And it gets more complicated...

The Science Fiction Book Club seems to run a lot of deals. They had a buy two books, get a third (of lesser or equal value) for $1.99. Then they had, at least briefly, a buy two, get one free special, just to rub it in that I'd fallen for the previous deal.

The current deal?

1 Book for $12.50 or 3+ for $10 each is valid for a limited time.

1 book for $12.50 or 3+ for $10 each applies to books each with a minimum Member's Edition price of $10 and maximum price of $35. Combos, Featured Selections, Audio, Merchandise, Savings Plus, BookSearchPLUS and other specialty priced selections are not eligible for this special offer.
Only items purchased at Member's Edition price count toward your Membership Commitment.

So now, they're trying to get me to order the three most expensive books -- up to $35 -- that I'd considered, but didn't bite because they were too steep. I don't really have any in that category, but it does make for another level of bargain gaming. I needed to buy 4 books in a year of $10 or more. So with the buy two, get 1 reduced or free, I shoot for two relatively close to $10 and another that I would like to get for cheap. Now, with 1-3 for under thirteen, the deal is to scour the site for the most expensive books I could want and order them now, while the gettin' is good.

They're clever. I'm guessing the Club pays a flat rate to print X copies of a certain edition, and then how they pull the cash back out is totally up to them. If they've got a backlog of older $20+ books, this is a good way to clear them out. To feel like you're getting a deal, you have to go out of your way to search for ones with higher prices.

Also keep in mind that this deal is largely for those who have already purchased their commitment and have stuck around. None of these would count towards my four for the year. They're additional books, no matter who is buying.

Also strange -- when I remove the automatically entered coupon code for the book-for-$12.50-and-three-for-$10 promotion, the buy two, get one deal pops back in, which, for people shooting closer to $10 books, is a much better deal. You can knock two off your requirement and bag another newish book, the real strength of the SFBC, for under market price.

But the main reason for marking this deal's existence here is for those who join and do find books who aren't necessarily the newest and whose prices are a ways above $10, keep those in mind & wait a while. Your deal might be coming soon.