About 24 hours ago I stumbled upon a major ebook sale — and I have no one to tell it too!
Actually now I am really busy. Been slaving away on a publishing project due in 48 hours.
But I take occasional breaks and noticed the mention of an ebook sale on reddit. Through playing around with search terms on Amazon, I see that Farrar Strauss and Giroux (FSG) is discounting several of its ebooks to 99 cents. You can access the list here. I count about 50-100 titles if you subtract the story samplers and 10 page stories, etc. It’s owned by MacMillian so I went ahead and did searches of the other prestige publishers.
If you do a search of different FSG imprints, other 99 cent sales pop up: Picador, North Point Press, FSG Original, Hill and Wang, Celadon Books, Henry Holt.
Sometimes discounting will occur across a press or imprint; sometimes it will be limited to 2 or 3 authors. When I was mining stuff from Simon & Schuster, I found that it was rotating through lots of sales, to the point where a significant portion of its titles would eventually be discounted. Since that time, there is some global discounting — though it is nowhere on the scale that it was in 2018.
I used to shout for joy at finding these things. Yes, there was some labor involved in scrolling through irrelevant books. But for a bibliophile, this is hardly an inconvenience; we want to be struck by books that normally might pass us by. But how do I let people know? I posted announcements on my social media accounts, but nobody “liked” it, so I’m not sure that people noticed it or even cared. Am I the only person in this world to get excited by these deals? I bought too many individual titles to list them here. (I’ll list them on my Robert Recommends column in a few days). Last March, I made a similar discovery about discounting from Mariner Books, Open Road Media, Soho Press, Grove Press and Europa editions. But when I hyped this sale up to friends and on social media, I don’t anyone responded. Am I the only one to get so excited?
Someday — not today — I will write about every book-buying extravaganza I have lived through. Each event is seared in my brain — the hesitations, the joys, the incredible surprise. Yes, I will be the first to admit that I have not read a lot of these books, but now I know about them; now I am instilled with a desire to read things I never knew even existed.
The last two days — probably the most inconvenient time to face such distractions — is now another milestone in my tireless ongoing quest to accumulate tons of books that no one has ever heard of.
I know the enthusiasm.
Someone on a FB group for admirers of John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee stories pointed out that The Long Lavender Look was on sale on Amazon for $1.99 – and I realized I had never read it, so I scarfed it up. And a few days later, while I was waiting for something else, I started it up.
The story is now stored in my head, where Travis stories belong; and one more of the 21 is checked off, because someone mentioned a sale. I absolutely refuse to pay $16.99 for an ebook version when I can get a used paperback practically for the shipping cost, but then have to read tiny print, so I had put it on a mental list of ebooks to see if the Yolo County Public Library had it – which I’d get to, eventually. But it was a real treat.
As an author myself, I might have done a different calculation had JDM still been around, or I had any expectation some of that $16.99 would go to his heirs (he died in 1986), but ebooks at that price trigger all kinds of negative emotions against publishers and their pricing structures. I skipped the introduction by Lee Childs after I skimmed a bit of it – I don’t want someone else’s comments in that vein.
But I really enjoyed my treat, and it was gone in two days in a series of tiny bites. And it wasn’t bowdlerized at all.