It's a crime! (Or a mystery…)

More on the death of the hardback…

Today, The Guardian carries an interesting article by Robert Booth concerning the move by Picador to launch novels in paperback from next year (with a small limited edition run of hardbacks which will sell at about £20).

I liked the comment from Kirsty Dunseath, publishing director of Weidenfield & Nicholson re the current average retail sales price of a discounted hardback:

"…Anyway, £12.99 isn’t such a high price to pay – you’d happily pay that for a CD."

I think this is true for some, but it overlooks the fact that CD purchasers will listen to that CD more than once – unless the CD proves to be a disappointment.  Having read a novel, what’s the point in keeping it?  You might want to read it again.  You might treasure it.  You might want to retain it for its beauty.

Having read this article, I’m beginning to think that the changes afoot in the world of publishing will actually consolidate in the near future and it’s time to face the reality.  Masses of paperbacks of short useful lives aren’t particularly environmentally friendly.  Neither is their distribution mechanism.  Those digital readers we booklovers shun with horror just might take off.  The book as we’ve known it for so long may indeed become a limited edition and at a high price.

2 comments on “More on the death of the hardback…

  1. Maxine
    November 17, 2007

    There’s some discussion over at the Picador blog about this also– a blog I’ve recently discovered and seems to have some nice posts/discussions on it.

  2. crimeficreader
    November 18, 2007

    Thanks Maxine. I’ll take a look later in the week, when I hope I will have more time! And not be too knackered to log on…

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This entry was posted on November 17, 2007 by in Book News.
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