HarperCollins UK went POD & book quality dropped

One of the blogs I follow is by Phil Gyford, the man behind Pepys' Diary. Every year for the pat 9 years he's bought a volume of Pepys' Diaries. Every year the new volume has had the same price, publisher (HarperCollins UK), and retailer (Amazon). Only this year he received a poorer quality book than he got last year.The difference this year is that HarperCollins changed printers. Before they had used a traditional printing house, and at some point in the recent past they had switched to Lightning Source.There was a noticeable drop in quality. between this volume and the last. Phil took several really good photos which show the difference.

The one on the right is from Lightning Source.

He noticed a drastic change in print quality, paper texture, and the cover.

There is a difference. The newer version looks and feels inferior, cheaper, like a shoddy print-on-demand, self-published volume. And yet it costs the same and there’s no way of knowing what you’re getting. I assumed this volume would be the same as all the books I’ve bought in the same series, by the same publisher, in the same edition. But something’s changed, with no clue on the item’s Amazon page.

Here's my point. Publishers bleat about how books are so important, how they cost so much to make, and the inherent value of a printed book. Then they go do something like this.

Yeah. Right. If you care so little about your books, don't complain about the market undervaluing them. In this case, HarperCollins wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

About Nate Hoffelder (11796 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

1 Comment on HarperCollins UK went POD & book quality dropped

  1. publishers bleat. hilarious. good one.

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