The other day, I bought The Year’s Best SF #1, edited by David G. Hartwell. I was between books, and this one was 99¢ on the Kindle store: a bargain.
I wonder, sometimes, about all those 99¢ Kindle books. Surely nobody involved makes any money, selling e-books so cheaply. (In all likelihood, 99¢ doesn’t even cover the cost of bandwidth to download it.) Maybe they’re loss leaders? Am I supposed to read The Year’s Best SF #1, then rush to buy the rest of the series?
They’re all 99¢, up to #11; then the price begins to creep upward. #18, published just last year, is full price ($9.99). I could buy the complete series, for about the price of a single hardcover edition. That’s quite a deal for me, but what’s in it for the publisher?
The first story in #1 is Think Like A Dinosaur, by James Patrick Kelly…which, as it turns out, I’d read once before: probably in Gardner Dozois’ Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirteenth Annual Collection, published in 1996, the same year as #1. (But I didn’t read it until late 1997.)
I suppose there’s always a bit of overlap between Dozois and Hartwell.
My Hartwell Number – if we can pretend for a moment that such a metric exists, and isn’t completely frivolous – is four: David G. Hartwell edits (has edited?) anthologies with Kathryn Cramer, who has (once had?) some kind of business connection with Stephen Wolfram, who owns the company I work for.
I suppose that says more about the three of them than it does about me, but I’ll take my self-esteem anywhere I can get it.