Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Teeny Hard Covers And Fan Favorites

Part of my job as a collection development librarian is ordering books in advance. Yeah, pre-ordering. I'm usually working anywhere from one to three months ahead of time, and keeping upcoming bestsellers "on file" for as far ahead as six months. Sometimes I forget this. Like recently, when I wondered why I hadn't seen more bitching concern voiced online about the new Linda Howard book, Ice. Turns out it doesn't land in bookstores until next week, so most of you may not know it. So, I'm here to rain on your parade.

Ice clocks in at a whopping 208 pages. And it's a hard cover retailing at $22.00. That said, Amazon currently has this one on sale for $9 - which I guess is a bargain.

Then today I got in a shipment of advanced copies here at work. Yeah, my library gets some advanced copies. Part of the joy of being part of a very large system that orders a ton of books. Anyway, today's box yielded A Matter Of Class by Mary Balogh (due December 29). My first thought was "How much money could I extort out of Balogh fangirls for this one?"* and my second thought was "Holy mother, how tiny is this book?!"

Amazon has it listed at 208 pages. The ARC currently sitting on my desk is 190 pages. Yes, it's a hard cover. Although at least it's retailing for $15.95. Which I guess is better than the Linda Howard - maybe.

So there's your not so wonderful news for the day. Just in case you didn't know.

How many of you were thinking of buying one or both of these right out of the gate, but are now reconsidering? How many of you will not buy them, now that you know they're teeny hard covers? How many of you are squeeing fangirls and don't care? And how many of you were going to get them from the library anyway, so this isn't exactly shocking news Wendy? Duh.

*I was joking. The Balogh is not for sale. I know. I'm mean.


Amie Stuart said...

Have to wait until December for the Balogh :( It's on my want list. I think with the discounts it makes teeny hardcover prices semi-palatable?

But what do I know? I'm a book whore LOL


michellewillingham said...

Gotta say, I'm seeing that with paperbacks, too. I haven't changed how much I write (380 manuscript pages), but the Harlequin Historical books keep shrinking to save paper. I swear, people will have to use a magnifying glass if it gets much worse. And what's bad is, I feel like readers think we're writing shorter books, when that's not the case.

Another reason why I love my Kindle and can increase the font! ;)

Did you get the library shipment I sent?

Wendy said...

Amie: Mostly I'm curious. My gut tells me that Howard and Balogh have such strong fan bases, that readers likely don't care. They're going out and buying that teeny hard cover!

Michelle: Don't I know it! You should see how big I blow up the font on my Sony Reader.

And yes! I got the books! I was out of the office yesterday (sigh, looooong story) but they were waiting for me on my desk this morning. Many thanks. I know I can find them good homes.

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

I refuse to pay a HC price for a book barely 250 pages. Ridiculous.

Rosario said...

Ugh, hardcover prices for barely 200 pages? That's just wrong. I'm a bit of a Balogh fangirl, but even so I'm not paying that. Oh, how I love libraries :-D

AnimeJune said...

I'm a squeeeeeeeeeing Mary Balogh fangirl!

But I'm also a poor fangirl.

BUT BUT BUT I'm super happy it's a hardcover because it means my library actually CATALOGUES it and I can search and reserve it. Paperbacks (being the weak, flimsy, worthless things they are to the Edmonton Public Library's way of thinking) aren't given that courtesy - you can't search them. You get whatever the particular branch you're in happens to have.

So, again - yay hardcovers!

Mollie said...

I preordered Ice from Walmart... 8.98 + free shipping.... if it had been the original price... I'd be getting it from the library!

A Library Girl said...

There used to be some authors whose books I bought as soon as they came out in stores or online. That primarily stopped when I graduated college and went on the Long Job Search, but another thing that caused me to stop buying those books is that a lot of my favorite authors went to hardcover. Hardcover prices are hideous enough, especially when books seem to be getting shorter. I don't much like paperback prices, either, but they're still less painful.

Mostly, if there's something I want to read, I usually either get it from the library and put up with the wait (especially long, since I have to get everything via ILL) or get it used. I'll make exceptions for guilty pleasure books (i.e., books I'd be too embarrassed for my coworkers at the library to find out I read) and Patricia Briggs. :)

vanessa jaye said...

I was looking for the Linda Howard in the store a day ago (think I saw a review for it online and assumed it was out).

I might just get it from the library, or wait for the paperback. Unless the hardback is reduced by 60%.

Tara Marie said...

I'll buy the Linda Howard, what can I say I'm a fangirl. Everyone has an author that works for them no matter what, even when other's don't seem to get it. And I'll order it at amazon. I'd be tempted by the Balogh too, but I can usually put her book off until they go pb.

Phyl said...

