Thanks. If I believed in conspiracy theories I'd say that the poor design of the BL website and the paucity of info about upcoming releases is tied into the plan to obfuscate the product so much so that people can't make clear, comfortable purchasing choices and so rely on the collector / gotta-catch-em-all / loyalty instinct that just buy everything as it comes out. Despite it being a poor deal in the long term (and increasingly, the short term). Oh wait, this is a business, I guess I do believe it.
I think they're onto a dodgy path not only in terms of ethical treatment of the customers, but in terms of quality product for your money. While personal preference of course makes what I'm about to say just a general statement you can take or leave, anecdotal online and from friends comments and decent, non hype reviews and common sense have all been saying that, in the main, the series has take a sustained dip in general quality in the last two years. The same time the number and complexity of product has exploded.
Okay, personal bias time. I don't think Nick Kyme's stuff is very good. Like, it's just not. So his stuff being expensive limited edition material is laughable to me. It's not worth the money to read middlingly-plotted high-school level prose. But that was absorbable in a quality analysis when released in the same year as other material which either was variously worth the inflated limited edition price, or just good quality regular material.
What I'm seeing now is the same situation being repeated - far too regularly, in terms of initial cost or exclusivity values - but without the absorbent nature of easily accessible, lower-cost material to take the strain. It's not just that there isn't enough of the regular release, value-for-money material (there isn't) it's also that not only is the quality arguably not really there anymore, this base-level material that allows you to build more expensive and complex product on top of, ALSO comes out in poor value fashion; over-priced hardback, pointless trade edition (I used to work in the book industry and could rant about these things) and then finally, mass market edition. The mm edition's worth now having been devalued by being a year or more delayed in release, meaning that the fanbase who only purchase them are left feeling dissatisfied.
tl;dr - BL have embraced maximum we-want-your-money too hastily and are at risk of damaging the entire product line in the two years or so ahead either through sustained neglect of 'ordinary' customers or if something unexpected and seriously bad happens that generates a consumer backlash or about-face. Though to be honest, that doesn't really happen in this kind of product.
Originally Posted by Angel of Blood
... Because the LE's are taking the piss. They were meant to be, or at least it seemed like they were meant to be, one off novellas released every once in a while between every 'x' amount of full novels. Whilst not being essential to the series plot, more of a bonus that you could miss without losing any important fluff or plot. Aurellian did this perfectly, it fleshed out what Lorgar experienced when he went into they Eye. Nice to know sure, but if I hadn't read it, I wouldn't have missed anything plotwise.
Now however, there are endless expensive LE novellas and now LE's novels, though they aren't quite the same length as a normal full novel, but twice the price for the fun of it.
For the record: I need to spread more Reputation around before I can award you guys some for these posts, but I wish I could. Like, NOW.
The thing that scares me about the status quo is that it looks like the focus is increasingly on maximizing profits via increasingly expensive entries aimed at the existing customer base instead of trying to get more customers into the game. Imagine someone who got into the Horus Heresy series by word of mouth or by a book cover catching their eye in a bookstore today: the number of audio dramas, e-shorts, and limited edition stuff would, on its own, be terrifying. Making sense of it all,
in terms of what fits where and when, would be an even greater challenge!
Originally Posted by Angel of Blood
Don't even get me started on the anthology releases that are 90% what we already have read from eBook shorts or the Limited Editions with perhaps one, maybe two new shorts.
The anthology format, in itself, doesn't bother me. What I think is
a travesty is the utter lack of effort to provide a rather loyal customer base with an accessible, regularly updated product that shows where each story - regardless of format - falls. How hard would that be? More than one private party has attempted to do so, via graphics, Excel-based spreadsheets, etc. Why is it that the only effort on the part of Black Library (that I'm aware of) was a "reading order list" that more or less followed the order in which the various releases were published?