Friday, 18 May 2012

Hardcover Story

Don’t get me wrong I’ve got nothing against ‘milking’. It brings back fond memories of A-Level economics.  I think we called it ‘price differentiation over time’ back then, and it’s ubiquitous in the marketplace, from train tickets to PlayStations. But the publishing industry is the only example I can think of that feels it has to dress it up as a different product. In this resource-conscious time, the right thing to do is bring the paperback out immediately and steadily bring it down in price. It’s not the price I object to, it’s the form factor. Of course, I know, this is not something an individual author or even publisher has much control over – the industry ‘just doesn’t work that way’. But my concern is that this is another sign the industry is unwilling to move with the times, to defend itself. Those pesky indie- and self-publishers (ahem) have mobilised – and, believe me, they’re not packing hardbacks.

(This was written to elaborate on my recent tweets regarding what will likely be my last ever purchase of a novel as a physical book, Killer Move by Michael Marshall (Smith))