There is an epidemic in the publishing world, and the statistics are staggering. Nearly every book is affected, and yet we don't talk about it. Most people don't have any idea it's happening.
Goblin Quest is three months old this week. They grow up so quickly. I still remember the first time I saw the book in the store, and now it's ninety days old. So young, but the cold rules of the publishing world care nothing for age.
It's time to share the truth. While many books find loving, caring homes with readers such as yourselves, what happens to those left behind on the shelves? You might think the bookstores shelter these books, caring for them until they too can be placed in the hands of an eager reader. But the truth is far uglier. After ninety days, bookstores need to make room for newer releases. After ninety days, older books must face the returns process.
For some books, this isn't so bad. Hardcovers, the silver-spoon set of the book world, are lovingly packed into boxes, to be delivered with care to their publishers, who will do their best to find them a new home.
Not so for the mass market paperbacks like Goblin Quest. These books spend every day awaiting the heavy footfalls of ... the strippers.
I should warn you, the following description is quite graphic. But it's important for people to know the truth.
Mass market paperbacks like Goblin Quest aren't given the same love as their spoiled hardcover cousins. Oh, no. These young books are yanked without warning from their shelves, the only home they have ever known. Their front covers are brutally ripped away, leaving their vulnerable front pages exposed for all to see. These torn covers are mailed back to the publisher, much as a mobster might deliver a victim's finger or ear.
As horrid as this indignity is, it's only the beginning. Stripping can cause secondary damage, cracking a book's spine or weakening the glue. Many of these books are then flung into the cold, dark dumpsters. Others are recycled, their bodies fed into a literary wood-chipping machine which reduces them to pulp.
A select few manage to survive. You might have seen the warnings. "If you have purchased this book without a cover, you should be aware that this book may have been stolen property and reported as 'unsold and destroyed' to the publisher." That's right. While some books manage to escape destruction, choosing instead to eke out a miserable existence filled with humiliation and chronic spinal pain, these books must now live in constant fear of the law. They are the victims, and yet every published book carries a warning to watch for these so-called fugitives.
But there is hope for Goblin Quest and books like it. You have the power to save these doomed literary masterpieces, whose only crime was to remain on the shelves a little too long.
For only $6.99, you can rescue one of these books. For less than two cents a day for a year, you'll receive a copy of the book you rescued, as well as the satisfaction of knowing you provided a better life for your book.
You can make a difference.
Spread the word. Isn't the life of a young book worth two cents a day? And it only takes a few minutes to copy the following code into your LiveJournal
or blog:Because even one stripped book is one too many.