Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wow, Really? Hard cover? Really?

I was digging through some journals here at work, looking at upcoming releases for this summer, when I ran across a mention of Fade To Midnight by Shannon McKenna. For those of you who have never read McKenna, let me give you the rundown. Her heroes tend to be very Alpha and her heroines get rescued a lot. I've enjoyed two of her books as pure guilty pleasures (Behind Closed Doors and Standing In The Shadows) while two other books (Return To Me and Hot Night) made me want to put my fist through a wall.

Fade To Midnight is the conclusion (uh, I think) of her McCloud (a name that should be banned from Romance Novel Land) Brothers series and it's the book that McKenna fangirls have been squee-ing for. Yep, it's Kev's book.

Well here I am to rain on your parade. Brace yourself ladies.

Fade To Midnight is going to be published in....

Hard cover.

Yes, hard cover. Retail price is $20.95 (cheap for hc), and Amazon currently has it available for pre-order at $14.25. Hey, which is technically cheaper than what her trade paperback releases sold for at retail.

This is....

Well, it's interesting.

McKenna is so not an author I saw making any kind of leap to hard cover. For one thing, I have only heard readers describe her books in one of two ways:
  • It made my eyes bleed. Seriously. Bleed. Pouring out of my eyes. Blood everywhere.
  • OMG, what a great guilty pleasure!
Kensington Brava must be banking on people being so desperate for their guilty pleasure fix that they'll be willing to go hard cover. And hey, they may not be wrong. I mean, people are buying J.R. Ward in hard cover. (Yeah, I went there. I'm bad.)

And while the discount is healthy enough that those readers willing to pay trade prices for McKenna, probably won't care - I have to wonder about all those romance readers who vehemently, as in frothing at the mouth, despise hard cover. I mean, they really dislike it as a format. Hmmmm....

Interesting all the way around. Really? McKenna in hard cover? Really?

So, who is going to buy it? Or have you turned green and are now storming around your home office Hulk-like angry? Reader mad! Reader smash!

Oh, and yeah - I'm ordering it for the library. Cuz that's how I roll. Not sure if I'll read it right away though, since I'm like three books behind on this series already.

Laydown date is May 25, 2010


Kati said...

Well McKenna books make me throw up a little in the back of my mouth, so I definitely won't be spending the money.

That being said, I say the same thing about Ward. I'm all :piously: "I do not spend money on hard cover for the likes of JR Ward. Her books are TOOOO frustrating!"

And then I scheme six ways to Sunday to figure out how I can borrow someone's hard cover so I can read it. Hypocrisy? Yeah, probably.

BevBB said...

is the conclusion (uh, I think)

This made me chuckle because I can so identify. I don't even know if I've ever read McKenna but the never knowing whether a series is over or not... been there and done that. So often. It's literally amazing nowadays when one does end. Seriously. ;-)

As to the hardcover issue, if you're saying it's in hardcover and not in paperback when previous books in the series were in paperback... I'm not sure what's going on in publisher's heads. Really. Because this is an issue I've ranted about before. I don't care how much I love an author or a series, I will not switch formats for them in mid-stream. If publishers can't figure out that that's either a lost, or at the very least a delayed, sale, then they are dense.

And I've never thought of them as being that dense. It just doesn't make sense. o.O

LoriK said...

WTH? Who in the world decided to publish the last book in HC when the rest of the series was in paper? If the publisher thinks that McKenna is ready to make the jump to HC* they should have done it with her next book, not this one. Even if I were waiting for this with baited breath I wouldn't fork over the cash for it in HC because I refuse to support this kind of crappy move.

*I think that's insane because for me her books are, at best, a guilty pleasure and at worst wall bangers, but obviously the publishing industry doesn't run on my taste.

Kwana said...

I have not read McKenna so can't speak there but I have to agree with those who are banging their heads over the decision to switch formats at the end of a series. I just don't get that.

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

I became very disappointed with McKenna's books and she is still that popular to have her books go to hardcover? That seriously surprises me.

Sorry, won't spend $20 on that one.

The only hardcovers I buy are the In Death books and yes, my crack Ward.

AnimeJune said...

I can never go against hardcovers - time and again, I can find them easier in the library and if I like them then the wait until they come out in paperback is much easier.

And if I don't like them, I haven't wasted $20 or even $10.

Sarah said...

I didn't even realize she was still around writing much. Wow. And now to find out she's going hardcover. Really? And this will help their bottom line how?

Alison Kent said...

Her last two, maybe three (?), trade Bravas have hit the NYT list which says some pretty amazing things about her sales, so Kensington decided it was time. She's very nervous about it because we authors don't get a lot of say in this stuff, LOL!

Lynette said...

I've never read her so I can't comment on the quality of the books. Does this author have that type of sells? To be honest, I've never heard of her.

And Wendy, the only reason why I bought a J.R. Ward hardcover was because that and Sherrilyn Kenyon's Acheron (also HC) was on a Walgreens sale table for $5.00. I still get most of my books from the library.

Samanthadelayed said...

I never buy new hardcovers, even for my most beloved author Marian Keyes. I got her new book from the library and I am reading it right now. I will wait for the paperback to buy it and add it to my collection. I have never read a McKenna book, but I am kind of surprised they would move her to hardcover, especially in these economic times.

HelenKay Dimon said...

It all comes down to the sales numbers. Shannon is NYT bestseller in trade, which is a really big accomplishment since romance trade doesn't often make the list. She's one of those authors who sells REALLY well. More than likely the publisher (disclaimer: the publisher is also one of my publishers) saw $$$.

