View Full Version : Publishers' Pricing & Release Delay Tactics - An Individual Response


poohbear_nc
03-08-2010, 12:49 PM
Like many readers, I use the NYT Sunday Book Review to get suggestions/ideas for ebook purchases. And like many readers, I am experiencing the onslaught of publishers' new tactics in the ebook market. Here's how it played out for me (and the publishers) on Sunday.

I noted 4 titles that I decided were interesting enough to purchase:

1. The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight - available now at $9.99.
(Houghton, Mifflin)
2. This Book is Overdue - available now at $9.99 (HarperCollins)
3. Angelology - $15.37 preorder for 03/09/10 release (Viking)
4. The Infinities - $13.65 available now (Knopf)

Result: The first 2 books are sitting on my Kindle, and Houghton & HarperCollins get my cash, and my appreciation for the $9.99 pricing.
The last 2 books go into my "future buy & read slush pile" - no cash to Viking or Knopf.
Plus - next week's Book Review will have more selections to tantalize me. So any books hapless enough to end up in my digital slush pile will most likely never generate any revenue to their publishers - now or ever.
There are just far too many good reads available at $9.99 or below for me to ever consider paying publisher-set digital pricing. Multiply this scenario by 52 weeks per year - just for me - and the amount of potential lost revenue to publishers mounts up. Multiply this amount by the number of angry readers ... it could be interesting.

Kali Yuga
03-08-2010, 01:36 PM
You could say the exact same thing for the hardcover vs paperback delays. For the exact same reasons.

Also FYI, Macmillan's CEO claims they will release new ebooks at the same time as new paper (HC or paperback). So I expect if that approach works out, this will likely be a non-issue for the most part moving forward, except for the authors who refuse to allow any ebook editions.

jament
03-08-2010, 06:44 PM
People keep making the "hardcover vs paperback" comparison for this pricing model but I don't think it's valid.

When you pay a premium for the hardcover version, you get a premium "hardcover" version of the book. It comes with a slip cover. It's more durably bound. The page format is larger. It's superior in every way to the paperback.

Yet, when I pay $15.00 for an e-book right now, it is the exact same version as the $10 version available three months from now. Exactly the same.

While I understand that the publisher may offer a book early at a premium, my complaint is that the publisher's idea of the value of that early release is out of whack, seeing as the release versions are identical and have the same value. At least, when using the hardcover-paperback model as a comparison.

Elfwreck
03-08-2010, 07:38 PM
People keep making the "hardcover vs paperback" comparison for this pricing model but I don't think it's valid.

When you pay a premium for the hardcover version, you get a premium "hardcover" version of the book. It comes with a slip cover. It's more durably bound. The page format is larger. It's superior in every way to the paperback.

I prefer paperbacks for casual reading. They're smaller & lighter, which has always been more important to me than durability. (How many times am I going to read that novel anyway? If I'm going to re-read it enough to wear it out, why not just replace the paperback every couple of years?)

When I have the option of both at the same price, or almost the same price (bag of books for $4, or .50 for paperbacks & $1 for hardcovers at yard sales), I choose paperbacks. I wouldn't pay *more* for paperbacks--but if the two were exactly the same price, I'd want the paperback most of the time.

Ebooks, being even smaller and lighter than paperbacks (yaay!), but lacking nice covers, and having absolutely no prestige value (lawyers can't show off the wall of fancy ebooks), have always seemed like a paperback replacements to me. I expect to pay paperback prices for them--here's the most compact, efficient way to get this data from the author into your head, no pretty packaging included.

I have no idea why publishers think they should be equivalent to hardcovers in market value. (Maybe it's a tech thing. "Only readable on expensive computers or expensive other devices; ergo, must be a niche luxury item; overprice like hardcovers.")

Kali Yuga
03-08-2010, 08:12 PM
People keep making the "hardcover vs paperback" comparison for this pricing model but I don't think it's valid.
Au contraire, it's entirely appropriate.


When you pay a premium for the hardcover version, you get a premium "hardcover" version of the book. It comes with a slip cover. It's more durably bound. The page format is larger. It's superior in every way to the paperback.
Not really. It's more rugged, but it's heavier, bulkier and more expensive. Slip covers are just another thing to lose or damage. Hardcover's "superiority" depends entirely on personal preferences.

