Too big and pointy • 31 May 2010 • The SnowBlog

Too big and pointy

I've said it before, but I don't like reading hardback editions of books, for the most part. They're too big, heavy and unwieldy compared with paperbacks. But of course many big publishers will only let you have the hardback for the first six months or so of a new book's life. I assume other justifications are sometimes offered (such as the supposed preferences of reviewers) but I see it as a way of charging more money from those readers prepared to pay more, before the paperback edition comes along to mop up the remaining demand at a lower price. And some will say that the hardback is a toe in the water before committing to a paperback release which might not be viable, but that makes very little sense to me. If you suspect the book won't sell, keep your costs down with a paperback-only release. But, if you refuse to publish the paperback simultaneously and you absolutely must attempt to fleece the public with an exclusive premium edition which precedes the paperback copy, why not offer an elite 'travel' edition, with higher-quality paper stock, some sort of softback cover and perhaps a gimmick like rounded corners. That way I'd be able to read it in comfort and pop it into a bag to take with me. Pretty please.


The SnowBlog is one of the oldest publishing blogs, started in 2003, and it's been through various content management systems over the years. A 2005 techno-blunder meant we lost the early years, but the archives you're reading now go all the way back to 2005.

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