Thursday, June 28, 2012

Beware of... the Book Club

Star Wars book section in Book-a-Million back in 2010
First time I'd ever heard of them!
  Anyone who has looked at the price of a hard back copy of a Star Wars novels and knows the value of money is cringing at the thought of ever paying that for a book! How I got into this was by finding a HB of Attack of the clones on the clearance stack at a local book store for 5 dollars and grabed it! At the time I didnt even know there was this whole Star Wars Univerce of books but quickly found them and drooled! But cringed at the same time even at the prices of the paperbacks! $7 a book... ouch! And there are so many! Have to read them SLOWLY one book at a time at that price... :-}
  Later after moving to NY I found a stack of paperbacks in a Goodwill in Astoria and bought all ten of them for about $10! I was very happy!
Star Wars books in 2010
 When deciding to read them in order I turned to E-bay and was able to buy another bunch for about $2 a book. One or two of them even being HBs! I got spoiled with the HBs and decided that I loved reading them and I would contenue my collection with only HBs. That is the one that are HB, some were only published in PB. With a bit of work on E-bay you can buy them at a good price. This went well until I was looking for the last book in the Zann Trilogy. I found several books I was looking for by one seller listed as being "Book Club Editions". I was unaware of what a BCE was but I assumed by the info, or more like lack of, provided by the seller that they were published for an offical Star Wars Book Club...

 I didn't know what to think when the three books which I paid more then I usaly did for them arrived! They were smaller then my others (which ruins the look of my collection as I like to display them in my book case!)
Left to Right - Paper Back, BCE Hardback, Mass Market HB
Note size difference
 On closer inspection I could find no where on them stateing they were a "Book Club Edition" of any sort! I do own other books that are from book clubs like a copy of the first book of Harry Potter that clearly states the publishing information about the copy on the cover and on the copywright page. Being a book collector of older books I do know a little about such things. I'm not a fan of the new electronic books which cost the same as a paperback which is crazy! Since a teen I have loved reading antique books because they are like little time capsules of another era. And even for modern books, give me a real book with pages! There is nothing like it!
But going back to these books, they were very cheaply made. Pages very thin and one looked plain photo copied! The covers also where of bad quality paper and again looked photo copied. It was now I discovered that there wasn't such a thing as a offical Star War Book Club. These came from something called The Sience Fiction Book Club! At this point things are looking shady... I contacted the seller that the books didn't look legit! What company publishes books and does not place thier name on the book anywhere plus useing subquality products and workmanship? People were only putting up with it due to the fact that this company sold the books at a cheaper price. But I ask, at what cost? You get a cheap knockoff that is worthless that I question whether it is even a legal copy!
That is when things got nasty... I felt jipped being I could have bought a good copy at nearly the same price and I was not imformed what a "Book Club Edition" was. Instead of working with me as I would have been happy with a little $ back from what I paid due that I felt I paid too much (plus I felt the shipping I was charged was too much being they did not weigh that much and they were shipped in used materals) but the seller turned on me and as the letters went back and fourth they got more insulting and nasty towards me plus catching him in a lie or two at that. I finnaly gave up and took it to E-bay....
The ruleing was in MY favor. I got all my money back and was not asked to return the books THUS I want to share with you what to look for when buying Star Wars hardbacks online... and how to keep this from happening to you... I have been VERY careful since!
Mass Market HB has rich quality colors with depth
and note the gold lettering. It will appear yellow on BCEs
This is what I look for now when bying HBs online...

1. Check the photo. A lot of sellers think it's good enough to just post a "stock photo". They are either lazy, or trying to hide something! If there isn't a picture... MOVE ON!

2. Most informed sellers will know that 1st edition HBs  can only be a "mass market". I feel better buying what is listed as a 1st edition because if you end up with a BCE you've got a good case against them as a BCE could never be label as a 1st edition.

3. Check out the photo of the book. One of the easiest thing to look for is the raised lettering on the cover. BCE do not have raised lettering of the title "Star Wars" (Paperbacks also have the same raised lettering)

4. On many books the "Star Wars" is metalic. BCE do not have matelic lettering. Such as, lettering will appear yellow rather then a real gold. (Paperbacks also have the same matelic lettering)

5. BCE will be smaller then a retail copy. Sometimes it's hard to tell by the photo how big the book is if there isn't anything to compare it to in the pic. Ask the seller... dont go by preloaded info. As BCE have the same numbers on the Copywright page, when the seller types in the # it shows the wrong info. As I said, I question if these are legal copies :-/
Arrow points to price in Mass Market HB
 not found in BCE

6. Ask the seller if there is a price marked in the inside front cover. BCE will not have one.
Arrow points to number on BCE which
will not appear on Mass Market HB

 7. Basicly the only difference that was added by the book club is a few numbers on the back of the book. Otherwise copywright info will look idenical to those of a retail HB, so you can not go by what is writen on the "copywright" page.

  I learned this more of the hard way but thankfully E-bay stood up for me in my case but it's a shame it even had to happen. I hope I can help others from being cheated and if you are a seller, please keep your costumers in mind and list books as they should be, in detail, with a photo! In the long run everyone will be happier! And as for this SiFi Book Club I hope people will question the value they are really getting by buying books cheaper from a scam type oganazation. You may be getting the book half off but your basicaly getting what you pay for... actualy less! They have little to no resale value. Collectors simply do not want them and once you get your hands on a copy it is clear why!

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