He’s a Hugo Award nominee. His series has been called ‘one of the more accomplished fantasy series of recent years, and it’s got gorgeous cover art. But despite all this, Tor Books just never seemed to have much faith in Daniel Abraham or his Long Price Qurtet. Case in point? They’re not publishing a paperback edition of the fourth (and final) volume of the series, The Price of Spring. Call it a business decision, his books don’t sell enough to be worth the overhead of printing, but also consider that Tor completely dropped the ball on what should be a preeminent series in the genre. Hell, they couldn’t even get it stocked on store shelves. They expect casual fans to buy it when they can’t find it at their local bookstore? I sure couldn’t. What good’s cover art if it’s not on the shelf to catch your eye?

In any case, it’s a frustrating reality of the industry that quality ≠ success. I’m sure Tor will be shaking their heads, and kicking themselves in the ass, when Abraham eventually finds the success he’s worthy of, likely with his next series, The Dagger and the Coin, which they passed on.

So, if you’re interested in reading The Price of Spring, but are waiting for the more affordable Mass Market Paperback, you’re shit out of luck. Buy the Hardcover before it leaves shelves forever (if it hasn’t already, I had to order mine online.) Even better, buy a copy of the omnibus edition of the series published by Orbit Books (who will be publishing The Dagger and the Coin), and support the publisher that will (hopefully) promote his work the way it deserves.

  • Blake Charlton June 4, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    there is no justice in the world x-(

  • aidan June 4, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    No shit.

  • Patrick (YetiStomper) June 4, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Yet another F*** you Tor moment.

    I spilled something on my hardcover copy of Book 1 and I couldn’t get a new one. It’s under the dust jacket but when I lie in bed late at night, I know. I know.

    Abraham is good stuff. I can’t wait for Leviathan Wept. His Urban Fantasy work as M.L.N. Hanover is fun too.

  • Saladin Ahmed June 4, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Well…that’s a bummer and a damn shame. Glad I bought the hardcover. I’ve said it elsewhere and I’ll say it again — LPQ is the best fantasy series of the past fifteen years, bar none.

  • Janea S. June 4, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    A similar thing happend to Sarah Monette when they let the second book in her Doctrine of Labyrinth’s series go out of print before the fourth book hit the shelves. So, yeah, the fourth book didn’t sell well, because no one who didn’t already have the second book was going to buy it.

    Thankfully, there are no shortage of publishers and editors willing to work with midlist authors waiting for a break through.

  • Dave June 4, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    I can’t help it… I love your blog here, check it every day, but every time I see the title, I think “A Dribble of Pee”. Sorry.

    I’m a fantasy Luddite, apparently… I didn’t get sufficiently hooked by Abraham’s series to get past book one. Still, I know enough people dig it that they should have put book 4 out in paperback… the omnibus sounds like a good compromise.

  • Arachn June 5, 2010 at 12:33 am

    I just can’t believe it… I just finished reading book 3, and so far, it’s the best fantasy I’ve read in ages.

    Abraham deserves so much more… What the hell, Tor?

    Well, I’ll order the hardcover as soon as possible.

  • Giacomo June 5, 2010 at 2:33 am

    Arachn, don’t buy the hardcover, buy the Orbit omnibus. It should be cheaper and you’ll not be giving money to Tor. They don’t deserve it.

  • Phoenix June 5, 2010 at 3:37 am

    this really sucks!! i have been waiting for that one.

    though i am not sure about not buying the Tor hardcover, even Tor really suck with this move, wouldn’t the author get higher royalties from the Hardcover than from the omnibus paperback?? (does anyone know if this is true?)

    i think we shouldn’t punish the author (again…) because of the way his publisher handled his series badly

  • Arachn June 5, 2010 at 6:23 am

    Thanks for the tip. As long as it benefits Abraham, sounds good to me! Omnibus it is.

    Still angry, by the way. Seriously, what the HELL?

  • dfan June 5, 2010 at 7:07 am

    Lame. I’ve been reading this series on the Kindle and was waiting for the fourth book to come out in paperback so the Kindle price would drop from the $13+ it was. Then the Kindle edition was removed entirely… and now the paperback’s not coming. So here’s a reader who would happily have bought the book a year ago if the publisher had handled it right.

  • David June 5, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Dave, you really should give The Long Price another shot, IMO book two is a vast improvement over book one, and that is something that continues through each book. The Price of Spring is a beautiful ending that fits wonderfully within a series that blew my mind more than once and its a shame that its not going to see MMP printing. I’ll probably pick up the omnibus someday soon.

  • Janice in GA June 5, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    This just astonishes me. Tor gave away the first volume as an e-book a couple of years ago. I was so impressed with it that I immediately went looking for additional volumes, still in e-book format, because I prefer e-books these days.

    No joy until recently, and then for a while they were only available for the Kindle. Which I don’t have (I have a Sony.) Then the other night, I saw that B&N had volumes 1, 3 and 4, but no volume 2. WTF????


  • Andrew Mayer June 6, 2010 at 12:56 am

    It’s disheartening to see such a fantastic series treated so shabbily. Abraham is an amazing writer, and he deserves to find an audience. But it’s hard to tell your friends to go find a series that can’t be bought.

    Like dfan, I’d figured I’d wait for the digital price drop with the paperback, but with this news I just ponied up the extra few bucks and grabbed the iBook edition.

  • Jeff C June 8, 2010 at 5:30 am

    What the @!@? Seriously? I’m not sure what is going on with Tor lately. They still can’t figure out the ebook market. More and more of their new hardcover releases are impossible to find in stores, and now this? Ridiculous. Reminds me that I need to find a hardcover copy of the first book, though, to complete my set.

  • Adam Whitehead June 8, 2010 at 11:10 am

    The difference may be offset by the fact that the omnibus is priced in pound sterling, so is somewhat more expensive than an American paperback and gives a higher rate of return to Daniel (an American author) once the exchange rates back and forth are sorted out.

  • Kathleen June 8, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    that news sucks. I’ve only read book 1 so far but I was impressed. Had to buy book 2 used from Powells. I’m excited to hear it’s even better.

  • aidan June 8, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Glad I’m not the only one who thinks it’s fucking insane to treat Abraham and The Long Price Quartet like this.

  • […] Dribble of Ink brings us the news that Daniel Abraham’s book The Price of Spring is not receiving a paperback release. This is the final book in The Long Price Quartet, which is widely deemed to be criminally […]

  • Blake Charlton June 9, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist is giving away a copy of the whole set: sounds like a nice get-out-of-needless-lack-of-ppbk card.

  • Kathleen June 9, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Yeah my local library has bks 1,3 and 4 but no 2. It’s very weird.

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  • […] bother to push the final novel, The Price of Spring, to a mass-market paperback) fans cried outrage. Wherever he went, success would surely follow. How could it not? It wasn’t that long […]

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