More importantly, it's really just a thin veneer over demand-based pricing. You're not really paying extra because you're getting a better product; you're paying more because the book is new and is in high enough demand to justify a higher price. I suspect the cost to print and ship a hardback is a fraction of what the general public presumes.


Yet, when I pay $15.00 for an e-book right now, it is the exact same version as the $10 version available three months from now. Exactly the same.
Yes, except demand is lower.

This type of demand-based pricing is not in any way unique to books. Half-Life 2 was $50 or more when it came out; you can now get it bundled with 2 modules and 2 other games for $20. Audio, video, games, electronics, clothes, food, art... When demand is high, price goes up; when demand is low, price falls.

Demand-based pricing is the norm, not an unethical exception. Take a Macroeconomics 101 class one of these days, if you don't believe me. :D

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_5EvqK386BWg/S0daDhPMaYI/AAAAAAAAAIM/qTEurLwVEO0/s400/DemandCurveMovementExample2.png


I have no idea why publishers think they should be equivalent to hardcovers in market value.
Actually, as far as the publishers are concerned, they're slashing initial cover prices almost in half. It's just that retailers are usually absorbing a lot of that cost.

At any rate, the answer is that it's a question of demand. Plus, many consumers are almost obstinately refusing to include shipping costs, sales tax, or costs of driving to the store (an obscure one of course) in their calculations, when comparing ebooks to paper.

asjogren
03-09-2010, 01:21 AM
Kali,

I think your arguments are mostly valid about hardback pricing - with a couple of adjustments:
- used hardcover books appear to be priced higher than used paperbacks - and thus there is some "extra" perceived value to hardback
- Regardless of asking price, the public's perceived value of electronic media is LOWER than the same with physical media (for all media music, video, books, advertisement) - hence purchasing resistance when eBooks are not lower than the available physical media
- Residual value - there is little residual value to an eBook as I cannot readily lend it, sell it, or donate it

leebase
03-15-2010, 12:38 PM
Hard backs are not priced because of the value of the "hard back". It is demand pricing. If this were not true, then they'd release hardbacks and softbacks at the same time. Why else make the folks who prefer paper backs wait a year before being able to buy that version?

Why do movies not premier at the dollar theater at the same time the appear at the full price theater? Demand pricing.

People who will not pay more than a paperbook price for an ebook -- are no different than folks who never buy hardbacks in the first place. And yes, I'm one of those people. I never by hardbacks because of the price, and that they are huge.

Well, except for my most desired books. I will buy Tom Clancy or Harry Potter hard backs. Why? Because I want to read them so bad, I buy them right away. I don't want to wait a year.

It's the SAME thing with ebooks. All that's changed is Amazon has been prevented from turning the entire NYT Bestseller's into a loss leader for their kindle.

Lee

Steven Lake
03-15-2010, 05:00 PM
Alright, let me ask this. For a book that normally retails at $16, what would you say is a fair price for the ebook version? Is $9.99 about standard across the board? Or can you justify charging the full $16 for the ebook? Or will ebooks always be about 2/3rds the price of their print cousins?

leebase
03-15-2010, 06:25 PM
For me -- $3 cheaper than the cheapest book price is my "feels right" price.

Lee

fugazied
03-15-2010, 07:01 PM
People keep making the "hardcover vs paperback" comparison for this pricing model but I don't think it's valid.

When you pay a premium for the hardcover version, you get a premium "hardcover" version of the book. It comes with a slip cover. It's more durably bound. The page format is larger. It's superior in every way to the paperback.

Agree 100%

Publishers will get the message in their quarterly earnings reports for e-books. Just to rub it in, I suggest shooting a quick email to the publisher for every book you skip. Basically the OPs forum post sent to the respective publishers would do it.

If we all did it and they started receiving 100 emails a day from readers 'just sayin', they skipped buying an ebook from the publisher due to pricing, it would have an effect eventually. Sad for the authors, but hey if they want to scam consumers into 'leasing' DRMed e-books at high prices then they will fail. The market will see to that.

Steven Lake
03-15-2010, 08:25 PM
For me -- $3 cheaper than the cheapest book price is my "feels right" price.

