So it looks as if the era of a literary novel being printed in hardback before paperback is over. It\’s really rather odd that they don\’t actually explain what is really happening though.
Hardback then paperback is in fact simply a method of price discrimination. The publisher is trying to charge a higher price to those who really want the work and then a lower price to those prepared to wait a year for the paperback. If publishers are now to stop doing this, it will be because this form of price discrimination no longer works. The reason it doesn\’t is explained:
Libraries, which used to in effect underwrite the hardback market by guaranteeing to buy almost every new literary novel, have diverted resources to music, computers and DVDs.
Isn\’t that lovely? The literary fiction market, all those arty types writing and reading the most incredibly boring codswallop, has been subsidised by your tax money all these years. Good that it\’s ended then, isn\’t it?