I already own the hardback but want the special content that comes in the paperback version of a book (“Magnus’ Vow”, etc), what can I do?
I understand that special content may be frustrating — you may already have the paperback but the special content is in the hardcover. There may be different editions of hardcovers that you are forced to choose between. You may live in a country where my books are not published in hardback, so there is no new paperback edition and therefore no special content. Let me take a moment to explain what special content is for.
My publisher(s) produce, or ask me to produce, fun extras for different editions to incentivize bookstores and other outlets (libraries, etc) to get excited about the book. In the case of Magnus’ Vow, the short story is in response to bookstores’ request for special content aimed at those who do not realize the Infernal Devices exist, or do not realize they are connected to the Mortal Instruments.
If you really want to read Magnus’ Vow but already own the hardcover of Clockwork Angel, I would recommend asking the library for a copy. Libraries are generally very good about having popular paperbacks on hand. As for content that comes in the back of hardbacks, I always post it online as soon as the exclusivity period (usually 3-6 months) is up. For instance, you can read the letter that was included in the back of the US hardcover City of Fallen Angels here along with other special content I have written just for online fans. [Unfortunately I can't say the same for Magnus' Vow. Unlike hardbacks, which sellout or stop being produced in the first 12 months of publication, paperbacks are forever. Until S&S decides to stop using the story in the paperback, I can't post it online. I don't have the legal right to do that.]
I’ve been in this position before myself — I’ve bought a hardback from an author I like only to find there was a special new edition, or some extra content in the paperback. I think of it as the difference between seeing a movie onscreen and buying the DVD, which will have extra footage/bloopers/what have you. Yes, the people buying the DVD get extra stuff, but I got to see the movie first, and in my preferred way. For those of you who feel like those who are buying the paperback now are getting a better deal: remember, you got something they didn’t. You got to read the book more than a year before them.
If you’re still really mad, you can write to Simon and Schuster — ultimately the fact that these extras exist and the way they are used is up to them.