Lee
Ok, can you classify that a bit for me. What is "cheapest price" by your definition? There's only one place I know of that qualifies for "cheapest price", and that's Walmart, who sell books for 3/4 of SRP. (BTW, don't EVER sell a paperback book through them. They only give you 25c over cost on every book they buy from you, period. If you try to ask for more, they'll insult you by lowering it to 5c a copy. True story!) If that's the lowest price, then $3 less than that would be $9.99, or about 5/8ths of the SRP.

I'm merely asking so I know how to price my novels when I release them into the ebook stores.

wodin
03-15-2010, 09:17 PM
I'm not as concerned (within reason) with the price of an ebook as I am about the release schedule. Case in point, I started reading Robert Jordan’s “The Wheel of Time” series a few weeks ago. When I started, I was completely oblivious to the release schedule of about one volume per month. I quickly (for me, as I read slowly) went through all of the released titles, and found I couldn’t buy volume six.

AAARRGHHH! I WANT my WOT fix!

You guessed it, I’m now reading “Lord of Chaos”, OCR and formatting errors and all; and the publishers and heirs are out the ten or fifteen dollars I would have gladly paid!

leebase
03-15-2010, 09:28 PM
It won't bother me if Walmart is running a super sale on a book and I end up paying the same or a little more. Amazon - $3 is a good mark for me.

I like the $5 book price best. Love Baen for that. $10 for a NYT's best seller was a great deal. $15 doesn't bother me but it will likely be a cause for me to defer/delay a purchase. Not because I think it's somehow WRONG -- I just wouldn't pay $15 for most hard backs either.

Like everything else, price is a factor in my purchasing decisions. If Amazon were to drop their prices to $1 for ebooks, I'm sure I'd buy even more than I do now :)

Let's say the latest Honor Harrington book by David Weber comes out and it's $26 retail being sold for $20 "on sale" at Amazon and everywhere else. I'd probably pay $20 for the ebook because I'd want to read the book right away and I'd RATHER have the ebook than the hard back.

Lee

MeJo
03-16-2010, 08:14 AM
I quickly (for me, as I read slowly) went through all of the released titles, and found I couldn’t buy volume six.

AAARRGHHH! I WANT my WOT fix!

You guessed it, I’m now reading “Lord of Chaos”, OCR and formatting errors and all; and the publishers and heirs are out the ten or fifteen dollars I would have gladly paid!

BooksOnBoard has "Lord of Chaos" on sale :)

kennyc
03-16-2010, 08:36 AM
Hard backs are not priced because of the value of the "hard back". It is demand pricing. If this were not true, then they'd release hardbacks and softbacks at the same time. Why else make the folks who prefer paper backs wait a year before being able to buy that version?

....

If that's true then why not skip the hardback all together, print a cheaper paperback and offer it initially at a "premium" price?

The publisher makes more money that way. :D

poohbear_nc
03-16-2010, 10:12 AM
Agree 100%

Publishers will get the message in their quarterly earnings reports for e-books. Just to rub it in, I suggest shooting a quick email to the publisher for every book you skip. Basically the OPs forum post sent to the respective publishers would do it.

If we all did it and they started receiving 100 emails a day from readers 'just sayin', they skipped buying an ebook from the publisher due to pricing, it would have an effect eventually. Sad for the authors, but hey if they want to scam consumers into 'leasing' DRMed e-books at high prices then they will fail. The market will see to that.

I posted a generic email letter that I'm using to notify publishers of ebooks (and books) I'm not buying from them here:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=73231&highlight=response+publishers+pricing

Feel free to copy & use it - or develop one of your own. The only real way consumers have of communicating with publishers is through their sales figures. Let them know how much their tactics are costing them!

wodin
03-16-2010, 12:43 PM
BooksOnBoard has "Lord of Chaos" on sale :)They didn't have it last weekend, it wasn't released until today.

thinkpad
03-16-2010, 01:25 PM
Alright, let me ask this. For a book that normally retails at $16, what would you say is a fair price for the ebook version? Is $9.99 about standard across the board? Or can you justify charging the full $16 for the ebook? Or will ebooks always be about 2/3rds the price of their print cousins?
I've so far gone for the line that e-books should cost less than paperbacks but the more I think about it the more I realize the value of the digital format. I don't want to fill up my rooms with piles of books I want them on my e-reader ready to be transported around at no weight at all except the e-reader itself.

So in the future when people start realizing/appreciating the benefits of the digital format I don't see why books shouldn't be able to sell close to the same price as a paperback.

