Re: RARA-AVIS: Short and cheap

From: Patrick King (
Date: 15 Oct 2007

--- Curt Purcell <> wrote:

> --- In, Patrick King
> <abrasax93@...> wrote:
> >
> > If you put them
> > in wire, rotating racks in stores where comics and
> > magazines are sold, in bus stations and airports,
> etc;
> > if you put them around like the old Dell
> Paperbacks,
> > and Gold Medal, and Ace, and Pyramid, you'd sell a
> lot
> > more copies.
> Um, Patrick, I can't even remember the last time I
> saw a wire spinner
> like the kind you're talking about. Certainly not
> in this decade!
****************************** Yeah! And that's my point. That was an effective way to sell paperbacks, a cheap, easy to buy, easy to read format. Just because nobody's still doing it does not mean it no longer will work. I think commerce in the United States anyway, is suffering from too much education. Nothing is designed to make a comfortable profit. Everything is aimed at larger and progressively larger profits until the buyers start saying, 'Wait a minute; do I even want to buy this, never mind need to buy it.'

> The only books I ever see placed for impulse buying
> these days are
> "inspirational." Blech--how depressing!

There are lots of "impulse" books in supermarkets, drug stores, truck stops, and airport and bus stations. They just all tend to be by the same publishers and they're romance novels, romance disguised as mystery novels, or horror novel knock-offs of Stephen King's style. Lately I've also seen a lot of western stories making a come-back. None of them are cheap. They're all priced around $10 which is not an impulse price to me. If I look at a book and think, hey, that's an exciting cover. Maybe this'd be a good read, then see it costs 8.99 + tax, if I don't love the author or have some sort of emotional investment in the book, that's a deal killer. When a sandwich and a cup of coffee is $10 at a lunch counter
(if you can find one!) another $10 for a book makes it a $20 lunch by yourself! In the old days, you'd pick up a 35 cent book and maybe it was great, and maybe it was not very great at all but you could learn a little something from every writer. Today, if the book I read isn't GREAT, and a lot of them are not, I feel absolutely ripped off after dropping ten bucks on the thing. I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking this money thing in the US has got to stop. I really don't want to spend my time struggling to make more and more money to pay higher and higher entertainment costs. I hope it doesn't take a depression to bring this thing back in a reasonable direction.

Patrick King

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