Sequart Drops Book Prices by Using Amazon Made-on-Demand Service

The formally-named Sequart Research & Literacy Organization has announced that all of their books are getting an immediate price drop. By “hooking up with Amazon.com’s cut-out-the-middle-man company CreateSpace”, their releases are now $7-8 cheaper, plus, each of these updated editions “features a revised cover and a cleaner, more readable interior.”

For example, the new Keeping the World Strange: A Planetary Guide is only $12, down from $20 previously, while Gotham City 14 Miles: 14 Essays on Why the 1960s Batman TV Series Matters has gone from $23 to $16. I wanted to link you to all the books, but since they’re going through CreateSpace, Sequart is no longer listed as the publisher. If you search Amazon for their books, you get a subset of both old and new.

This initiative is a great thing, bringing these essay collections perhaps to a wider audience through lower pricing, although as one of those previous customers, I feel a little like a chump. That’s my own fault. I haven’t read any of the Sequart books I own yet, so I wish I’d waited to buy them to get a better, cheaper edition. (I shouldn’t buy things until I’m definitely ready to read them. I plan to start with Teenagers from the Future: Essays on the Legion of Super-Heroes.) They did acknowledge people like me in their statement, saying “We also know that we’ve been incredibly lucky to have a loyal readership that understands the need for accessible analysis of comic books.”

They were also smart in tacking a note onto their mailing, addressing retailers who may have stock of the old book versions and are likely “concerned about our new pricing system”. That’s the risk a publisher runs with an announcement like this. If you make your old versions obsolete at one stroke, you strand the retailers with instant dead stock. I don’t know what Sequart’s plan is for dealing with the problem, but I hope it’s good enough to keep retailers from avoiding their future releases.

(Disclaimer: I am supposed to be contributing to a forthcoming Sequart book, but I sent the piece in over a year ago, and I haven’t heard an update since January, so I don’t know if the publication is still planned.)

Similar Posts: Legion Book Due Next Year § Amazon Pulls First Second Books, Other Macmillan Titles § Amazon Super-Sale on Comic Hardcovers: The Aftermath § Viz Digital Goes to Same-Day Releases § This Should Not Be News: Books Would Sell More If They Cost Less


2 Responses to “Sequart Drops Book Prices by Using Amazon Made-on-Demand Service”

  1. Julian Darius Says:

    Thanks for covering this initiative. It was a lot of work, but we thought it was worth it to get our customers these discounts. We decided that the loss in prestige, in having Sequart no longer listed as publisher, was worth it if we could do this.

    For the record, we don’t consider the older editions “obsolete.” Their contents are almost identical, although in a different font and paginated slightly differently. Outside of a few images added to two books and the modifications made for the third edition of Grant Morrison: The Early Years. But yes, these old editions are now overpriced.

    We hope retailers will contact us. We really don’t know who’s got a Sequart library sitting on their shelves. We are very much still a mom and pop, and we really don’t want any store to be punished for supporting Sequart!

    As to what we’re doing in such cases, it so happens that we have lots of copies of four old editions still in stock. So our solution to this problem is that any store can take a photo of their unsold Sequart books, and we’ll ship an equal number from our stock to them for free. They can request which of our in-stock titles they want, and we’ll ship more than an equal number of books if their combined cover price is lower than what they have in stock. This way, affected retailers will get (at least) two for the price of one (and potentially some diversity of offerings), and stores can feel free to discount as they wish, without concern for losing money. Everyone wins.

    And yes, we’re still doing that Transmet book! It’s just been delayed. I’m sorry you haven’t heard back, and I’ll look into it.

  2. Johanna Says:

    Thanks very much for elaborating on your plans. That sounds like a good deal for retailers, with some flexibility for what they need. I’m still looking forward to catching up on reading my stack, and many thanks for letting me know that the Transmet book is still planned.

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