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. identicon
    Freedom, 11 Feb 2010 @ 10:42pm

    Let the scanning begin...

    Music is easy to copy and put online
    Movies are easy to copy and put online

    How long until the publishing industry pi**es off enough people so that scanning becomes just as common as burning a CD used to be. It amazes me that the publishers forget that there are options and just like in the music and now movie world, people will copy if they don't like the price. While I think in general that most avid readers are less likely to pirate, at some point something even in a pay friendly group will click and the paradigm shift will be made.

    I think it is time to take eBooks to a $5 level to 'own' and a $1 to $2 option for a 90 day rental and to just kill the mass printing of books and just do niche high-end book prints for those interested in collecting. For those that say there just isn't any profit at those levels, I just don't buy it especially if you take the print equation out of it at the mass/non-niche print level.

    Freedom

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