There’s a new book dropping next Tuesday that’s getting really good reviews and seems like a fun read. So I thought I might go ahead and grab it.
I just came here from Amazon, where I see the book priced at $14.99.
I will not buy it.
Listen, I know all your arguments, Publishing Industry, about how the real cost of the book is not in the paper and ink and shipping but in the vetting and marketing and whathaveyou. I write books after a fashion and I know they are someone’s hard work.
But I simply cannot reconcile paying $15 for something that seems so ephemeral. I know the story is the thing. But I can’t help feeling as though the $15 comes with an awful lot of padding. And I’ll tell you this thing I’ve learned after years of living and working and buying and selling.
A thing is only worth what people will ultimately pay for it. We’re talking business terms, here. I know that people’s time and creative energy is priceless, irreplacable, etc. But when you get right down to it, a book is only worth $15 if your customers feel that is a fair price. And as hot as the Kindle is right now, with as many people like me who are buying books hand over fist, there is a difference between a digital file and a hardbound, embossed, smythe-sewn book with a four-colour dust jacket. It’s the same psychological effect that makes a quarter seem worth more than a dime and three nickles. Some things just seem like they should cost more.
And some things seem like they should cost less.