hardcover of Drowned Wednesday

Roger Burton West roger at firedrake.org
Thu Feb 17 17:49:35 EST 2005

On Thu, Feb 17, 2005 at 06:02:43PM +0000, minnow at belfry.org.uk wrote:

>I'm not sure when that changed, or even whether it has entirely
>(Dick Francis still came out last time as a hardback for Christmas market
>and a paperback for Summer Holiday, I think): I remember that I never saw
>genre SF in hardback during the late sixties, but that might just have been
>because much of it was first published in America, and only came to England
>at all in paperback.

Langford commented circa 1988 on an SF book being "released in a new
hardback edition for people who found the original paperback too cheap"
as rather an unusual thing. My understanding is that most American F&SF
at least now starts in paperback and gets a hardcover printing only if
sales of the paperback are high enough (or of course if the earlier
ones in the series have been popular - Doyle and Macdonald, I'm looking
at _you_).

(I don't buy hardbacks. I don't have the shelf-space, and if I fall
asleep when I'm reading in bed they're more likely to get damaged.)

>lord how I
>loathed aunts who thought booktokens were "boring"!  Money was
>ok-I-suppose, but there was always pressure to spend it on something
>*sensible* rather than the book I really wanted.  (As for clothing...

Coo, what bright shiny fangs you have.

>When were the first "trade paperbacks"?

I first saw them in the UK in the late 1980s. The people I knew were
generally of the opinion that it was a wheeze to delay publication of
good honest (low-margin) paperbacks even further than they were being


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