Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Price Is What?!

Book Binge had an interesting post up the other day asking readers when they stop going to the bookstore for certain authors and start hitting the library.

While I'm a librarian, I don't exclusively use the library. I use it mostly for my audio book fix, and the minimal hard cover reading I do. I've also been known to check out any trade paperbacks from work that I'm not quite sure I want to spend $14 on.

That's the long answer. However, it dawned on me yesterday that the short answer is June 17, 2008. Yep - that's when you need to start using your local library because that's the day that Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich lands at the peachy retail price of....

wait for it....

$27.95

$27.95 for a 320 page book that will have the Exact. Same. Plot. (what there is of one) as the previous 13 books and if my guess is right - enough white space to think you're vacationing in Greenland in January.

Am I being too harsh? Maybe. I mean - who pays retail on books anymore? Between discount warehouse stores, WalMart and Amazon, nobody is going to be paying $27.95 for this book. But dang, it's the principal of the thing.

I happen to keep up with this series on audio, and I do still get some marginal enjoyment out of it because I accepted long ago that it was never going to go anywhere. Stephanie is never going to choose between Morelli and Ranger, she's always going to blow up her cars, and she's never going to learn to take her gun out of the cookie jar. That, and Rex The Hamster is now officially immortal.

But despite all this, I keep listening. Why? Because I usually get at least one genuine laugh out of the experience and Ranger always says something so insanely sexy that I have to change my panties.

Yeah, I went there.

Still, $27.95?! Honestly, now.

And before y'all start whining about how your library sucks and you'll have to wait too long for your copy of the book - reread any one of the previous 13. Because really, they're all the same book. Yeah, I went there.

And yes, I'm well aware that Janet Evanovich has nothing to do with the pricing on her books. I'm more than well aware that's the work of her publisher.

16 comments:

nath said...

hi Wendy!

I stopped this series at book 10. You're right, it's always the same plot, the love triangle sucks and it's expensive. By the way, welcome to my world. Janet Evanovich HC used to be 36$CDN... now it's 30$CDN. Totally overpriced... same as her re-issued books. You know, those small books that used to be silhouette or category romance... do you know what is their retail price in Canada? 10.99$!!!! I mean, come on! While all the others publishing houses have lowered their price, Harper hasn't and frankly, I think that Janet Evanovich is over-priced.

Leya said...

I've stopped buying hardcover books and even paperbacks - I only buy the ones that I know I will love and keep. I find the pricing of books in Canada absurd! Like Nath mentioned, some category books are as high as $11.

Mel Francis said...

OMG. I thought I was the only one who'd notice Rex was immortal. And I'm a Ranger girl, too. In my mind, there is no choice. So at the end of every book, I tack on my own epilogue. It works beautifully.

Cathy in AK said...

I can't remember the last time I bought a HC for the listed cover price. Bargin bins at the big chains or online are the only way I'd do it, and then I'd have to know I'd LOVE the book. That's risky enough.

I don't want to deny authors their deserved royalties, but almost $30? Seriously? You'd think putting them in paperbacks would eventually get the publisher and author more, given the fact folks have limited disposable income these days. The "choice" of spending $30 for HC or $8 for PB? Do the math.

azteclady said...

You know, I started reading the first one, and couldn't even finish it...


But yeah, hardcovers? OUCH!

ReneeW said...

If I was so inclined to read this (which I'm not - I stopped at #12) then I would definitely get it from the library. I just checked mine - 392 holds so far. You are absolutely right - that's an insane price for a book like this. I always used to keep up with this series on audio too (loved C.J. Critt's narration) but at the end of book 12 Evanovich was interviewed and admitted Stephanie will never age and will never choose either Joe or Ranger. So, I'm done and over it. I do love a good laugh though.

Janicu said...

I stopped at book 1. I thought her + Morelli = disfunctional. And I peered and the rest of the list and it made me even less interested.

ReneeW said...

Correction.. it was the audio for book 11 with the author interview. The interviewer fawned all over her and she was smug. :) well, that was my jaded interpretation.

jmc-bookrelated said...

I stopped buying these when they were still in paperback, back at #6. I'll borrow it from the library eventually. Or maybe get a copy for $0.25 at the library sale once their circulation has diminished.

Can't remember the last time I paid full price for a hardback book. If it isn't on sale, I use a coupon or buy from Amazon.

Wendy said...

Nath & Leya: I love me some category romance, but no way in heck do I love it that much! Ouch!

Mel: Rex The Vampire Hamster. Tee Hee.

Cathy: I'll admit that nothing gets my rocks off quite like a shiny new hard cover. That said? The only two authors I still buy in that format are Tess Gerritsen and Laura Levine - and even then I'm hitting the discount places.

Janicu: See, that's what I think! Not that her and Ranger would make the perfect couple but at least the sex would be off-the-charts.

Renee: We can be jaded together. Also, I tend to avoid post-audio book author interviews. Not my thang.

JMC: I really liked the first four because I "liked" the villain. However by Book 7 the formula was showing a little too much and frankly wacky old people do not make credible villains. Just saying.

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

I get my Janet Evanovich at my favorite place- The Library :)
The only hard covers I buy are JD Robb's in Death Series.
Boo to HC!

Rosie said...

I do buy HC usually at discount prices. There are a few rare exceptions. But holy crap, $27.95?

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

$27.95 can buy you a lot of beers. *G*

Kristie (J) said...

I'll probably still get this one - sometime - when it's out in PB. There's no way I'd pay that kind of money for it. I buy JD Robb in HC - at greatly reduced prices on-line - and I bought BED by Lisa Kleypas in HC - again at a much lesser price online.

nath said...

I've been getting a lot of HC lately... I just can't wait. In my defense, I'm buying them only online, so I get a big discount... plus, it's only me and I still live with my parents, so I'm enjoying spending my money before I get tie down :P

Catherine said...

Book prices in Australia suck...bigtime. A few years back some sneaky mega tax went onto books and HC now retail at $43.95 So it's either request for purchase from the Library, the holds system, or delayed gratification till the PB comes out at about $16.95. The Aus $ is sitting at about .92c to the US $

I share your frustration with the sameness of the Plum series, it really is more of the same but I'n still reading them, at least at the library...argh...

When I'm reading them I tend to think (completely illogically mind you and subverting the role of the author) that off page Ranger and Steph are having lots of hot monkey love...