Monday, January 26, 2009

Hardcovers vs. Paperbacks

I saw this item on USA Today's Web site, and it struck me as interesting:
"Alice times two: Most new books are published first in hardcover, and then about a year later are reissued in paperback. But Pocket Books made the unusual decision to publish Still Alice by Lisa Genova in hardcover ($26) and paperback ($15) at the same time. Why? To bring the debut novel "to the widest possible audience," including book clubs, says Pocket publisher Louise Burke. It seems to be working: The story of a Harvard professor diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's rises to No. 79 on the extended list, up from No. 95."

This is an unusual decision...and I get the rationale. If this proves to be a success, wonder if it will start a new trend among publishers?

10 comments:

Diane said...

Jill, I have a friend who read this book and absolutely loved it. I am waiting for my copy to arrive. I ordered it from Amazon as I had a gift certificate.

It seems risky to me to publish both at the same time, so I am glad it is working for this author.

Lenore said...

You really only read hardcovers? I've never heard that before!

tencentnotes said...

This is an interesting decision - I like paperbacks much more than hardcovers (partly because of the cost), but I do hate waiting a year for a book I've ALREADY been waiting on to come out in paperback just because I'm cheap.

S. Krishna said...

I usually prefer paperbacks, so this would probably entice me to buy more books!

Mary said...

I used to only like hardcovers - they just felt more like a book, you know? But I've changed over the years and find trade paperbacks much more to my liking. Lighter weight, smooth covers. That said, I'm waiting for the delivery of a Kindle. My husband "gave" one to me for Christmas - which means I'm waitlisted to early February. Preferences change, along with life, I guess.

Nixy Valentine said...

I used to buy only paperbacks except for books I knew I'd read over and over. So a hardback was usually the SECOND purchase of a book, or a purchase from an author who consistently wrote "keepers". Now I buy everything I can as an eBook, because I'm addicted to my Sony eReader. So as long as the eBook comes out at the same time, I don't mind about the rest.

Nicole said...

It will be interesting to see hoe this works out. I think that a lot of people have a preference. I love trade paperback books and these are what I buy. The only hardcovers that I read are these given to me as gifts or books that come from the publisher.

caite said...

Some people love paperbacks....some people love hardcovers.

Doesn't it just make sense, especially in times when the book publishing industry may be undergoing economic difficulties, to offer the buyer the greatest variety to buy and not play some game as to the timeline of the releases based on an business model which may no longer exist?

Alea said...

You know, several of the books I've been interested in lately have come out at the same time as hardcover and paperback. I like it because I much prefer paperbacks! So I guess the trend has already started but I say let's just go straight to paperbacks :P

GirlwiththeBraids said...

This week's right here.