Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Special editions are out of control: Caraval & The Cruel Prince


In 2017, way back when only Caraval was out in the wild, I made a post discussing how out of control it seemed special editions were. Oh, what a sweet summer child I was. At the time of that original post there were only 12 editions of Caraval but I'm back with an update! Buckle up, collectors!

I'm here again to talk about the ridiculous number of special editions on the market for books that have been out for a very, very short time. Today I'm focusing specifically on two of the series that seem particularly out of control at the moment: Caraval and The Folk of the Air. Correct me if my math is wrong. Numbers are hard. (Again, I'll be sticking to US and UK editions for the sake of time.)

Caraval: 13, Legendary: 11, Finale: 11

This time around all three books in the series have been published and they are all fantastic! While Finale was the weakest of the three in my opinion, I still collected each one in both the standard US and UK editions. I also ended up with some extras of Finale since the publisher and book boxes all decided to go off the deep end with that one. I did not collect the UK paperbacks, but they're out there too. 

It isn't unusual to have separate hardcover and paperback releases, nor is it unusual to have different covers in different countries. There were also B&N editions of Legendary and Finale. So far, so good. 

But. UK editions of the Caraval editions are more than they appear. 

Each UK edition is actually FOUR editions - each one has four hidden covers. In fact, there were five editions of Caraval: four "standard" hidden covers and one Tesco exclusive.

But wait, there's more! All three books had Goldsboro releases, which were signed, numbered, and had sprayed pages. In addition, there was a misprint Goldsboro release of Caraval that is also a collector's item. You might think that's enough, but no!

There are even more exclusive editions! Caraval received multiple special edition paperbacks in the UK while Legendary received a Waterstones exclusive paperback edition. Finale was the real icing on the cake, though. On top of the US and UK editions, Goldsboro edition, and B&N edition of Finale, Fairyloot and Owlcrate both had their own exclusive editions.


As if all of that wasn't enough, there has recently been an announcement of a new deluxe edition set by Fairyloot! For whatever reason, there will be three new books with three new covers. I am honestly baffled at this new set, but I digress.

The Cruel Prince: 6, The Wicked King/The Queen of Nothing: 5 

I hadn't actually started reading The Cruel Prince when I made my first post, but now I'm sucked into that series, so it has found a place today. When the first book was published, Owlcrate immediately jumped on board and created different covers, so they're going to be included with the standard editions here. 

For whatever reason, the UK cover of The Cruel Prince had a very slightly different cover than the US version, but that hasn't happened in the other two releases. Each one had a B&N exclusive cover and each has an Owlcrate cover as well. 

For the release of The Queen of Nothing Fairyloot has thrown its hat in the ring with a new edition. This will include an exclusive cover and sprayed edges. Of course, you know they'll be selling matching editions of the first two later on!

Then, for REASONS, Illumicrate is also releasing their own special edition of The Cruel Prince! This one will have an exclusive cover and special dust jackets. Obviously there will also be editions of the other two to match on sale next year. Literally who asked for all of these?? This series has been out for LESS THAN TWO YEARS!

I just. Why? I have seen other bloggers complain about the entitlement of the people who do set out to own each and every edition and that is NOT what I'm here to do. If this is your passion and you can afford it, by all means!

I am a book collector and I am obsessive when it comes to my favorite series. While I do not have any intention of collecting EVERY edition of Caraval, I actually do have six copies of it including advance copies. But what I don't understand is why there are so many special/exclusive/collector's/deluxe editions of books that have been in the world for under three years!

I'm not sure exactly why, but it makes me uncomfortable to see publishers engaged in what seems to be a blatant money grab by allowing so many exclusives to be published at once. And honestly, how special are they really when there are just SO many?