RARA-AVIS: Two Dollar Books

From: Rick Ollerman ( ollerman@hotmail.com)
Date: 15 Oct 2007

While I enjoyed Charles' explanation of the retail economics of cheaper books, I can't help but wonder if there's a big hole in the argument that needs filling. Namely, citing instances where a publisher offered low priced editions that were sales duds, if the books themselves aren't something I care to spend my time reading, you could offer them for a nickel and I wouldn't buy them. It seems to me that if the majority of major publishers simultaneously dropped their paperback prices, that that could not but positively affect sales more than the negligible amounts in Charles' example. Not that it could ever happen...

Like Patrick says, taking a flyer on a ten dollar paperback on a new (to me) author is too much. I'm on a personal crusade to NOT buy any of these inch-taller ten-dollar new versions of mass market paperbacks. So far I've been able to convert these would-be purchases to second hand hardcovers from internet sources. If I'm going to pay ten bucks for a paperback, I'll pay ten or eleven or twelve for a used hardcover just so I don't feel that the publishers have got one over on me with their "specially designed for easier reading" nonsense.

Aside from content and covers, Hard Case's "traditional" size and lower retail price are enough for me as a fan boy to gleefully gobble up everything they publish. Call it "publisher appreciation." Someone please tell me I'm not alone in this?

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