Does moving to hardcover mid-series signal a decline in quality?

move to hardcover mid-series

Whenever a series I love moves to hardcover, I groan. Not just because it means either paying extra for a space-hogging misfit with a cover that doesn’t match the rest of the series, or waiting another year for the paperback to be released. This transition, to me, usually means extra pressure on an author to deliver on a series when they may have run out of inspiration.

Laurell K. Hamilton’s pornification of Anita Blake took place around the time the UK publishers switched to hardcover (#14), the first of which I one-starred. Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse definitely started to sour after the switch (#5), then the True Blood TV show adaption killed it.

Women of the Otherworld’s first UK hardcover Living With the Dead (#9) received two stars from me and I felt bad. Kelley Armstrong was the author to introduce me to urban fantasy and I’d adored all her books up until that disaster. Janet Evanovich seemed to stop trying to be original with Stephanie Plum in the changeover period to trade paperback (#7) and hardcover (#12). I regretted the £16.99 I paid for Twelve Sharp as a pick-me-up immediately after I quit my job and was short of money.

Now when the move takes place, I either borrow from the library or wait a year for the paperback. However, Ilona Andrews, one of my favourite authors who never fails to make me laugh, has just had her Kate Daniels series move to hardcover. I’m worried. I’m not sure I can cope with another demise of a series I adore.

Has anyone else noticed this pattern, or is it just me?

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3 thoughts on “Does moving to hardcover mid-series signal a decline in quality?

  1. I figure they switch to hardcover when they realise that the series is selling so well that they (publisher) could make more money on it by switching to the higher price-point.

    (Also, pretty sure KA’s Otherworld series switched over at #7: No Humans Allowed, the Jaime book. But now that I think about, I started losing a tiny bit of enthusiasm then.)

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    1. I agree that that’s why publishers switch, but it seems to be the death knell for a series.

      (And you’re absolutely right. I do have hardcovers of No Humans Allowed and Personal Demon. I didn’t particularly like Jaime.)

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