VJ Books Blog


March 10, 2016

As we sit back and watch the new world of publishing unfold, we find ourselves at a crossroads. Collectors have routinely rejected new formats, holding to their preference for cloth bound books in full color dust jackets. The eBook phenomenon seems to have leveled off, and some report that they declined as much as 10% in 2015. In any case, most collectors have seen eBooks only as a convenience, while they purchase bound books to grace their shelves.

The biggest change has been the number of well known authors who have slipped from the strangle hold of NY publishers, moved to smaller presses, or simply self-published. We celebrate those pioneers who have created a market that has them receiving a larger piece of their book’s selling price, dumped typical royalty arrangements in favor of a system that rewards the artist more than the publishing conglomerates. Ignoring the doomsday warnings of publishers and agents alike, they have moved book publishing into a new paradigm; a new market with the author and the reader determining what gets produced, instead of some small cadre of “experts” who just “know better.” We watched as Joe Konrath, Blake Crouch, Barry Eisler and other celebrated authors paved the road for others to follow.

Some authors leave the old guard on their own, while others are thrown into the mix as they are dropped by the big publishing companies. Many of our favorite authors find their newest book missing from next season’s schedule, not for lack of content or story, but because the anticipated sales for their next book just fail to meet corporate objectives – art be damned.

The price to collectors in this new world is that we have to adjust our format demands if we want to continue to follow our favorite authors, and enjoy some of the exciting new talent emerging from the shadows. Many small press editions, and most self-published titles, only appear in trade paper editions, a format historically passed on by collectors. Occasionally a small press publisher will produce a small run hardcover edition, such as our Norwood Press imprint has done with Alan Jacobson’s last five titles, but for the most past these books are only available in trade paper.

Trojan Ico by William DietrichSo we encourage you to reconsider the trade paper edition. We will now carry signed copies of many of these books. We want to enjoy the stories, and to support the authors. Fans of Blake Crouch, J. A. Konrath, Paul Kemprecos, Kevin J. Anderson, Brian Herbert, Barry Eisler, Russell Blake, Lawrence Block, Mark Greaney, Boyd Morrison, George Pelecanos, and most recently William Dietrich will appreciate the ability to read their latest book.

All trade paper editions will arrive in clear protective bags. You will also find that these will usually cost about half the price of a hardcover. So step up and support these authors as they take the road less traveled.

Good reading,