Kaitlyn Dunnett/Kathy Lynn Emerson here to talk about one of those problems that’s nice to have . . . but which is still a problem. I’m talking about what happens when the paperback reprint of a book that originally came out in hardcover is published.
This is a good thing. Many readers are reluctant to plunk down $25 or more for a hardcover book just so they can read it when it first comes out. Even the e-book edition is more expensive at this stage, although the price does come down by the time the paperback is published. Audiobooks are great, but they aren’t cheap. That leaves two choices—borrow the book from the library or wait for the paperback reprint, which is less expensive. If it’s a mass market paperback, it usually sells for around $7.99. If it is reprinted in the larger “trade” size, the price averages about $15.
For writers with series published as paperback originals, there is one print version of each title. They focus their publicity efforts on that publication date and then move on to writing and publicizing the next book in the series. For those of us published in hardcover first, we’ve already done the publicity thing once. Now we have a new edition, but not a new book. And there is a new book due out in a month or so. Reinvent the wheel? Or focus on the real new book?
As you may have guessed, the paperback reprint of the eleventh Liss MacCrimmon mystery, X Marks the Scot, just came out. I’m delighted it’s available, but the places where I might write guest blogs, and the ads my publisher is putting out, are all focused on the twelfth book in the series, Overkilt, which will be in stores in hardcover at the end of this month. You know those “buy three Kensington paperbacks and get one free” offers? They all focus on paperback originals. I’m happy for those authors, but not so thrilled for my poor forgotten babies.
Aside from blogs like this one, and promotions on Facebook, I’m not sure what else I could or should be doing to let people know about the paperback. To make it more difficult from my point of view, most of my energy these days is actually focused on writing the thirteenth book in the series, A View to a Kilt, which is due on my editor’s desk on the first of December.
I’d be interested to hear how other writers handle the appearance of the paperback reprint. And what readers think of the nearly year-long wait for a less expensive edition of books they want to read. And whether readers think a trade-sized paperback is enough of a bargain to be worth the wait. I’m particularly interested in the answer to that last question. The Mistress Jaffrey mysteries I wrote as Kathy Lynn Emerson only came out in hardcover, e-book, large print, and trade paperback. Now the Deadly Edits series, although it’s also from Kensington and also written as Kaitlyn Dunnett, will also be reprinted in trade paperback rather than mass market size. That edition of Crime & Punctuation will be available at the end of May 2019 with Clause & Effect to follow shortly thereafter in hardcover.
Comment, please. Inquiring minds want to know. And there is a paperback copy of X Marks the Scot in it for one lucky commenter.
Kathy Lynn Emerson/Kaitlyn Dunnett is the author of nearly sixty traditionally published books written under several names. She won the Agatha Award and was an Anthony and Macavity finalist for best mystery nonfiction of 2008 for How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries and was an Agatha Award finalist in 2015 in the best mystery short story category. She was the Malice Domestic Guest of Honor in 2014. Currently she writes the contemporary Liss MacCrimmon Mysteries (Overkilt—November 2018) and the “Deadly Edits” series (Crime & Punctuation) as Kaitlyn and the historical Mistress Jaffrey Mysteries (Murder in a Cornish Alehouse) as Kathy. The latter series is a spin-off from her earlier “Face Down” mysteries and is set in Elizabethan England. Her most recent collection of short stories is Different Times, Different Crimes. Her websites are www.KaitlynDunnett.com and www.KathyLynnEmerson.com and she maintains a website about women who lived in England between 1485 and 1603 at www.TudorWomen.com