Monday, April 20, 2015

This is a Rant


And I'm fired up!
 I don’t mean to pick on Lorraine Heath, but she exemplifies so much of what is wrong in my reading world.  I LOVED her westerns.  I mean LOVED, LOVED, LOVED.  She was the best of the best as far as I was concerned.  She stood out in a genre that at heart is my very favourite.  Then she started writing historicals that took place in England and right away the uniqueness of this author was gone for me.  In a world of Dukes and Earls and Viscounts (oh my – and blah, blah, blah) she was just one of way too many as it was.  I didn’t care how good they may have been, they were no longer Westerns and it hurt too much to read them.  In a genre I loved that was slowly in decline and losing its shining authors, her, what I felt was desertion, was the hardest.

She also wrote a couple of contemporary books I loved to pieces, Hard Lovin’ Man and Smooth Talking Stranger.  I could console myself with the fact my heart was breaking over no more Westerns from Ms. Heath, with the fact I enjoyed the hell out of her contemporaries.  But alas, my heart was further smashed when those were all she wrote.  And with tears in my eyes and sorrow in my heart, I said so long to this author.


Fast forward a number of years now.  I’m slowly collecting all my old beloved books as ebooks.  I finally broke down and paid the ebook price for Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas.  But Judith James, Pamela Clare, Loretta Chase, Justine Dare, Susan Grant, Patricia Potter, now Alexis Harrington, all of these favourite authors and many more besides I’m collecting as ebooks, all nice and handy for when I feel the NEED to read them.  And Lorraine Heath, with her westerns is one I wanted to add too.  I went searching for them on the weekend and this is what I found:

Look at the price for this book.

Formats
Amazon Price
New from
Used from
Kindle Edition
--
 
CDN $9.99
--
--
 
CDN $71.24
CDN $2.94

 I think, of oh some many great westerns she wrote, this is my favourite.  It’s sad and loving and wonderful and all that is good with the genre.  It’s one of the few books that make me cry every time I read it.  I paid $6 for the print version when it was first released.  And if they price isn’t bad enough, look at what they’ve done to the covers FGS!!!  The original covers conveyed what the story was in a way, sweet, gentle, tender.  Now with the new covers, it makes the books like cheap and tawdry with half-dressed sleazy looking people.

Formats
Amazon Price
New from
Used from
Kindle Edition
--
 
CDN $9.99
--
--
 
CDN $65.20
CDN $0.01

And look at this one. It’s the favourite of many and if Sweet Lullaby didn’t already hold the number one spot in my heart, this book probably would.  It’s another book that makes the reader if not actually cry, at least come very close.  I paid $7 for it.

Formats
Amazon Price
New from
Used from
Kindle Edition
--
 
CDN $9.99
--
--
 
CDN $65.20
CDN $0.01


This is another one I dearly wanted as an ebook. 
I know I’m sounding like a broken record, but that’s how she wrote.  This one also made me cry – more than once as I reread her books.  And for it I paid $6.50.  I kept track of these kinds of things on my spread sheet.


But - you guessed it...
Formats
Amazon Price
New from
Used from
Kindle Edition
--
 
CDN $9.99
--
--
 
CDN $65.20
CDN $0.01


There is her trilogy, Texas Destiny ($7) Texas Glory ($8) and Texas Spendor ($9)  Look at the price they are charging for ebooks.


Kindle Edition --  
Hardcover --  
Mass Market Paperback --  
 (rather than add more pics that make me sad - the other 2 books are the same.

 

                
                
        
Livid doesn’t really come close to what I feel when I see the prices the beyond greedy publishers are charging for the ebooks.  I’m almost seeing red – what the hell, I AM seeing red.  I want them so bad, but I WILL NOT pay MORE for the ebooks that I did print.  I’ve already read all of them a few times and I want to read them again. 

As opposed to the price the nerve Avon has to charge for their books, look at the kind of prices I’m paying for Alexis Harrington

Homeward Hearts - $3.99
Desperate Hearts - $4.04
Harper's Bride - $3.99

My all time favourite Western is coming out soon and look at the price – very reasonable. 

 

 

 

 

 

         
Kindle Edition CDN $7.83  
Expand Mass Market Paperback CDN $10.99  

Now this is how you do it!
I’ve picked up a few of Patricia Potters older books and don’t object to the price.
Lawless - $2.99 Kindle - $6.00 Mass Market (and my favourite of her books)
Diablo - $6.15 Kindle - $7.50 Mass Market
Defiant - $6.39 Kindle - $7.00 Mass Market
See what I'm getting at?  With these other publishers, the price is LESS for an ebook than for a Mass Market

So this makes what HarperCollins is doing even more despicable and outrageous.  I’m sure this is happening with other authors, but Lorraine Heath is a former treasure.  I feel like I’ve been double screwed by her and her publisher, first by leaving the Western genre and then by the most contemptible price gouging. Throw in some truly dreadful and insulting covers and it’s almost a trifecta of ‘let’s guarantee to infuriate and insult our readers.
What it boils down to is no Lorraine Heath books for me on my Kindle.  And that's just not right.

