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Out in paperback yet?
December 24, 2006 2:42 AM   Subscribe

Is there a website that will let me know when books I want go from the undesired hardcover to the coveted paperback?
posted by srboisvert to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I'm afraid I haven't found anything to do this exactly, but I maintain a private Amazon wishlist called 'wait for paperback' which I check every so often to see what has moved to paperback. It's not an ideal solution, so I'd be interested to see if there is something that's a bit more efficient.
posted by drill_here_fore_seismics at 5:24 AM on December 24, 2006


I'd bet the various publishers' "author tracker" services do this, but doubt it's possible for any third-party site to collect useful amounts of this data from multiple publishers, given the vagaries of book publishing schedules. Just sign up with each of the major publishers for the authors you're interested in.
posted by mediareport at 8:02 AM on December 24, 2006


I'e actually asked Amazon for this feature. Unsurprisingly, they ignored me.
posted by adipocere at 8:10 AM on December 24, 2006


I should imagine publishers would be against setting this up themselves since the aim is to maximise the more profitable hardback sales before the release of the paperback. Amazon does list paperback release dates but, as I'm sure you're aware, sales variances and other market vagaries introduce a huge amount of slippage.
posted by RokkitNite at 8:41 AM on December 24, 2006


I do the same as drill_here_fore_seismics - works ok for me.
posted by paduasoy at 8:56 AM on December 24, 2006


Having worked in a store that sold books, usually the rule of thumb was a book would go to paperback approximately a year from the release of the hardcover. So if you check around the 9 month mark or so, you can probably get an idea of when a release date is for a paperback.
posted by Verdandi at 3:50 PM on December 24, 2006


I'm coming in late, but I'll second Verdandi's comment.
posted by malaprohibita at 7:54 PM on December 25, 2006


More hardcovers for me!
posted by Darth Fedor at 10:45 AM on December 26, 2006


Ditto Verdandi's comment - usually it takes a year. Depends on the book though - I suspect that sometimes paperback releases are delayed if the hardcover is still selling well, while other books are released in PB after only nine months. And sometimes there is no telling when the pb will be released.

Publishers release exclusive paperback editions to non-English markets way ahead of the official pb release. So they won't be available in the UK or US, but will be released wherever there is a demand for books in English, like in The Netherlands. Depending on where you live, this might be a cheaper mid-priced option, even including the shipping charges, if you can't wait.

(I don't dare plug the company I work for, but they are American and have branches in The Hague and Amsterdam. We occasionally get orders from all over the world from people looking for cheaper alternatives to hardcovers.)
posted by pootler at 1:37 PM on December 26, 2006


Ditto Verdandi's comment - usually it takes a year. Depends on the book though - I suspect that sometimes paperback releases are delayed if the hardcover is still selling well, while other books are released in PB after only nine months. And sometimes there is no telling when the pb will be released.

Publishers release exclusive paperback editions to non-English markets way ahead of the official pb release. So they won't be available in the UK or US, but will be released wherever there is a demand for books in English, like in The Netherlands. Depending on where you live, this might be a cheaper mid-priced option, even including the shipping charges, if you can't wait.

I also keep a list (for a customer) on which I note new hardcovers with the date that I think they are likely to be published in paperback. You can often predict the release date by looking at an author's previous release schedule. If their last two books came out in pb 14 months after the hc, then unless their popularity has changed significantly, their next book will follow the same pattern.

(I don't dare plug the company I work for, but they are American and have branches in The Hague and Amsterdam. We occasionally get orders from all over the world from people looking for cheaper alternatives to hardcovers. Might be worth figuring out the prices including shipping to see if it is worth it for you.)
posted by pootler at 1:42 PM on December 26, 2006


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