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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Labels, Serials and Soapboxes

They are everywhere...labels...yup how do you attract buyers?? Labels..New and improved, New Recipe, New Lower price...and so many more.  Then you have labels *on* labels just to confuse the issue.  But books I think is the only place you will find labels that will take another product and use it to sell itself.

Now I have been complaining for years about stickers on my purchases.  Getting them off the item I have bought is just a pain in the a$$.  I have had to actually go out and buy "Goo Gone" to get the sticky stuff off..just to find out that peanut butter works much better.  But I never thought I would have to worry about

 anything other than price tags on books.  Whoever had the idea that it was ok to put price stickers on the cover of book should be shot.  I like to keep my hardbacks and paperbacks pristine and trying to take a price tag off drives me crazy.  Now, we have to deal with this new *larger* label, I'm sure you all have seen it..hell they even have it on the cover of ebooks.  "If you like 'Fifty Shades of Grey' you will like this book." it drives me crazy!  That label sticks to the cover of the book and is almost impossible to get off without ruining the the cover.  Now I might sound a little OCD to you but when I buy something I expect it to be in perfect condition.  I have even sent books back to Amazon where the edges have been bent a bit or scraped with instructions as to how books should be shipped.  I have always gotten a perfect book back.  Yes, I admit it, I am a booksellers nightmare when it comes to this type of thing.

Now to rub salt into this wound, I have taken note of the books they are putting these labels on..now lets remember they are comparing these books to the ever popular Fifty Shades of Grey..A coming of age story that features a damaged male protagonist, an innocent female protagonist and some kinky BDSM inspired graphic sex.  Yes, yes..there is more to the story than this..but I"m not one for spoiling a book for anyone.  I digress, the books I am speaking of are *nothing* like FSoG.  What I am seeing out there is if there is any type of graphic sex..mention of sex, mention of kink, has a billionaire protagonist or a innocent college age girl then it is being labeled and compared to FSoG.  Nothing like the publishers trying to cash in on E.L James's success.  I appreciate that publishers are in the business to make money..after all we all need to pay the bills but I would hope that there would be some ethics involved.  Is it ethical to lead the book buyers astray by comparing books that are nothing like FSoG and labeling them?

Ethics and Publishing...now this brings up another issue that has become popular with publishers in the last little while mostly in the ebook medium.  Serials ..taking a book and releasing it in 10 separate novelletes usually under 60 pages.  Each of the 'parts' of the serial costs the buying public usually from 2.99 to 3.99..now lets do our math ..10 'parts at 2.99 is....29.99 when was the last time any of us have paid 30.00 for a contemporary romance?? Heck, we were complaining over the $15.99 that Lover at Last was selling for in ebook form.  If these "serials" are not a price gouge I don't know it is.  I personally find myself avoiding the works of authors who are participating in this outrageous business practice.  I am not blaming the authors I understand some of them are kowtowing to the publishers demands however I feel they are doing their readers a huge disservice.  I can hear some of our authors now getting all defensive stating they need to make money too.  I agree they do..working hard, marketing and building a name..then they can charge 15.99 for a ebook.  However, I question the ethics of wanting to charge their readers almost 30.00 for what in the end is one complete book.  jus sayin!

So with all this ranting I guess I need go one step further and say...no.   I will *not* buy a book with a label comparing it to another book, I will *not* spend any of my hard earned money on a serial series. I encourage other readers to do the same ..at some point we need to step up and tell the publishers of these books that we the consumers are not stupid and we resent misrepresentation and price gouging.

*steps off her soapbox to hand out buttons reading "Reader are not as dumb as publishers think"*


  1. Orange oil works even better then goo gone and doesn't level the residue. I get mine from Amazon,or a local heath foood store

    and Greased Lighting also works well, especially on plastic - it doesn't dull the finish

    as for stickers...I hate them on my CD covers, since i don't buy many paperbacks eny more not too bothered by them there

  2. This is an important issue, T. And I agree with you wholeheartedly. The publishers and authors who willingly participate in these marketing/price gouging techniques need to remember one thing: WE, the readers, have all the power. Without us, you're going nowhere fast. Treat us well, price your product competitively, and we will buy. Insult us, price-gouge us, and all you're hearing are crickets.

    1. Yup...serials are a pet peeve of mine:) ..glad you are on same wavelength as I am :)