And now I’m even grumpier – hmpfff – shouldn’t have done this rant.
'til later
(maybe - once I get over my mad-on)

8 comments:

azteclady said...

(((Kristie)))

There, there...



I cannot speak for Ms Heath, but I would be willing to bet good money that she is as unhappy as her readers about the price of the digital editions--those prices mean fewer sales, after all.

farmwifetwo said...

I won't buy ebooks at those kinds of prices. Which is why even as I dislike Kobo a lot of the time, their coupons can be used for Riptide/Dreamspinners and other small presses so I can purchase my m/m books.

Otherwise, it must come way down in price or library or UBS.

There's a lot out there to read... but I don't owe it to authors to read it and pay ridiculous prices for it.

Kristie (J) said...

AL, lol. I do manage to calm down. But I am bummed to the max that I can't get her books as ebooks. And I don't know for sure, but I don't think her earlier books were published by Avon, I'll have to see if I can find them. But if that's so, then she's the one who gave them the rights to publish them. So sadly, I'm holding off on ant sympathy I may feel that now she's the one getting screwed because of criminally high prices.

Farmwifetwo, I absolutely refuse to pay more for an ebook with the only excetion being Dreaming of You. But human nature being human nature, the more I'm faced with the fact I can't have something, the more I want it. But I will not bend on this one!

Tasha Brandstatter said...

((Kristie)) On the plus side, they're not $65 like they are for the print versions...

I once thought I'd never pay more than $5 for an Ebook. Then there was a Laura Florand novel I wanted IMMEDIATELY for $14. Oh well.

avidmysteryreader.com said...

Harrington, et al, self-publish their older books once they got the rights back so the prices tend to be rather reasonable. If the publisher is pricing them they yeah, the prices will be sky high. It's ridiculous for back list titles to be priced so high. But like Tasha said, sometimes the HTF cost of these books were super high. Still, it doesn't excuse the price practices. I'm sure Lorraine Heath (and I've met her once) has zero control over the prices and as for her leaving the western genre, she needed to go where the money is. Can you blame her? Sad but we have to think of these kind of things as them making the best decisions for their career. Jo Goodman is still writing them and maybe the difference between her and Heath is that she must really love what she does and is sticking by the genre no matter what. Plus, I hear she's talented so she may already have a fan base that supports her. Of course, I know nothing and this is all opinion and speculation.

Kristie (J) said...

Tasha - that's true. The print prices are horrendous aren't they? I have the mass market books, but they are somewhere in a box amongst 36 boxes I have of books piled up in a bedroom. At this point it's going to take a few months to find them - heh, heh, heh. That really frustrates my need for instant gratification that ebooks offers. If I wake up at 2:45am NEEDING to read, say a Alexis Harrington book that I haven't already picked up, I can order it and I get it right away and can read until sleepy once more and go back to dreamland at 3:30am dreaming of cowboys. Alas, that's not going to happen with Jake or Houston or Dallas or Clay or any other LH heroes.

Kristie (J) said...

Keishon, I don't blame Ms. Heath for going where the money is either, though personally I was disappointed. I think I'm more angry at the publisher for being so narrow minded in what they were willing to publish. I know I read years ago that Susan Kay Law, another great Western writer (and another author who has her ebooks published with Avon at ridiculously high prices) was told to either start writing books set in England or they wouldn't publish her books. She didn't stop and sure enough, they stopped publishing.
So I totally get Ms. Heaths decision. But I keep hoping that Westerns will come back enough that they will be willing to start publishing them again. I know she has a much larger fan base now so maybe they could sell enough. Or maybe she could self-publish a Western because she's SO VERY GOOD at them - and because so much of my complaining is about me *laughing*
It's the price of the ebooks, specifically by one or two publishers, that has me seeing red the most.
And count me as another reader who is delighted that Jo Goodman is back writing Westerns again - though her's are also priced rather high. At least it's not MORE that the mm books.

azteclady said...

Another thing to keep in mind is that the decision to go with England-set historicals was made more than a dozen years ago, well before digital publishing--let alone, self-publishing--was a possibility at all.

I'm sure if Ms Heath and others were given that ultimatum by their publishers, they would make a different choice than they made then.

Another problem for Ms Heath and other better known historical authors is that their books probably were never totally out of print***, unlike those of Ms Harrington, so they could not get their rights back.


*** A little, if I'm not mistaken, what happened to Nora Roberts' old Silhouette and Harlequin books. You couldn't find them anywhere, but contractually they were still in print, so Harlequin could put them out as Mira reprints and what not, and now digital editions.