Free Extras for Physical Books? And Other Links

Kelley Armstrong‘s announced that the THIRTEEN hardcover (the final Otherworld book) will have a free Clay/Elena short story.  The short story won’t be in the ebook edition nor will it be released as a separate ebook, but will be included in a future anthology (she mentions 2016).

I’m quite not sure how I feel about this.  Ms Armstrong outlines her reasoning in her post – basically wanting to give her readers an extra for spending the additional money on getting the hardcover as opposed to the ebook, and also doing something special because it is the last book in the series.  I understand the latter argument, but the first one doesn’t really make sense – why would buying a hardcover edition be better for the author than buying an ebook?*

I get that publishers are still essentially experimenting with this ebook thing, and figuring out acceptable pricing points etc.  And there’s a precedent for including bonus material with new editions (Meljean Brook‘s mass market paperback release of THE IRON DUKE has a brand-new novella included – I am sort of tempted, but trying to wait until it comes out as a standalone e-short** and there are different reasons as to why it’s not included in the e-edition of the mass market).  But it’s frustrating that readers that choose to read ebooks don’t get access to the same material that people who buy the hardcover.

I suspect that I’ll probably end up borrowing the THIRTEEN hardcover from the library in order to read the Clay/Elena short.  And if I do, I’m in two minds about whether I end up buying the ebook on release date – unless the reviews are glowing, I can probably hold off until I get it from the library.  Which really  is not a win-win scenario.

*Royalties and bestseller lists are the two things that come to mind – on the first, I’ve read author posts that say they get more money from ebooks compared to paper editions, and on the second, surely e-sales count towards your rankings (agree this is more shrouded in mystery, but I have never really bought into the “buy during the first week of sales, don’t buy before this date, buy only from these retailers…” kind of mantra).

**Yes, I finally got around to reading THE IRON DUKE after winning a copy of the second book, HEART OF STEEL, in January.  I really liked it.  Amazing inventive world-building.  I will hopefully get around to writing a separate blog post about it.

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Right, that first item turned out to be longer than I expected it to be – I didn’t realise I felt that strongly about it.  Anyway, the next piece of news that caught my eye – Richelle Mead announced that she’s sold a new paranormal series (adult).

I really liked her Georgina Kincaid Succubus books (better than her Vampire Academy series, IMO), so am looking forward to this one:

NYT bestselling author Richelle Mead’s GAMEBOARD OF THE GODS, the first novel in her new adult paranormal series, Age of X, featuring an unlikely pair charged with investigating mystical phenomena in a futuristic world that was nearly destroyed by religious extremists…

Sounds really interesting.

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And finally, I liked this Austen v. Heyer blog post by Sherwood Smith at the Book View Cafe.  Apart from the fact that I’ve never heard the phrase “Silver Fork novel” before, she explains why Jane Austen’s romances are so different to Georgette Heyer’s – fascinating stuff.

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8 thoughts on “Free Extras for Physical Books? And Other Links

  1. Oh, it’s great news about the novella! I didn’t know. I’ve stopped following Ms Armstrong’s news. I never was good to begin with, but lately…

    Well, the way I read the news about Ms Armstrong including the short story… It’s not to entice people to buy the HC, but more to reward them. It’s true that the HC is more expensive than the ebook format. I don’t know if there’s a different about profit margin and royalties, but as a reader, if you look at the price, there is a difference… and the way I read it is the way she wrote it, she’s giving extra for the people who pays more. And personally, I appreciate that. It’s kind of like buying the HC vs paperback… Do you wait or shell out more money? Only the ebook is out at the same time. Either case, for me, it won’t change much since I’m getting the HC anyway… Just so it fits with the rest 😛

    Ugh, I should read the Iron Duke ^_^; Still in my TBR pile.

    It’s also good news for Ms Mead.

    • I suppose where I’m coming from (and didn’t actually articulate) is that I don’t want a physical copy? Even if both the hardcover and the ebook were the same price, I would still go for the ebook – just because I don’t have limitless bookshelf space. And if the ebook was more expensive, I would just go and borrow from the library 😉

      There are very very few authors whose books I still buy in paper. And I have such a mix of hardcovers, paperbacks (with various covers) and e-editions that it’s a good thing I’m not obsessive about matched sets!

  2. Li, I loved The Iron Duke and bought it and read it as soon as it released. But this is crazy, I’m not buying another copy just to read a novella. It kind of discourages the reader from jumping in and buying books as soon as they are released if they are going to offer extras later. No? I WILL wait until the novella is released on its own… I’m a fan, but won’t be spending $ for a book I already own just to read a novella that will probably be really cheap later on.
    And, you’re absolutely right. Why not offer it to those who prefer the e-edition of the novel? Sometimes those e-editions (Kindle editions anyway) are more expensive than the paperbacks. It doesn’t make sense to me. But then, what do I know?

    • I agree – it seems to be somewhat counter-intuitive with THE IRON DUKE. My best comparison is to collectors’ editions for classics – you know, when they add a preface or essay or something to, say, a Jane Austen. Reading Meljean Brook’s blog though, it sounds as though it wasn’t planned that way – it just happened by accident!

      And good to know I’m not the only one thinking it’s frustrating for those who just prefer to read e-editions.

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