Any clue why this one is so hard to come by?

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Mar 8, 2012
5,428
25,620
NJ
#21
What sort of considerations go into deciding how many copies of any given book will be run at first printing?
For this particular book, it almost seems like they wanted to create a "collector's item" out of it. I'm sure the publishers (and maybe even SK himself) had their reasons. I doubt it only had one print run because there was no demand for it.
 

Moderator

Ms. Mod
Administrator
Jul 10, 2006
47,477
122,561
Maine
#22
I decided to go straight to the source rather than continue guessing so here's the "official" response from Charles Ardai at Hard Case Crime:

Hi, Marsha! It's been a decade since we published THE COLORADO KID and the
publisher we worked with to do so (Dorchester) has been out of business for
five of those years, so getting accurate data isn't too easy. But my best
recollection is that Dorchester printed and shipped just under a million
copies -- maybe 950,000 or 960,000, something like that. The vast majority
of those were in the original printing. I think they did go back to press
one or two times after that over the course of the 3-year term of the
contract, but those additional printings were tiny by comparison -- maybe
another 10,000 or 20,000 copies each time.

The only factor used to determine how many copies would be printed and
shipped, as far as I know, was how many copies stores ordered (plus maybe an
extra 5% or 10% just to make sure there were some extra copies in the
warehouse). Stores were allowed to order however many they wanted, and
however many they ordered, that's how many we printed.

Now, this does not mean there are a million copies of the book floating
around -- keep in mind that the book was done as a mass-market paperback
(the small pocket-sized book you see in racks at supermarkets and drugstores
and such), and when those books don't sell they don't get shipped back to
the publisher to be resold somewhere else -- their front cover gets torn off
and just that gets shipped back to the publisher, and the book itself gets
destroyed. I believe more than half the copies that got shipped to stores
wound up being destroyed in this way -- that's sort of horrifying, but it's
the nature of the paperback business. You ship a lot of copies to fill
store racks, and then any that haven't sold a couple of weeks later get
destroyed.

But that still means there are probably something like 350,000-400,000
copies out there -- it shouldn't be a scarce book or hard to find.

Of course, if the 350,000-400,000 people who own a copy mostly want to keep
theirs and only a few are interested in selling, that could result in the
price being high in the secondary market.

We definitely didn't keep numbers of copies low to artificially create a
collector's item. If anything, we did the exact opposite, shipping as many
copies as humanly possible, to ensure that anyone wanted to read the book
had a chance to do so.
This information also negates my recollection that it was a smaller initial print run.
 

Spideyman

Uber Member
Jul 10, 2006
40,472
147,685
73
Just north of Duma Key
#23
I decided to go straight to the source rather than continue guessing so here's the "official" response from Charles Ardai at Hard Case Crime:



This information also negates my recollection that it was a smaller initial print run.
Thank you for that interesting and informative answer from Charles Ardai.
It breaks my heart to think unsold paperbacks are destroyed. Could they not just be donated to service men/ women, hospitals, schools for use as part of a course?.... so many possibilities.
 

Bev Vincent

Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2006
4,216
10,436
Texas
www.bevvincent.com
#27
This information also negates my recollection that it was a smaller initial print run.
I remember that there was an error in the running header on one page -- it listed the title of a different book. When I mentioned that to Charles Ardai around the time the book came out, he said they'd fix that in the second printing...after they sold the first million copies!
 

Moderator

Ms. Mod
Administrator
Jul 10, 2006
47,477
122,561
Maine
#28
I remember that there was an error in the running header on one page -- it listed the title of a different book. When I mentioned that to Charles Ardai around the time the book came out, he said they'd fix that in the second printing...after they sold the first million copies!
That's right, I'd forgotten about that, too! :smile: Just looked it up and page 159 had Grifter's Game instead of The Colorado Kid.
 

summer_sky

Well-Known Member
Oct 15, 2015
414
1,998
#29
Thank you for that interesting and informative answer from Charles Ardai.
It breaks my heart to think unsold paperbacks are destroyed. Could they not just be donated to service men/ women, hospitals, schools for use as part of a course?.... so many possibilities.
The removal of paperback covers before destroying the books has been going on since as long as I can remember (and this is many decades, mind you ;) ). It is a shame that the books are not donated to the needy or some other goodwill-based charity.
Although, I will admit to having procured, one way or another, a few coverless paperbacks in my time. :horror:

Thanks! He thinks so, too. ;)
Well, I'll be danged...
A sensible man :chuncky:
:)
 

kingricefan

All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
28,344
115,497
Spokane, WA
#30
Thank you for that interesting and informative answer from Charles Ardai.
It breaks my heart to think unsold paperbacks are destroyed. Could they not just be donated to service men/ women, hospitals, schools for use as part of a course?.... so many possibilities.
Imagine how many copies of those Richard Bachman original paperbacks were destroyed. :hmm: :shock:Oh, the humanity.......:big_tears:
 

Wab

Well-Known Member
Oct 29, 2017
85
300
#36
Because I missed the hard case crime I've ordered the standard edition. But that's the problem with editions by PS, Cemetery Dance and the like even when I can afford the book, postage to Australia kills the deal.
 

kingricefan

All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
28,344
115,497
Spokane, WA
#37
Because I missed the hard case crime I've ordered the standard edition. But that's the problem with editions by PS, Cemetery Dance and the like even when I can afford the book, postage to Australia kills the deal.
It has become quite expensive to mail to Aussieland and even to Canada. Used to be I could mail a book up to Canada for only a little more than it would cost to mail in the US but now it's just crazy!
 

morgan

Well-Known Member
Jul 11, 2010
28,496
98,687
North Dakota
#38
I stopped at the used bookstore today on my way back from the grocery store. It's not always open on Saturday and I haven't been there in about six months. Found a copy of The Colorado Kid in very good condition for $2! It has the typo on page 159 kingricefan . I have one other copy. If I can locate it, will check for the typo in that one as well.
 

kingricefan

All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
28,344
115,497
Spokane, WA
#39
I stopped at the used bookstore today on my way back from the grocery store. It's not always open on Saturday and I haven't been there in about six months. Found a copy of The Colorado Kid in very good condition for $2! It has the typo on page 159 kingricefan . I have one other copy. If I can locate it, will check for the typo in that one as well.
'Grifter's Game' at the top instead of 'The Colorado Kid'. I have two copies and they both say that.
 

Neesy

#1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side
May 24, 2012
56,659
206,942
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
#40
I stopped at the used bookstore today on my way back from the grocery store. It's not always open on Saturday and I haven't been there in about six months. Found a copy of The Colorado Kid in very good condition for $2! It has the typo on page 159 kingricefan . I have one other copy. If I can locate it, will check for the typo in that one as well.
Wow - that is great! I need to swing by Value Village to look for King books - it's been months since I went searching.

Even though I was off this whole last week I basically accomplished zilch - felt like a complete waste of my time off.

:shame_pig:

Hey - guess what? They called today and left a message - I have to wait until 2 p.m. now on Monday for my HR meeting :m_dizzy:
 
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