch date. a NY Times reporting store. Pre-solds and a signing. yes, I know. keep my eyes on my own plate. or since you are local- Politics and Prose is the place.

        2. hayling*

          You have so many loyal AAM followers! I just pre-ordered the book. Would love to meet you in person!!!

      1. Melody Pond*

        Portland loves you! Please, please, please come to Portland and talk at Powell’s! I live super close, and I could come hear you talk!

    1. Teapot PR consultant*

      In SFF land, bookplates are the thing, rather than sending books to and fro.

      The author signs an adhesive backed bookplate and it just goes in the mail.

      Might this be possible for AAM readers Please??

      1. Red Reader*

        Indeed – I just saw a post from Jim Hines offering to do that this morning for his most recent.

      2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

        I love this idea. And I would love it even more if we could fill the bookplate design with AAM memes (llamas, rice, teapots, voodoo dolls?).

        1. amandabk*

          Thank you for this … for some reason the wakeen/Joaquin story CRACKS me up. I think it is when the LW said that sometimes she said (in front of Wakeen) … “hey, we should talk to Joe-a-kin about this” It gets me every time!

  8. MJ (Aotearoa/New Zealand)*

    I’m on the other side of the world, so usually pre-order stuff off Book Depository — but is it more beneficial to you if we pre-order through the link you’ve given?

  9. Sualah*

    I also marked that it’s a “Want to Read” on Goodreads–are all those books under your author profile really you? I’m thinking you may be merged with another Alison Green.

  10. My Inner Demon Likes Cookies*

    Very exciting news!!! I’m making sure our library orders a copy (and will also put one on my Amazon list for myself). And everyone else — please ask your library to consider adding a copy to their collections. That way, people who might not be able to get the book for themselves due to their own budgetary concerns can still access this awesome info!!

    And Alison, if you do plan a book tour, I know my library would welcome you! We have a great indie bookstore in the city that works with authors to plan signings, etc.

  11. Drew*

    Not to be a Fergus (ha!), but if you’re preordering on Amazon, may I suggest using the link rather than You pay the same and Amazon kicks a few cents to a charity or cause that you designate. It’s an easy way for people to help out and the “few cents here, few cents there” really start to add up.

    1. pandq*

      Yes to this! And all your lists “wish list”, history of purchases, etc. carry over to the site.
      The checks my nonprofit clients get from Amazon Smile are small, and can’t replace your regular donations to the causes you love, but they are a nice bonus!

  12. Arjay*

    First, congratulations! This is the best news I’ve heard all day. ]

    Second, is there a timeliness issue when you say that pre-orders are good for authors? I’m looking for things to add to my holiday wish list for the family (“We never know what to get you!”). If I put it on my wish list and no one bites, I’d pre-order myself in January if that’s helpful. If it’s more helpful to pre-order today, I’ll do that instead. (To family: “Get me Amazon gift cards; they won’t go to waste!”)

    1. Julie Clare*

      Unless things have changed a lot in the past few years, basically all pre-orders get counted as sales on the day that the book is released, so pre-orders make a big difference in sales rankings.

  13. ArtsNerd*

    An audiobook request, addressed to The Powers That Be: Some Kindle titles have “add narration” option which also gives you their Audible book equivalent, so you can sync your ebook and audiobook files as you go. So, for example, you can listen in the car via Audible and then pick up where you left off on your Kindle when you hit your sofa. (Or, if you’re like me and have weird, specific attention issues, you can listen and read at the same time.)

    Please do that.

    Also, the extent of your fan base certainly warrants a tour of SOME sort. I will personally fuss at your publicist if they suggest otherwise.

  14. Penguin Lifting Heavy Things*

    If you do a book tour, make sure to do BookPeople in Austin. They have tons of authors come through – big and small – and have almost daily events. It’s an incredible store!
    Also, if there is an autographed option, will you please post it? I would definitely pay to get a signed copy.

  15. Kali*


    Also, *loving* that the first ‘you may also like’ link is “my coworker self-published an X-rated book and won’t stop promoting it at work”.

  16. Jadelyn*

    Preordered – congrats! I’m thinking about also preordering a paper copy to leave in the break room…

    1. Oscar Madisoy*

      I can see an evil boss flipping through the book in the break room, deciding he doesn’t like it because he doesn’t want his employees to become “enlightened,” as it were, and removes it (either to throw out or to keep for himself).

  17. LBK*

    Congrats! My family yells at me when I buy stuff for myself around this time of year so adding it to my Christmas list and will harass them to make sure someone actually pre-orders it for me :)

  18. amandabk*

    Congratulations on the book, can’t wait to read it. My suggestion for naming the next book has to be …. “Even Shamans Need Day Jobs.”

  19. SophieChotek*

    Pre-ordered via Amazon.
    And I totally will be sending you the book with return postage for a signed edition. =)

  20. Fafaflunkie*

    153 days to go… soon 152 days…

    …tell myself to remember that good things come to those who wait and that patience is a virtue.

    …soon 152 days. Pre-Order already clicked.

  21. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

    I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I’m tempted to buy a bunch of copies and just distribute widely.

  22. Lore*

    There is a trend now of doing commercially available signed editions. I don’t know if it’s a thing for paperbacks as much but since it seems like there’s interest you might ask your publishing team.

  23. a_born_tryer*

    Question for Alison about your book – is an or pre-order available for Canadians yet? or is that still to come? Would love to pre-order, but at this time, the links seem to be only available for American shopping sites.

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