That being said as things stand today my price limit for an e-book title is around $12 before I opt-out and buy some other title.

charleski
03-16-2010, 01:35 PM
At any rate, the answer is that it's a question of demand. Plus, many consumers are almost obstinately refusing to include shipping costs, sales tax, or costs of driving to the store (an obscure one of course) in their calculations, when comparing ebooks to paper.

It's clear that those who didn't understand pricing and marketing strategies the first time round still don't understand them, and probably don't want to do so.

I have one question for the OP:
What did you do before ebooks? Did you page through the Sunday Review (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/books/review/Kalfus-t.html), see the little sidebar with the $25 pricetag and move on? Why should things be different now?

This is just another example of MobileRead navel-gazing. Why should publishers be worried about losing your precious $9.99 when there are others who value books more and are prepared to pay more?

rhadin
03-16-2010, 01:46 PM
Alright, let me ask this. For a book that normally retails at $16, what would you say is a fair price for the ebook version? Is $9.99 about standard across the board? Or can you justify charging the full $16 for the ebook? Or will ebooks always be about 2/3rds the price of their print cousins?

About 35% of the hardcover price, or about $5.60 based on $16 list price (I'm assuming retail price = list price in your question). If your $16 represents the discounted price, not the list price, then my answer would be 35% of list price of the hardcover. When the paperback version appears at a list price of $9.99, I would increase the percentage to 45% or $4.50.

The real issues for me are these:


fiction is read-once-then-throw-away as an ebook because of the DRM restrictions
fiction ebooks tend to be poor cousins quality-wise to the pbook version
nonfiction (at least of the type I read) has greater future value to me and thus if the ebook is well-formatted and properly edited I might think about paying a bit more than the 35%
but

I am unwilling to pay more than $6 for any ebook as long as there is no universal DRM scheme.
The biggest hangup to "fair" ebook pricing is the DRM babel. I cannot justify paying more than the $6 for a book that I might not be able to read next week when I buy a new device. Publishers need to create and enforce a universal DRM scheme so that like a DVD movie, I can buy the ebook and read it on any device of my choosing today or tomorrow.

pilotbob
03-16-2010, 01:48 PM
So in the future when people start realizing/appreciating the benefits of the digital format I don't see why books shouldn't be able to sell close to the same price as a paperback.

I've probably posted here a few dozen times that this would be perfectly acceptable. But, it shouldn't be MORE. And also... I should OWN it and be able to use it on any device I see fit. Until then... it probably isn't worth the SAME as a paperback.

BOb

rhadin
03-16-2010, 01:53 PM
I've so far gone for the line that e-books should cost less than paperbacks but the more I think about it the more I realize the value of the digital format. I don't want to fill up my rooms with piles of books I want them on my e-reader ready to be transported around at no weight at all except the e-reader itself.

So in the future when people start realizing/appreciating the benefits of the digital format I don't see why books shouldn't be able to sell close to the same price as a paperback.

The piles of books that you fill your room with can be read today, tomorrow, 5 years from now, 25 years from now. The ebooks you buy today can only for certain be read today. When you buy a newer device, it may not be able to read the DRM scheme. Consequently, the "advantage" may well be a "disadvantage."

I buy a lot of books today that I may not get to read for months, if not years, in the future -- my to-read list is more than 100 books that I have bought and grows every month (e.g., I have 7 books on preorder).

The "advantage" of ebooks is only a certain advantage as long as you only plan to read a book once and immediately on purchase. Future reading becomes iffy.

thinkpad
03-16-2010, 03:51 PM
I agree DRM solutions of today is far from optimal. Elib a swedish e-book distributor started watermarking their books instead of the regular DRM schemes, one would think this would be a very welcome change but it turned out they had put the watermarking on every other page taking the attention away from the actual reading. After massive critic they change it to be less frequent for everyones benefit.

So far the best solution is actually the watermarking because it doesn't lock you to a certain device and the company has still gotten a form of protection against piracy and you should be safe for years to come to still be able to read your books on any device you see fit.

Steven Lake
03-17-2010, 12:07 AM
I think you guys just hit it on the head bigtime right there by mentioning DRM. I'm a proponent of open formats (I'm a huge FOSS zealot), so all I will ever support is epub and pdf, and both will be offered WITHOUT DRM for as long as I absolutely can. The only way I'd lock down an ebook under DRM would be if I was not allowed to sell my books unless they had DRM, and even then I'd probably pitch a bloody fit until they dropped the requirement. Same goes for proprietary formats, such as Kindle.