I already have Ice on reserve and I'll reserve the Balogh as soon as it shows up in the catalog. Nope, I never buy hardcover. I'll buy the Balogh when it comes out in MM (assuming it will do so). I might buy Ice later on if I love it so much I have to have it. But I'm wary of this shorter form.

Kristie (J) said...

I had Ice in my shopping cart and then when I heard the page count, I took it out. I find it annoying that the publishers are charging so much for so little.
I'm not a Balogh fan so the price for it doesn't bother me - but it hurt to let go of the Howard book. I have to console myself with the fact that I still haven't read Burn yet.

Karen W. said...

I don't read Balogh, and I'm planning on reserving ICE from the library when it's listed in our county's library catalog. (It's not there yet, and niether is the new Nora Roberts. Sigh.)

Gail said...

Between price tag and shelf space hardcovers aren't real popular in my house. Placing hold requests on the other hand is a tradition of many years standing (sometimes nice librarians even place the hold for me on books I've asked them buy). Now if you'll excuse me I need to check if they've already ordered the Balogh (I'm already in line for the next Howard).

Nikki said...

I will get Ice, but I don't think I would have paid $22.00 for it. I'll order it and see what kind of price I can get. I'm not sure about the Balogh book. So I guess mark me undecided on that one. But why so few pages? I always want more!

CathyR said...

Have publishers not noticed the economy? I really wanted Charlaine Harris's new Harper Connelly book, but I just can't justify the cost. While the entertainment value would likely be worth $18, the 'have to pay the rent' part of me demands a lot more volume for $18. Gabaldon's Echo in the Bone, for example, I bought and felt it was well worth the money - great story plus a hefty page count. Nora Roberts new quartet bugs me too - a few years ago these books would have been mass market pb, and much as I am a NR fan, I can't see spending twice as much for no good reason.

Wendy said...

I'm neither a Balogh or Howard fangirl, so the only reason these two are on my radar is because of work. That said, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't change a thing with my buying habits if I were. My general rule is: If I must have book right away, I buy it. If I can wait, I get from work. If I were a squeein' slobbering Balogh or Howard fangirl, I'd probably still buy.

But I can do that. Understandably a lot of readers find themselves on tighter budgets these days.

And I'll be honest, I about fell out of my chair when KristieJ said she took the Howard out of her online shopping basket! KristieJ! And she still hasn't read Burn?!?!?! OMG!

Megan Frampton said...

I useta be a Balogh fangirl, but not anymore. But even so, I just don't buy hardcovers (but don't mention that JR Ward hc sitting downstairs). I get so many books from the library rather than spend money on books these days--I donate to our local library once a year just so I don't feel guilty about all the 'free' books I read.

joykenn said...

To the Library reserve list for both of these. I don't generally buy any hardcovers any more except a cookbook now and then.

JenB said...

I hate all hardcovers, teeny or not. I refuse to buy anything but reference materials in hardback. Heck, I don't even like trade paper.

I'll wait a year for the MMPB rather than buy the hardback. Actually, by then, I've usually lost interest anyway. So the pub loses a customer when they only release my favorites in hardback.

Plus side: that made it much easier for me to break up with JR Ward and Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Leya said...

If I'm going fork out money for a hardcover book, it better be:
1. A very good book.
2. Have more than 200 pages in it.

I guess, both will be library reads for me.

Tracy said...

I probably wouldn't have bought either one but holy cow that's expensive for a teeny tiny book.

Buriedbybooks said...

I don't think I'd buy the Howard title because it seems to be part of the whole Amazon, Target, Walmart hardcover price war.

That, and her books are hit or miss for me.

and I still haven't finished Balogh's last HC release. It's sitting half read in the same spot from a few months ago.

I agree that the dwindling page counts are troublesome. And not just for the hardcover format. It's like the ice cream companies: they're not raising the price, they're reducing the product size. Either way, you're losing value.

Leslie said...

Library reads for both. I rarely buy HC new and if I do I won't pay full price. Love my libraries for the HC and Trade size books.

Rebecca @ DSB said...

Well, hearing that ICE is barely 200 pages has rained on my parade, but I don't blame the messenger Wendy. I recall I had the same gripe regarding Lisa Kleypas A WALLFLOWER CHRISTMAS last year this time. The darn thing was so slim it practically felt, and read, like a novella.

That $9 Amazon price is sounds good for a Howard hardcover, but at 200 pages, I don't think it's worth it. I'll stand in line at the library instead.

Jill D. said...

Hah! I knew that Ice was going to be a "small" hardcover and I am already one of those on a wait list at the libaray. I am number 5 on the wait list. (Nobody reads in my county except me.)

If I really like it, I might go and buy it when it comes out in paperback. Otherwise, no it's not worth the money to me.