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 @ 5:46pm

    Also...

    It also disturbs me that so-called artists have determined that the value of art is expressed solely through the amount of money it rakes in. According to them, a song that is heard by a million people is less valuable than a song sold to one person for $1.

    I have nothing against this author wanting to be paid for his work. Hard work deserves to be rewarded, but if artists had their way, we would all pay an art tax that is distributed to artists everywhere. In other words, we would pay for art we never even went out an enjoyed. That is the attitude these artists take.

    If you want to make more money, lower your prices, and score extra revenue in the added volume. Stop crying about how much individual copies sell for!

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