The only place I know of right now that it's either go proprietary or deny your book to a customer base in the hundreds of millions is on Amazon. And despite being forced to go with the Kindle format on Amazon, it will be offered 100% without DRM. I will not support a technology that is inherently anti-consumer, as that's an insult to all my readers. And I'm hoping that very soon the couple of lawsuits working their way through the courts will force Amazon to also offer their books in epub and pdf formats as well. Because, if they do, I will be all over it and will drop my offering of the kindle format like a hot potato.

So with that said, if a book normally retailed for $16 in paperback, if it were offered in an open format such as epub or pdf, would it still be worth $9.99 as an ebook? Or are you guys dead set on only ever paying $5 a copy for an ebook? As I've said before, I'm digging for input all over the place in order to finally decide my pricing strategy for my books when I finally release them in ebook format.

riemann42
03-17-2010, 12:54 AM
Can't help but chime in.

Reason's to pay less for an eBook

Rights restrictions and the DRM used to enforce them reduce resale value.
Often (but not always), quality is low for eBooks (OCR errors, less attention to detail, poor TOC handling).
Additional Equipment is required to view it (a book only requires eyeballs, an ebook requires a computer, phone, or other device).
Not having something to hold in my hand


So, let's put a number on those:


For DRM books, I'd say 20% off. This is about the resale value of a book.
Varies. On average, say 5% off, but often 0% off and sometimes the eBook is of such quality as to make it worth more than the physical book.
Negligible, as most people have equipment to do this, so let's say 5% off.
Luddite. No points for you.


So, for a $28 Hardback book, if you apply these one at a time:

$22.40
$21.28
$20.22


I would consider that a fair MSRP then for a new release eHard Back. Not that I ever pay MSRP...

riemann42
03-17-2010, 01:03 AM
One more thought: If you want publishers to take eBooks seriously, then they can't be worth less than physical books. As long as they are perceived as less valuable, they will be.

pilotbob
03-17-2010, 03:14 PM
So, let's put a number on those:


For DRM books, I'd say 20% off. This is about the resale value of a book.


Personally I never re-sell books and don't care about that. I don't want DRM on my books so I know that I will be able to use them 20 years from now... or perhaps allow my wife or kids to read them (as they would with a paper book) on some other device than I used.

I feel with DRM I am renting the book. When I rent a DVD it cost about $3 for a few nights. I watch it once and return it. If I want to own it I pay $12-$20 and can watch it whenever.

So, if you want to rent me the book if should be about 10% of the purchase cost of a paper book.

BOb

CyGuy
03-17-2010, 03:35 PM
I still think the easiest answer is: Purchase a paper copy of the book you want (the cheapest you can find, used is best) so now you have a "license" for the book. Now just download the eBook from your favorite torrent site and read it on your reader of choice. No DRM, no waiting, no restrictions...

kennyc
03-17-2010, 04:55 PM
[/LIST]

Personally I never re-sell books and don't care about that. I don't want DRM on my books so I know that I will be able to use them 20 years from now... or perhaps allow my wife or kids to read them (as they would with a paper book) on some other device than I used.

I feel with DRM and I am renting the book. When I rent a DEV it cost about $3 for a few nights. I watch it once and return it. If I want to own it I pay $12-$20 and can watch it whenever.

So, if you want to rent me the book if should be about 10% of the purchase cost of a paper book.

BOb


I'm with you there! :thumbsup:

riemann42
03-17-2010, 10:43 PM
I still think the easiest answer is: Purchase a paper copy of the book you want (the cheapest you can find, used is best) so now you have a "license" for the book. Now just download the eBook from your favorite torrent site and read it on your reader of choice. No DRM, no waiting, no restrictions...

Keep in mind that, at least in the US, Copyright means that YOU don't have the RIGHT to COPY. This includes, as far as I know, personnel use. So this would be a violation of copyright law.

riemann42
03-17-2010, 11:57 PM
[/LIST]
I feel with DRM I am renting the book. When I rent a DVD it cost about $3 for a few nights. I watch it once and return it. If I want to own it I pay $12-$20 and can watch it whenever.

