When I was at BEA earlier this summer, I picked up a few galleys and books to read.
OK, if you were with me or saw me at the show, you are falling over laughing right now. I’m well known as someone who cannot pass by a free book. I have been known to resort to crawling through the show floor while I carry 30 or so new books on my back like a literary sherpa. This year, I had so many, I had to have them sent back with the convention shipment. I heard it was, ahem, a large box. A Very Large Box. All caps.
Anyhow, among the galleys were a bunch of teenage vampire books. I had no idea this was a whole genre in the teen book market. I’ve always said I’m a sucker for a good gothic novel (sucker…get it?). Apparently, the craze was started by the Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” books. I hadn’t heard of her or the books before, but those were the first ones I picked up. I really liked them, and was excited to see the 4th book was coming out this month. Sure, they’re “teen” books, but it’s not like I get a lot of free reading time these days for the deep stuff, and these were entertaining and fun.
The 4th and final book in the series, “Breaking Dawn” publishes tomorrow, but many bookstores are having midnight release parties in an effort to capture some of the Harry Potter mojo. Today I read in PWthat ebook customers won’t be able to have their own midnight madness parties – the publisher, Little Brown, is delaying release of the ebook version to 24 hours after the print edition has dropped. The reasoning they give is a little lame – they want to make sure that everyone has equal access to the book. If the ebook released at midnight, someone on the West coast could get a jump on reading it online early than someone in the same time zone could get the print copy.
Seriously? That’s the best they could come up with? That’s beyond ridiculous. Why should ebook customers be penalized for being adopters of technology? Shouldn’t they be able to sit at home and download their hot new book at the time others have access to it? Even my West coast peeps would agree wtih that one. Not only should they have not done that, they should, in my opinion, have given ebook customers a 24 hour or more ADVANCE on purchasing. Why not? Don’t we want to encourage sales of ebooks and purchases of ebook readers? Hachette, incidentally my least favorite employer ever, did say that they would try to manage these situations more efficiently in the future, but you have to wonder why they overthought this and managed to piss of all the Kindle, Sony eReader and other customers out there.
Me, I’ve got a copy coming to me from my local non-chain bookstore. Just hope I can find some spare time this weekend to read it.