This “entry by Brandon Sanderson”:http://www.brandonsanderson.com/blog.php?date=1168239600 stands in sharp relief to my little “mini-rant”:http://open-dialogue.com/blog/2006/12/31/adverse-book-sizes/ the other day. Coupled with “Bryan Catherman’s comment”:http://open-dialogue.com/blog/2006/12/31/adverse-book-sizes/#comment-8991 and I am forced to step back and re-examine the issue.
Now, I’ve always preferred hardcovers. I like their solidity and durability, but in recent years I’ve fallen back on paperbacks due to a notable shortage of spare change. But by the same token, being the book snob that I am, I’ve been remiss in my ‘obligation’ to purchase books that will actually weather the years well. And it also only makes sense that if I like a book enough to buy it, I should be willing to support the authors whose writing I so enjoy by purchasing the hardcover edition and be willing to sacrifice quantity for quality. If I were in their shoes (and I do hope I am one day), I know _I’d_ prefer my readers to buy the edition that puts more money in my pocket.
I’m willing to admit I was hasty in my previous rant. I’ll be taking a closer look at both hardcovers and tradeback in the future. It’s the least I can do, right?
I’ve got a little bone of contention to pick with book marketers. You see, my wife gave me a gift card for Barnes & Noble for Christmas. Perfect opportunity to knock some of those titles off my “Must Buy” list, right? Well, it’s a nice theory.
One set of books I’m interested in is Nick Sagan’s _Edenborn/Idlewild/Everfree_ trilogy. The first two, at least, are in paperback now; I’d seen them on shelves not too long ago, and I found them again today. Standard price for paperback novels is between $6.99 and $7.99, right? Not so. Apparently, it’s a popular idea nowadays to take a novel from a $25 hardcover and then dress it up in a $15 paperback that is taller than your standard 7-inch paperback. Both the price tag and the size are awkward. Obviously, some genius thought this would be a great way to milk consumers for a few extra bucks, and it must work, since they keep using it. It’s just my ill fortune to be interested in some books that are still new enough to only have a couple of editions printed, none of which are cheap enough for me to maximize my financial resources. Unfortunately, I bypassed Nick’s books this time around, choosing instead to wait until the next – and smaller, cheaper – edition is printed. I also passed up Orson Scott Card’s _Magic Street_ for the same reason – the smaller $7 version wasn’t available yet.
If this is a marketing technique that works, it works on someone else. _This_ consumer refused to pay $15 for a paperwork that he’ll be able to get later for $8 cheaper – and he’s patient enough to wait for it. I’m disappointed, of course, but $20 will only go so far. I’d rather get _three_ new books, rather than settling for just one or two.
Update: Turns out, those larger versions are called Trade Paperback Editions, and they follow immediately after Hardcover Editions. The types of paperbacks I apparently prefer are called Mass Market Paperbacks. You learn something new everyday.