So, if you want to rent me the book if should be about 10% of the purchase cost of a paper book.

BOb

What about Barnes & Nobel and eReader's DRM, which has no activation servers that can go down, and the software is free and readily available?

While I think DRM is holding back eBooks (pirates know how to break it, everyone else is inconvenienced), it seems like a cop-out to say that DRM completely devalues the product.

pilotbob
03-18-2010, 12:22 AM
What about Barnes & Nobel and eReader's DRM, which has no activation servers that can go down, and the software is free and readily available?

Can you send me the link to the Kindle version of that "free" software?

Seriously though... it still restricts me from using the book as I want on the devices I want.

Yes, DRM can be broken... but since that is the case, why do they bother with it in the first place? It isn't about copyright it is about vendor locking.

But... this thread isn't about DRM it is about the new ebook pricing. The DRM is just one aspect that determines the value of the ebook.

BOb

csdaley
03-19-2010, 01:53 PM
I really think the best message to send is just to not buy books for more than you are willing to spend. It is the exact same method I used when I bought hardbacks.

http://www.csdaley.com/2010/01/amazon-slap-down.html

http://www.csdaley.com/2010/01/book-publishing-goes-boom.html

Steven Lake
03-19-2010, 03:33 PM
Ya know what csdaley, after reading your two blog posts, you really got me to thinking. If all the mainstream publishers are going to push their ebooks up to equal price with paperbacks, then I'm gonna stay down at the $9.99 price point I've already been doing for my current novels. :D That ought to not only make my books more appealing, but it'll be more money in my pocket than theirs, as it'll push the volume sales to me. Screw them and their greedy money grab. My focus is on the customer, not the bottom line.

It's like an old mentor of mine said. "You take care of the customer first (you), the employee second (in this case that would be me), and everything else will take care of itself." So in short, if you're offering a good product at a fair price, and your competitor is either offering a lesser product at the same price, or an equal or even possibly better product at a significantly higher price, you'll win every single time. Well, ok, not every single time, but darned close. ;)

So I say, let them. Let those guys jack up prices. I'll just keep my lower and reasonable, and even after my name goes big I will keep it reasonable, because I'm not after the $50 glass of lemonade like they are. I'm after the $1 cup that sells 50 glasses. Because of those 50 glasses, no less than 2/3rds should be satisfied customers who will either be back for another glass, or they will refer their friends to me and I'll get more glasses sold that way. Because what's the point of charging 50% more on a book if you lose half or more of your sales? I'd rather underprice the other people and double my sales. Because in the end I'd make more than they would. :)

Ain't this fun? I'm a firm believer in two things about greed. It's destructive to the person practicing it (and those who participate willingly or unwillingly in their greed), and constructive to the person fighting against it (ie, lower prices, legally, etc). :)

Ok, yes, the fact that they're raising prices kinda screws readers like you. But look at the bright side. It'll make you look at other people you might not have before, and in the process you'll quite often stumble onto a gem. I've done that with several authors in the past. I had never heard of them before until I stumbled onto them in the bargain bin, and a few of them were enjoyable enough that I bought their other books brand new. :)

DoctorOhh
03-19-2010, 10:12 PM
I noted 4 titles that I decided were interesting enough to purchase:

1. The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight - available now at $9.99.
(Houghton, Mifflin)
2. This Book is Overdue - available now at $9.99 (HarperCollins)
3. Angelology - $15.37 preorder for 03/09/10 release (Viking)
4. The Infinities - $13.65 available now (Knopf)

Result: The first 2 books are sitting on my Kindle, and Houghton & HarperCollins get my cash, and my appreciation for the $9.99 pricing.
The last 2 books go into my "future buy & read slush pile" - no cash to Viking or Knopf.
...~~...
Multiply this scenario by 52 weeks per year - just for me - and the amount of potential lost revenue to publishers mounts up. Multiply this amount by the number of angry readers ... it could be interesting.

This is similar to the recent release of Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison. I went to Amazon to purchase the ebook only to find that HarperCollins had changed the release date of the ebook version by about 6 weeks. Within a couple of weeks it was available at three local libraries and as an ebook on the darknet (the publisher's version).

I was never going to buy a hardcover edition, delaying the ebook release doesn't make sense to me. I think this is a revenue loss to HarperCollins. Eventually the data will prove or disprove my statement.

Until then it is what it is.