Author Claims $9.99 Is Not A 'Real Price' For Books

from the oh-really? dept

The NY Times is running an article about how publishers' recent attempts (mostly successful) to boost the retail price of ebooks may backfire really badly as consumers revolt. Most of it is not particularly new to regular readers here, but it does talk to one author whose book received bad reviews on Amazon after his publisher decided to hold off releasing an ebook, hoping that it would "protect" hardcover sales. The author, Douglas Preston, lashes out and attacks his fans, rather than being willing to admit that his customers are telling him something:
"The sense of entitlement of the American consumer is absolutely astonishing.... It's the Wal-Mart mentality, which in my view is very unhealthy for our country. It's this notion of not wanting to pay the real price of something.... It gives me pause when I get 50 e-mails saying 'I'm never buying one of your books ever again. I'm moving on, you greedy, greedy author.'"
So, what's a bigger sense of entitlement? The one where your customers tell you that you've priced something too high and that they're going to spend their money with others who are offering something at a price point they like? Or the one where you insist that books have to be priced high because you want them to be priced high? I'd argue it's the latter... Along those lines, $9.99 is a real price. Just because you don't like what the market decides a book is worth, doesn't mean that it's not a real price.

Filed Under: books, douglas preston, ebooks, entitlement, pricing


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  1. icon
    The Buzz Saw (profile), 11 Feb 2010 @ 5:37pm

    HUH???

    The Walmart mentality is unhealthy for this country? Really? Given the economic circumstances, I'd say the Walmart mentality is just what this country needs. (Whether Walmart itself is good for this country is a different discussion.) People should look for ways to save money. It is GOOD that people are saving money, using discretion, and evaluating purchases.

    Frankly, I see this author as neither a businessman nor an artist. He is not a businessman because he fails to understand how pricing works in the market. He is not an artist because he has no passion in seeing that his words are read by as many people as possible. He has become some horrific hybrid monstrosity that insists that everyone read his books and pay full price for doing so. I never thought I'd see that day that people would be insulted for wanting to save money.

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