The Night Rainbow and the madness of publishers

14 thoughts on “The Night Rainbow and the madness of publishers”

  1. Hi Alison,
    First of all thank you for reading The Night Rainbow in any format, and for liking it so much you want to give it as a gift!
    You raise a really interesting point. It’s absolutely true that the vast majority of paper book readers prefer a paperback. I do too, so much easier for reading in bed, which is where I do most of my reading. I only ever used to buy hardbacks if I couldn’t wait to read the latest by my favourite author. Now even for those I’ll buy electronically. So hardbacks now for me are collecting books – signed copies by authors I know usually.
    I don’t know if there’s a financial model, because hardbacks are so heavily discounted these days. Plus staggering the launch, usually by a year, means you thin out the press/PR campaign which is usually very limited for most authors as it is. Perhaps it is (at least for literary type debuts) to allow word of mouth to build up gradually before investing in a large print run of books? And not having a hardback or trade paperback edition perhaps sends a message out to the literati on how the book is expected to be received?
    I’ll be interested to see what others think.
    Cx

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    1. some kind of vote of confidence by the publisher – especially when some books now only come as an e-book. I think it’s the ‘staggering’ of the whole thing which is hard to grasp. Or maybe they hope to keep the pot boiling? Ali B

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  2. I do buy hardbacks. If I’ve enjoyed an ebook and it’s a keeper, I’ll buy it again hardback (if available). I broke the screen of my Sony ereader and my kindle has recently died. However, I do have a copy of Jane Eyre in hardback that I’ve had for over 30 years. I buy hardbacks because technology, much as I love it, eventually wears out.

    I bought The Night Rainbow in hardback, just in case you were wondering 😉

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    1. Hi Pam
      I agree I want some books as ‘keepers’ and I suppose a hardback will keep best of all! Ali B

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  3. I prefer hardbacks for most genres except what I would label to myself as “throwaway, read-once trashy holiday fiction”, or working field reference books that are likely to get wet and muddy and need replacing at regular intervals. Occasionally I get it wrong and love the paperback so much I’ll seek out a hardback to replace it. Admittedly, I’m a bit of a hoarder and am constantly having to build more bookshelves, but hardbacks are just so much better bound and tend to have larger, clearer print than the poorly named “perfect-bound” paperbacks and I find them easier and more enjoyable to read. I actually bought 3 hardback copies of The Night Rainbow – a good copy to keep, one for my mother and one to lend out – but then Claire is a good friend and I was very proud of her!

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    1. Hi Claudia I think I must abe a weakling as I tend to find hardbacks too cumbersome althugh I guess NR won’t be too big. Most of those I have were bought in the days of bookclubs – if anyone remembers them! Ali B

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  4. I like the feel of the book having some give in my hands, which is why I do prefer paperback, but its already apparent, we all like different ways of reading, it’s just a shame they stage the publishing dates.

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    1. Hi Rebecca – I do like tree-books too. what seems odd is that the e-book precedes the paperback. Maybe it’s all a plot to get us to buy the e-book then follow-up with a peprback down the line? Ali B

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  5. I love hardbacks if it’s a book I’m going to read again. Much better printing and the spines last. The sequencing and timing of hardback, paperback and ebooks is a mystery though.

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  6. I like hardbacks as a treat (I know, my deprived childhood) but can be a bit of a risk with an author you don’t know, just to send it straight to Oxfam. I too have a very old and much treasured Jane Eyre (in fact, thanks for the reminder, probably due a reread).

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  7. I love hardbacks. Like many others have said in the comments here, I do buy books I see as special and much-loved in hardback as “keepers” while still enjoying paperbacks and ebooks.

    I’m so glad you enjoyed ‘The Night Rainbow’ too. I read it a few weeks ago and adored it – such great writing, wonderful characters, and an original plot. I’ve been meaning to leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, so seeing your post has prompted me to get on and do that. I was a member of the 2010 judging panel of the Bristol Short Story Prize where I first encountered Claire King’s writing – I can’t wait to see what she does next!

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    1. Thanks everyone for chipping in – yes I too intend to review Night Rainbow – one of these days. Ali B

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  8. I love paperbacks — I’m the philistine who bends them back until the spine nearly breaks, prior to dropping them in the bath, covering them in sweat and suncream, and jamming them into a too-full rucksack. By the time I’ve read them, my books are all soaked in daily life and various local spores, and my face has usually been washed free of the print at least once because I’m a read-to-sleep kind… but… I have The Night Rainbow in hardback thanks to the lovely Claire King, author-signed and very much prized. It’s once-read, and carefully stored, in upright position, in our lounge library. I even dust it. Hardbacks are special.
    (I have the Kindle version too, for bus stop top-ups and philistine moments.)

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