Friday, March 23, 2012

Hunger Games.


I knew this was going to be big. I've been saying it for several years. I've been saying, "If I'm the first the tell you about Hunger Games, I won't be the last!" And "It's the new Twilight, only better!" That kind of thing.

But the second and third books in the series are only in hardcover. Sure, they are only 17.99, which isn't bad, but I've been very leery of carrying too many hardcovers, which I can't sell once the paperback comes out.

There is a paperback version of Hunger Games, which is 8.99, and I ordered a dozen copies, which is about 10 more copies than I normally order of any one book.

I started with a stock of 3 hardcovers each of Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay.

Less than an afternoon after making the last order for this week, I sold all three copies of Catching Fire.

Meanwhile, I'm informing customers that, No, there is no paperback version of Catching Fire or Mockingjay, nor is there one scheduled in the near future as far as I could see. (Really, why would the publisher do that when they could sell the hardcovers all day long?)

Here's the other thing. Unless you are incredibly lucky, so lucky that I think you immediately go buy a lottery ticket if it happens, you probably won't find a used copy of any of the books.

I'm not talking about a month ago, or even a couple of weeks ago -- right now, and for the next few weeks, it will be nearly impossible.

You see, most used bookstores are only going to have a few copies of a really hot book turned back in.

So let's wildly overestimate and say that each store has 5 copies each -- that would be about 20 for the whole town.

I probably had 20 people call or walk in looking for a used copy yesterday afternoon alone.

I'm guessing there were probably, at most, 5 copies available among ALL the used bookstores and that there will be 500 people looking for them.

By the way, this dynamic doesn't change just because you're Powells or something. If they have more copies, they also probably have more searchers.

I just sort of shake my head when they walk off to continue the hunt. (The waiting list at the library is apparently a mile long.)

I'm going to make a wild guess here; because, it may seem a little hard to believe with Costco and Walmart and Barnes and Nobles:

By this time next week, everyone will be sold out of these books -- even the new ones.

I'm kind of irked that despite all my instincts, I was still conservative. I've got plenty of copies of the first book in paperback, plus copies of the first and third in hardcover. I think I may have some coming in today, and probably on Monday too.

I threw caution to the wind and ordered a dozen copies of each of the hardcovers, and more than a dozen more of the paperback. If I've miscalculated, I'll sell them over the next year or so.

1 comment:

H. Bruce Miller said...

I read the NY Times review of "Hunger Games" today. Hard to tell if they liked it or didn't. Main complaint seemed to be that it's too soft-edged.