Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hard Case Crime: Bi Monthly/Westlake

No, no, we are not going to get 2 new Westlake books a month. However, as many of you know Hard Case Crime had been the most visible purveyor of old school hard boiled plot driven crime paperbacks for the last five and a half years. They have consistently issued a new title each month during that time, both new books in the style of classic crime and reissues of out of print titles.

In the latest News e-mail Editor Charles Ardai announced that they would be taking a break between the two books they plan to publish in December, and their next title, a unpublished Donald Westlake (bow your heads, moment of silence, open your copy of Lemons Never Lie to page 138 and read aloud) novel which is slated to hit shelved in April 2010 (which is most likely going to be the last week in March). Starting with Memory HCC will publish every other month.
(love that cover, it's the red in the chair, the pants and the blanket)

Ardai, didn't go into all of the reasons for the bimonthly*, but the slow down in consumer spending would be my guess. Ardai did say that a lot of people have reported having a back log of HCC books in their TBR piles (and you can count me in that number) which is a valid reason to slow down publishing new titles. Because I am a can do, give it your best shot type of guy, I feel like there is more that can be done to move the masses to pick up and support HCC more. To that end I have a couple of suggestions that I am just going to throw out there into the interweb winds:

1- on the HCC website, how about a printer friendly one sheet PDF list of the books published so far so that new readers can print it off and take it with them to the book store, Amazon, or the library.
2- A PDA/ Black Berry/iPhone/iPod touch version of the same thing so that people can have the electronic shopping list with them.
3- book sets. why not have a special that collects all the Max Allen Collins Quarry books in one set, or all of the Westlake in one set.
4- more merch- posters, postcards, magnets, and bottle openers.
5- Facebook- It would be nice to see a official HCC face book page, with news, updates, art work, and just a general place for fans to mingle and what not.

There you have it--- now I know that the people at HCC work hard and are doing the best that they can, I in no way want to come off like a know it all, or a back seat driver, I simply want them to be able to keep on doing what they have been for a lot of years to come.

oh and they could republish the A. I. Bezzerides novel The Long Haul (*Hint*Hint*)

*(From http://www.askoxford.com/asktheexperts/faq/aboutwords/bimonthly) Does bimonthly mean 'twice a month' or 'every two months'? I'm afraid it means both! But in the publishing industry, it is used fairly consistently to mean 'every two months'. The same ambiguity affects biweekly and biyearly. If you want to be absolutely clear, use a phrase such as 'twice a week' or 'every two years'.

No comments: