J.K. Rowling's new book - The Casual Vacancy

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Re: J.K. Rowling's new book - The Casual Vacancy

Post by Sommer Leigh » July 3rd, 2012, 4:26 pm

The cover for the book was just released today. I think I'm becoming a conspiracy theorist after all. The cover is kinda "meh" and the blurb remains so..."blah." They've confirmed the e-book will be 19.99 and the hardback 35. Everything about this release is so weird. It almost feels like an experiment or a test. I guess I expected more from her first release after Harry Potter. I realize that sounds very unfair, but I can't help it. It feels like they've gone to the other end of the spectrum to distance her completely and utterly from her MG/YA background.
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Re: J.K. Rowling's new book - The Casual Vacancy

Post by dios4vida » July 3rd, 2012, 5:11 pm

Sommer Leigh wrote:The cover for the book was just released today. I think I'm becoming a conspiracy theorist after all. The cover is kinda "meh" and the blurb remains so..."blah." They've confirmed the e-book will be 19.99 and the hardback 35. Everything about this release is so weird. It almost feels like an experiment or a test. I guess I expected more from her first release after Harry Potter. I realize that sounds very unfair, but I can't help it. It feels like they've gone to the other end of the spectrum to distance her completely and utterly from her MG/YA background.
I couldn't agree with you more, Sommer. That cover - seriously? It looks like the kind of paperback from the 70's you'd find dusty and neglected at the back of a Salvation Army. Everything about the book feels so lackluster, almost like they're downplaying everything on purpose or something. And yet, it's still so expensive for a novel. I just don't understand what the heck is going on with this.
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Re: J.K. Rowling's new book - The Casual Vacancy

Post by writersink » July 4th, 2012, 4:54 am

dios4vida wrote:
Sommer Leigh wrote:The cover for the book was just released today. I think I'm becoming a conspiracy theorist after all. The cover is kinda "meh" and the blurb remains so..."blah." They've confirmed the e-book will be 19.99 and the hardback 35. Everything about this release is so weird. It almost feels like an experiment or a test. I guess I expected more from her first release after Harry Potter. I realize that sounds very unfair, but I can't help it. It feels like they've gone to the other end of the spectrum to distance her completely and utterly from her MG/YA background.
I couldn't agree with you more, Sommer. That cover - seriously? It looks like the kind of paperback from the 70's you'd find dusty and neglected at the back of a Salvation Army. Everything about the book feels so lackluster, almost like they're downplaying everything on purpose or something. And yet, it's still so expensive for a novel. I just don't understand what the heck is going on with this.
I just had a look at the cover. :shock: I don't get what they're doing, and why on earth they would downplay it on purpose.

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Re: J.K. Rowling's new book - The Casual Vacancy

Post by ladymarella » July 5th, 2012, 9:36 am

Sommer, just wondering, in America what is the normal price for a hardback book? Here in Australia $35 is perfectly normal for a hardback, but I would never pay that much. It's why most of my books come from second hand book shops.
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Re: J.K. Rowling's new book - The Casual Vacancy

Post by Sommer Leigh » July 5th, 2012, 12:00 pm

ladymarella wrote:Sommer, just wondering, in America what is the normal price for a hardback book? Here in Australia $35 is perfectly normal for a hardback, but I would never pay that much. It's why most of my books come from second hand book shops.
Well, I buy mostly YA, which is cheaper than adult, but I think most hardback adult books when they are first released are between $25-29. The price comes down pretty quickly though after a few weeks-months.

The shocking thing is how expensive the e-book is. I don't know any e-book that is that expensive.
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Re: J.K. Rowling's new book - The Casual Vacancy

Post by dios4vida » July 5th, 2012, 12:31 pm

Sommer Leigh wrote:I think most hardback adult books when they are first released are between $25-29. The price comes down pretty quickly though after a few weeks-months.
Yup. $27 is the most common. And a lot of times if you pre-order a book or get it on a first-week-release sale a hardcover will cost you $16. $35 in the States is rather ridiculous.
Brenda :)

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Re: J.K. Rowling's new book - The Casual Vacancy

Post by writersink » July 5th, 2012, 1:37 pm

dios4vida wrote:
Sommer Leigh wrote:I think most hardback adult books when they are first released are between $25-29. The price comes down pretty quickly though after a few weeks-months.
Yup. $27 is the most common. And a lot of times if you pre-order a book or get it on a first-week-release sale a hardcover will cost you $16. $35 in the States is rather ridiculous.
$27! That's around £17 in the UK.... I don't think I've ever spent that much on a hardback. The maximum I've gone up to is, I think, £12/13/14 (my memory is terrible with this sort of thing.)

Though I did find this interesting article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksbl ... ing-ebooks

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Re: J.K. Rowling's new book - The Casual Vacancy

Post by Mira » July 11th, 2012, 12:47 am

Hmmm. I suspect this is deliberate.

What you notice about the book is who wrote it. There's really nothing else to the cover. I think they are marketing this on name recognition = on the idea that people will buy the book because of who wrote it.

