I haven’t asked, because I know what their answer would be. Like other business persons, publishers don’t want to compete with themselves, and this is what they’d be doing if they offered an omnibus volume of these three novels; this volume would simply be competing with the individual novels. Every dollar it earned would be at the expense of the individual novels, so what would be the point?
You will see publishers issue omnibus volumes from popular authors, but they do this when the individual novels are past their prime or out of print; putting them in a bargain package gives them a second life. From a public-service point of view, I agree that the omnibus Ishmael volume would be a good thing—but it definitely wouldn’t be a good thing from my publisher’s point of view, at least at this point in time.
updated: 08 Apr 2003