Ladies Who Lunch And Solve Industry Problems. Simultaneously.

April 28th, 2005 · No Comments
by Booksquare

Today we had a long lunch with frequent commenter and author Karen Palmer, and the subject of upperbacks (yes, stealing Publisher’s Lunch terminology) popped into the conversation. We were thinking specifically about hardbacks and less expensive alternatives. It didn’t surprise us that we were in agreement on one point: hardback prices are off-putting to readers considering taking a chance on new-to-them authors. We also thought that ten dollars was a comfortable price point — it’s a little more than a movie, but you spend more time with a book (and, from the Booksquare perspective, with a book, you have a far better chance of avoiding Vin Diesel).

So though we have a small degree of skepticism when it comes to marketing these books to older readers, we’re buying into the idea with increasing enthusiasm. But there’s a but. There’s always a but. We try to be positive, we do. We can accept that using the market share of Nora Roberts and John Grisham will lead to increased acceptance of the format.

But we’re bothered by the notion that the second wave (or perhaps Wave 1.5) will be predicated on selling backlist titles to readers. Readers always love the idea of buying old stuff for more money. Especially when it’s not clear that the book is a reprint. This is a great opportunity for new authors and new titles. We know how great temptation can be, but trying to fool readers with an extra inch or two seems to be the wrong approach. Wave 1 is great. Resist Wave 1.5.

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