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Re: J.K. Rowling's new book - The Casual Vacancy

Post by dios4vida » July 11th, 2012, 11:33 am

I think you're right, Mira, but I think that's also a terrible way to sell a book. I mean, it's like they're setting it up to flop - the cover is lousy, the blurb is lousy, the only motivation you have to buy the book is because you loved Harry Potter - but if people aren't super impressed by the story and writing of The Casual Vacancy, it'll be really hard to continue selling books. She'll become the author that's "you have to read Harry Potter but the rest of her stuff is garbage" and that's a terrible stigma to have. Sure, she doesn't need to sell anything every again, but to not be able to? Awful.
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Re: J.K. Rowling's new book - The Casual Vacancy

Post by Sommer Leigh » July 11th, 2012, 12:05 pm

dios4vida wrote:I think you're right, Mira, but I think that's also a terrible way to sell a book. I mean, it's like they're setting it up to flop - the cover is lousy, the blurb is lousy, the only motivation you have to buy the book is because you loved Harry Potter - but if people aren't super impressed by the story and writing of The Casual Vacancy, it'll be really hard to continue selling books. She'll become the author that's "you have to read Harry Potter but the rest of her stuff is garbage" and that's a terrible stigma to have. Sure, she doesn't need to sell anything every again, but to not be able to? Awful.
My husband and I were talking about this the other day. We were discussing the weird choice of fonts on the book cover (the title looks like something from an 80s or 90s romance novel, the font for the authors name looks like a font for a children's book and the color and design are vaguely reminiscent of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, none of which make any sense together.) Then I had this thought-

What if she's putting this sort of ho-hum book out as her buffer between Harry Potter and whatever she does next? There's no way her adult books will be as beloved as her Harry Potter books, at least with her Harry Potter fans, so her first book after Harry is bound to be shoved under a microscope and torn to pieces. Maybe it’s her way of getting this dreaded next book over with, something that's not great, not terrible, totally forgettable, and anything she does next will have its best chance to exist on its own merit.
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Re: J.K. Rowling's new book - The Casual Vacancy

Post by wilderness » July 13th, 2012, 6:17 pm

Sommer Leigh wrote:The cover for the book was just released today. I think I'm becoming a conspiracy theorist after all. The cover is kinda "meh" and the blurb remains so..."blah." They've confirmed the e-book will be 19.99 and the hardback 35. Everything about this release is so weird. It almost feels like an experiment or a test. I guess I expected more from her first release after Harry Potter. I realize that sounds very unfair, but I can't help it. It feels like they've gone to the other end of the spectrum to distance her completely and utterly from her MG/YA background.
Haha, love the conspiracy theory. I agree that everything to do with it is weird. The blurb and cover are boring to me, but they also seem to scream "I am literary!"

Therefore, I think she wants the world to know she can write more than children's fantasy. Just a guess.

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Re: J.K. Rowling's new book - The Casual Vacancy

Post by Beethovenfan » July 14th, 2012, 4:53 am

This cover is certainly the opposite of the Harry Potter books. Perhaps she wants people to know for certain that this is not a book for kids. It's grown-ups all the way this time. What ever the reason for it, it's intriguing.
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Re: J.K. Rowling's new book - The Casual Vacancy

Post by Claudie » July 14th, 2012, 11:48 pm

writersink wrote:
dios4vida wrote:
Sommer Leigh wrote:I think most hardback adult books when they are first released are between $25-29. The price comes down pretty quickly though after a few weeks-months.
Yup. $27 is the most common. And a lot of times if you pre-order a book or get it on a first-week-release sale a hardcover will cost you $16. $35 in the States is rather ridiculous.
$27! That's around £17 in the UK.... I don't think I've ever spent that much on a hardback. The maximum I've gone up to is, I think, £12/13/14 (my memory is terrible with this sort of thing.)

Though I did find this interesting article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksbl ... ing-ebooks
Maybe I misunderstood you, or I just know these things because I've been back and forth between Canada and UK a few times, but £17 is worth something like $30-35. So you're actually paying way more (which in my experience is usually the case with the UK..)
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Re: J.K. Rowling's new book - The Casual Vacancy

Post by JohnDurvin » July 19th, 2012, 6:08 pm

It does sound boring based on that synopsis, but I have no doubt that it'll be good--just not in the same way as Harry Potter. I don't blame her at all; if she tried to go bigger than the HP septology she's have to write some sort of Tolkein-knockoff and keep it up for ten books, and I cannot envy that. What we've got here sounds a lot like Garrison Keillor, depending on how dark she writes the plot; I'll read it, but I ain't paying twenty bucks for it.
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Re: J.K. Rowling's new book - The Casual Vacancy

Post by writersink » July 20th, 2012, 6:40 am


Maybe I misunderstood you, or I just know these things because I've been back and forth between Canada and UK a few times, but £17 is worth something like $30-35. So you're actually paying way more (which in my experience is usually the case with the UK..)
I just typed covert $ into £ into google :) I've never spent £17 on a book! That would be a rip off. But yeah, you do pay a lot more in the UK. I know people who've gone to American for a holiday specifically to buy clothes because they're cheaper there.

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