Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Book Prices Way Out Of Line

I think a short note regarding book prices is in order. Several readers have contacted me wondering why my book Foraging New England is listed at an outrageously high price. I appreciate people telling me about that, since I was aware of it.

Anyway, I found out the reason and it is nothing that I have any control over. When books are about to go out of stock or when a new version is about to be released, prices skyrocket. And since I recently revised Foraging New England, and the existing supply of the current version is dwindling, the distributors have jacked the price up to a ludicrously high amount. Why they do his is beyond my ken. 

I would suggest that anyone wanting a good foraging book for New England buy Wild Plants of Maine. Most, if not all, of the plants in that book also grow throughout New England. Of the two books, I like Wild Plants of Maine better.

The reason for that is because of the publisher. Foraging New England is published by Globe Pequot Press, a company I have written for for over 20 years. But GPP is a big, national publisher and as such, has hordes of copy editors, whose job it is to parse, change, delete and in general remove the author’s original wording anywhere possible. These are freelance people who subcontract for the company and their eviscerating of manuscripts is a way for them to justify their existence.

So what people read in a nationally-published book, not just my books but anyone’s, is often a far cry from what the author originally wrote.

On the other hand, Wild Plants of Maine is from a Maine-based publishing house. And except for correcting spelling errors or accidental syntax errors, what you read in WPOM is what I wrote and what I meant. The publisher of this book, Just Write Books, Topsham, Maine, has a care for her authors and listens to them and works with them, not against them.

That, for anyone interested in getting into writing and publishing books, is the difference between national publishers and smaller publishing houses.

Again, I apologize for that ridiculous price spike on Foraging New England. It’s a good book, but not that good.

By the way, I appreciate the nice comments about my cabin fever piece. Take heart...spring is coming.


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