I just feel bad for Shannon because I think it puts her in a tough spot. Her fans aren't going to be thrilled about paying hardcover prices at the end of a series. As a reader, I hate that. And in this market when people are struggling financially? Oiy.

Leslie said...

Ah, the McCloud brothers, my guilty pleasure. :) I'm looking forward to Kev's book but will get it at the library.

There's very few authors I would buy in HC and even then it has to be with a really good discount.

Phyl said...

I'm a huge fan of hers. Yep, love her writing. I'll get it from my library if I have to. If there's a $9.99 deal at the Kindle store that would be my first choice.

Because I can't wait for Kev's "back from the dead" story. This'll be good.

Wendy said...

I responded to everybody's comments and then my 'Net connection totally crapped out on me. Gah! So, just a few things:

Unless the author is Nora Roberts, they generally have little to no say when it comes to format. Obviously McKenna's sales have been good enough that Kensington feels confident with the move to hc. And hello? I had no clue her last couple hit the NYT list. Now I need check the library catalog to make sure I haven't fumbled here at work. Oy!

I read the first two McCloud books and liked those. I had issues with two of her stand-alones. I really need to read McCloud #3 (sitting in my TBR!) to see if the series is still "working" for me.

Also, my understanding is that publishers can sell "less" copies of trade and hc books in order to earn out. Because of the higher price point. I think? I know I read that somewhere recently. So increased library sales, plus sales from fangirls could = good day for author and publisher.

Stupid Internet connection. ::gumble, grumble, grumble::

BevBB said...

More than likely the publisher (disclaimer: the publisher is also one of my publishers) saw $$$.

Thing is, though, that bottom line it is not $$$, at least not in terms of long-term readers. Any time this "switching format in the middle of a series" happens even a well-loved author or series, that author's name automatically drops to the bottom of my must-have list at least for a while. So, it's just not a good practice for the publishers to make a habit of. It taints the author in my head whether I logically understand it's not their fault or not because that series sticks out to me from then on as being one I can't continue.

I can tell myself it's the publishers fault all I want to but in the end it's the author and series I'm looking for and being frustrated about not being able to continue. Possibly for months, even up to a year or more. So, $$$?

Somehow, I think not. Not if I'm multiplied by thousands of other readers each time they do this.

Victoria Janssen said...

The "final book in hardcover" book annoys me because IT DOESN'T MATCH. If you try to put them on the shelf together, it's just...annoying. I'm happier when the whole series is in hardcover.

Lori said...

Get OUT. HC? Really? I want Kev's book as much as the next person (ok, well, as much as anyone who likes the McCloud bros), but I am SO not paying for HC. Too bad my library doesn't have her. I guess I wait for MM. Hell.

And my McKenna disclaimer? I really only care for the McCloud series. The rest? Yeah, not so much. But a McCloud man is my crack.

HelenKay Dimon said...

Thing is, though, that bottom line it is not $$$

Actually, that IS the bottom line for publishers. It's a business and when they have someone consistently hitting the NYT they are going to try to maximize profit. Readers don't like it. I'm a reader and I don't like it, but it's a $$$ decision and totally out of the author's hands.

Nikki said...

It seems that the HC price isn't that much more than the trade price. I'm not sure, but I think I will get it, hopefully with some kind of coupon or a gift card so I don't feel badly about paying so much for it. I am not happy, however, that now the books won't look uniformly (is that a word?) on the bookshelf.

Sandy Williams said...

Ugh. I hate it when publishers go to hardback in the middle of a series. That's what they did with Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series. I felt like it was a bait and switch. Draw me into a world, make me love it, need more of it, and then twist me for money.

The part of it that REALLY bothers me, though, is that I can't stand having these books together on my shelf. I'd rather have ALL hardback than a pbk, hardback, pbk. Yeah, I'm anal like that.

Kristie (J) said...

Dang!! I didn't realize it was going to be hardcover!! Whatever price it is in the US, add $10 onto that for the CDN price. Guess I'll be waiting longer than I planned for this one.

RandomRanter said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only who who gets more (or equally) bugged that such changes screw up my shelving system.
At least with ebooks I don't have to worry about funny humps in the shelves.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind that this last book in the series is in hardcover. I'm eager to read Kevin's story and will buy the hardcover when it comes out.


Karen Scott said...

Her last book was a DNF for me, so I'll be waiting till this one comes out in paperback.

sybil said...

Mary Balogh has now done it twice will be doing it three times with con's book.

good lord I am blanking there are about four or five authors the publishers have put out the last book in HC... pretty sure I have bitch about it in a post.

I was surprised when I got the ARC that it was going to be in HC. But at the same time you can't blame the author because I seriously doubt she had much say in it.

Dunno it is hard cuz as a reader I would rather it not do well because that just means she will go HC, which I HATE. And I do think everything is about me.

But I like the author and wish her well. Standing in the Shadows was my favorite, which was the second book. But I did like Sean's book.

Deirdre said...

McKenna has never hit my radar. But, I have read series that moved from PBO to hard cover in sf and mystery. In sf the publisher usually goes back and reissues the earlier books in hardcover-- I guess to help out people who want their shelves to look neater.

Heidi said...

The McClouds are definitely my crack of choice, so I"ll buy this book no matter what it comes in. I like Shannon McKenna. Sometimes the guys make me want to throw the book against the wall, but I like the way she writes so I read them :) Plus, I was a bookseller and I'm a collector and re-reader, so I LIKE a hardcover better. Stone me, beat me, come to my house and call me bad names, but $14.95 for a hardcover when I'd pay the same for the big paper copy...I call that a steal. And for Kev's story? I'd fly to Italy and wash her feet... just sayin'