One complaint I’ve heard about AUCP titles is that they always come out in hardback and remain so until they sell a certain number of copies. They are — the very reasonable complaint goes — thus priced out of the range of many students and other potential readers. Well, according to the AUCP’s R. Neil Hewison:
We changed over earlier this year to publishing our new fiction titles directly in paperback: we feel this is better for the reader (makes a cheaper and more portable edition) and it is better for us, because we don’t need to judge how many hardback copies of every book to print before going into paperback — instead we can print a bigger quantity of paperback copies right away for a longer period. And yes, the plan is to issue as all our fiction as e-books too (alongside the paperbacks — we’re not abandoning print books!), but we’re not quite ready to do that yet: we’re still preparing the platforms and clearing a lot of the electronic permissions.
And, yet more interesting:
We hope to start the e-publishing in the spring on 2013.
That’s soon! And even we slow adapters can see that the latter should be roundly cheered. Perhaps my biggest complaint about AUCP titles is that they’re not sufficiently accessible. Sure, you can buy them at Diwan and the AUCP Bookstore, but what if — for instance — readers outside of Cairo would like to get hold of them?
And yes, I need to start adapting.