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Barbour Reintroduces Serial Fiction

In each of the first five of six installments of the Discover: A Lancaster County Saga, there isn’t a neat bow at the end to wrap up the story. This new set of releases from Wanda Brunstetter — releasing each month between February and July — is more serial than series.

Part six of the one-a-month series releases in July.

Part six of the one-a-month series releases in July.

The first book retails at $4.97 US (approx 120 pages) with the remaining five retailing at $6.99 US.  This means the customer will have paid $39.92 by the summer for approximately 720 mass market sized pages.  Good value?

When first introduced, Wanda Brunstetter’s titles reflected Barbour Publishing’s positioning as a promotional-price publisher. But later releases, such as the bestselling Half Stitched Amish Quilt — being made into a sage show — were in line with other Christian fiction at $14.99 US. In all respects, Brunstetter and Beverley Lewis led the way in the Amish Christian fiction genre; a market that is today saturated with new releases each quarter.

Will customers shell out $40 for the books? Are they aware what they are getting into? The “part one of six” is clearly inscribed on the cover of the first one, but at an introductory price, consumers might falsely assume the investment to be only $30. (Canadian prices are higher.) And the size of the books bear an eerie resemblance to the pocket-sized books from Barbour which sold in the $1 to $2 range.

Not exactly a bargain from a former bargain book publisher.

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