Monday, May 25, 2009

Planet Stories Changes

This is a press release issued by Paizo about some changes to the format, frequency, and subscription of its excellent Planet Stories line of pulp reprints:

We've just implemented some changes to the Planet Stories imprint and to Planet Stories subscriptions that we believe will significantly increase the quality of the books in general and enhance the value of your subscription.

Starting with June's Robots Have No Tails, by Henry Kuttner, Planet Stories subscribers will enjoy a 30% discount on new Planet Stories volumes (up from 20%). Additionally, subscribers will be able to order older Planet Stories books at a substantial 15% discount off the cover price as an added benefit of subscribing. We hope this new discount structure makes it easier for collectors to pick up volumes they may have missed from earlier in our series.

Also in June, Planet Stories will shift to a roughly bimonthly publication schedule, with six volumes scheduled per year into the future. We're worried we may be producing Planet Stories books faster than subscribers are able to read them, so we want to slow things down a bit and give each book a chance to make a strong impact on the marketplace and in the minds of our faithful readers. We hope to increase the frequency in the future, but doing so will require significantly more subscribers than we have now and better penetration into local and national bookstores. We believe these changes will come with time, and reducing the frequency in the meantime gives us an opportunity to ensure that Planet Stories has the best possible foundation in the years to come during a very challenging period for the book publishing industry.

The biggest change to the line will become apparent when we send out Robots Have No Tails in the upcoming weeks: We've completely revised the Planet Stories format to pack in more story for your buck and to include illustrations that harken back to the pulp era from which many of our stories are drawn. In the case of this summer's The Ship of Ishtar, by A. Merritt, we've even negotiated rights to publish illustrations by noted pulp illustrator (and the best man at the wedding of C. L. Moore and Henry Kuttner) VIRGIL FINLAY!

Those of you familiar with Finlay's marvelous work will no doubt be jumping up and down with excitement. Those of you who have not encountered his work are in for a real treat. Other Planet Stories volumes will contain interior illustrations (many original to the Planet Stories line) as well, and we hope to set a new standard of design excellence with the series. We've posted sample page layouts on the Robots Have No Tails product page to give you a taste of what's in store in the very near future.

The very best way that you can help to ensure a bright future for Planet Stories is to subscribe, and to evangelize the line to your science fiction and fantasy-reading friends. We hope to double the number of Planet Stories subscribers in the next year, and we're going to need all the help you can provide in order to achieve that goal.

We're more excited about the Planet Stories line than we've ever been. In many ways, we're finally publishing these stories in a format that does them justice and best matches our original plans for the line. We hope you love what's in store, and that you continue to support Planet Stories.

It means the (strange adventures on other) worlds to us.

Sincerely,

Erik Mona
Publisher
Paizo Publishing, LLC

8 comments:

  1. We're worried we may be producing Planet Stories books faster than subscribers are able to read themQuoted for truth. With all the vintage mass market paperbacks I've been picking up lately, actually reading more than a handful of the Planet Stories books is a bit of a chore. (Though what I've read, the Brackett and Moore stuff particularly, has been great.)

    I'm still subscribed, and I expect to be for quite a while, but it's going to take me a long damn time to get through everything they've been putting out. I don't mind, I've always had a library building instinct, but it is a lot to read.

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  2. I subscribed based on that announcement. One book a month was too much: I wasn't going to read anything else!

    And with the 30% off the prices finally compete with amazon.de's free shipping to Switzerland.

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  3. I would subscribe in a heartbeat, if there were a guarantee that the editing quality had improved significantly since the typo-tastic Jirel of Joiry (beautifully written book, awesome cover, totally let down by the number of errors). Unless I hear it has done, though, I'll (reluctantly) carry on picking up most of my classic pulp fantasy in the second-hand market.

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  4. I've just subscribed based pretty much on the announcement too. Every two months fits both my reading speed and my budget. The last book I read from the list was Brackett's Talisman/Sinharat compilation and I didn't come across any memorable errors. I have yet to read my copy of Jirel but I believe it was one of the first that Pazio published, so I'm hazarding a guess that they've improved in the error of editing. I'm a big supporter of them as things are presently.

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  5. Illustrations! I love illustrations! :-)

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  6. Yep, this announcement has caused me to subscribe also. I have been wanting to subscribe for quite some time, but I'm already behind in my reading for all things Pathfinder (I subscribe to all those lines also) and getting another novel each month would be too much.
    The bi-monthly output however, and the 30% discount sealed the deal for me.
    I'm rather excited to be getting this books. :D

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  7. I just came across a news online science fiction magazine http://kalkion.com. My story is there. Check out. They are inviting submissions :-)

    Guess we have another magazine.

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  8. As much as I love the idea of Planet Stories, I've found, sadly, that they've only published a few books that I don't already have. So yeah, they may be better, unexpurgated versions, or whatever, but I just can't bring myself to re-buy something that I already have sitting on my shelf anyway.

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