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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
    HunterA3 (profile), 12 Feb 2010 @ 1:21pm

    Authors and Publishers don't get it

    They think because the ebook is so convenient and the new thing that we're going to pay similar prices to a physical book. Either they don't care or don't realize that people want to be able to do with their ebooks that they've always done with their physical books--loan them to friends, keep them forever, and pass them on to their children. You can't do any of those with an ebook. So, the price is lower because you don't own it, you're leasing it. Seems like a fair trade off to me.

    I'd rather not kill trees, but if corporate greed gets in the way, like it has with everything else gone digital, I'll stick to a good old fashion bookshelf full of dead trees.

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