Posts Tagged ‘frontlist’

stack-of-old-booksJoe Konrath says:

The old days, where a book had a six month shelf life, then was returned if it didn’t sell–or just as bad, sold and then wasn’t restocked–were gone. Ebooks are forever. Shelf life, and space, is infinite, no restocking needed.

A combination of good covers, low prices, good descriptions, and good books put me on Amazon’s bestseller lists, which then got me the eyeballs I never had before.

In the past, many bookstores didn’t stock my backlist titles. They had to be special ordered by a customer who knew about them.

In a digital world, my backlist is instantly available to anyone. And it isn’t a backlist.

To many readers, my old books are frontlist titles. – – –Read More…

This post got me thinking of something I’ve never really considered too deeply before, though it’s crossed my mind.

Who goes to the bookstore, picks up a book, flips to the copyright page, and rejects it out of hand because it’s not from the current year? Who does that? No one does, but the very idea of a “backlist” almost conditions readers to want a fresh book over a stale book. As if the story inside has changed and gone bad.

How does that make even a little bit of sense? Everyone loves a new story; but the old stories—if you haven’t read them—are new to you. Is the need to reject older publications, even if you haven’t read them, just a result of that sad, social pressure to have read “the latest thing?”

Usually, those people who must be perceived as having read the newest thing on the shelf are also people who claim to “love” books. My advice to those people: Love books, then. Love them all and stop rejecting books you’ve never read because your arbitrary social expiration date has come and gone.

Love all books whose stories intrigue you, whether they are six weeks old, or a few hundred years old. Thick or thin. Pristine, or ragged dust-jakcketed. Print or electronic.

Treat the author’s backlist like his/her frontlist. It’s good for them, but it’s even better for you.

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