So Volume 4 is apparently Just Out This Month. It is almost certainly going to contain such comic gems as "If you kids don't keep it down back there, so help me, I'll turn this funeral around..." (featuring Boneclaw Mother, who could pass for Gytha Ogg in a light dim enough to hide her huge teeth, her alarming eating habits and ears that could be used as rotor blades) and the return of literature's youngest Hag, and maybe even as far as "Maps? There are no maps" (which is still pinned up to the board in my office); although it probably won't get quite as far as Grim Eyes' attempts to be chivalrous to Herne.
So, guessing that buying Volume 4 from the actual publisher instead of Amazon would cut out their middle-man take, I head over to the publisher's web site and start going through all the hoops you have to go through if you want to buy something off the Internet.
Until I find out the postage cost.
US $27.00. For a book that weighs less than a pound and itself only costs US $18.95.
Went back to my previous order confirmation thingy and confirmed that the entire postage cost for my first parcel of books (the first three printed books, plus a prose novel, weighing about three pounds, total) was about US $36.00. That was almost reasonable in comparison.
Now I've sent books and stuff to America before. The most recent time I can remember, the total postage cost from here (and from memory) was only about US $10.00. In fact, considering this Volume 4 is a comic collection that would almost certainly be less than 20 mm thick, I could probably send it to America from here for less than US $2.50. That's something like one tenth as much as what I'd be billed the other way around if I tried ordering direct from the publisher.
So it looks like I'll have to deal with Amazon after all. With Amazon, I can order some other stuff I've been interested in as well and spread the freight cost out a bit further (and Amazon's freight costs themselves are a lot cheaper - I now see why everything I've received from Amazon has been posted in Germany, though!) Unfortunately the publisher is a small enough press that there isn't really anything else in their catalogue that I'd really want to pay for (well, there's something promising looking that's scheduled for some time next year, but I don't really want to wait that long).
So I'm stuck with the following options:
* Pay over the cost of the book again just for postage,
* Buy another handful of books and try to sell the spares on Trade Me, on the assumption that I'm not the only tightarse around who doesn't want to pay some godsawful postage cost,
* Wait another year or so for ordering it from the publisher until more stuff that looks readable gets released, if it gets released, that is, and
* Wait until it shows up on Amazon and buy it with some other stuff I'm vaguely looking at buying, in order to spread the postage cost more thinly.
Personally I'm likely to go for the last option, but it isn't really ideal. Grrrrrr and all that.