Re: RARA-AVIS: Two buck books

From: hardcasecrime (
Date: 17 Oct 2007

> That's what publishers' conventions are
> for, to set the price that all publishers
> will adhere to.

No offense, Patrick, but that's utter nonsense. We have probably strayed sufficiently from the topic of the list (which is mystery fiction, not the business of publishing) that we should take any further discussion on this topic offline -- but I can assure you that that's *not* what publishers' conventions are for.

There's passion for a point of view you want to defend, there's stubbornness in defending a point, and then there's outright paranoia. I fear this discussion is wandering toward the wrong end of that spectrum.

Let's not even get started on the subject of capital punishment.

Mystery fiction, people. That's what we're here to talk about. My apologies for the part I played in diverting the conversation in this direction; let's return to the list's regularly scheduled programming.


--- In, Patrick King <abrasax93@...> wrote:
> You're missing the picture here, Kevin. $2.25 is the
> modern equivalent of 35 cents in 1960. If books made a
> profit at 35 cents in 1960, what's changed that makes
> it impossible to make a profit with books for $2.25
> today. Sure, publishers make more by selling fewer
> books at $10 each. But consequently, fewer of us are
> willing, maybe even able to try new writers. The
> argument that cheaper books don't sell rings hollow
> when those cheaper books are not marketed even as well
> as the 35 cent books were in 1960. Hell, you can print
> up a million books to sell at a buck a copy, keep them
> in a warehouse, then say, "people don't buy dollar
> books 'cause I've got a whole warehouse full of 'em."
> There are basically two ways of generating a profit:
> You make a few things that are difficult to
> manufacture and you sell them at a high price. Or you
> make a lot of things that are easy to manufacture and
> sell them at a low price. This is how commerce worked
> for centuries. In the midst of the electronic
> revolution, some joker realized that you can put a
> high price on something that's easy to manufacture and
> as long as the public has no alternative, they'll
> eventually pay the price. That's what publishers'
> conventions are for, to set the price that all
> publishers will adhere to. In 1969 you could buy a
> good new car or a college education for $3,000 in the
> United States. By 1999, not only had the price for
> these items increased literally ten times, but every
> citizen of the US is hard pressed to just get by
> without both of them. These are examples of things
> that were expensive to begin with because hard to
> deliver.
> If you go to the Odd Lot Traders here in New England,
> you can buy all of the Harry Potter paperbacks for
> $2.49. I don't know how this works. These are popular
> books, MPR 8.99, and a discount store sells brand new
> copies, covers in tact for $2.49? Do they get these
> books for free? Or is the initial price so inflated
> that after the publisher has sold as many as they can
> to the suckers who just couldn't wait, at ten bucks
> per, they're now prepared to sell their giant
> remainder pile to those of us who are mildly curious,
> at a normal price.
> I mean, didn't we see this absolute scenario occur
> with the Iphone a few weeks ago? All those jerks stood
> in line all night to be the frist to buy an Iphone,
> and ten days later Apple dropped the price by $200!
> These tactics ARE being employed in the USA. Nearly
> everything is marked up 1000%. Sales departments find
> it much more profitable to sell things at very high
> prices to a few consumers, then sell the remainder at
> a mere 500% mark up when the style changes. Everybody
> thinks they've got a bargain and the sales
> department's laughing all the way to the bank.
> The fact that they've actually convinced you that
> everything HAS to be this way in order for you,
> personally, to make a living is a level of con
> artistry the equivelant of selling the Brooklyn
> Bridge. The giant profits made in overpricing stay in
> the pockets of the people who set it up. The rest of
> us are paid out of operating expenses.
> As to capital punishment, Ted Bundy kill any girls in
> your neighborhood lately? How about Aileen Wournos? Or
> Charley Starkweather? Hear about them killing anybody
> recently? If not, I guess capital punishment managed
> to deter them pretty effectively.
> Patrick King
> --- Kevin Burton Smith
> <kvnsmith@...> wrote:
> >
> > Patrick King said: "I'd love to see a return to a
> > $2.00 paperback book.
> > Don't tell me no one can make money doing that."
> >
> > Sure, and your salary can revert to what it would
> > have been back when paperbacks were two bucks.
> > Don't tell me your boss will mind doing that."
> >
> > Sorry, Patrick. It ain't gonna happen, unless
> > everyone (including the author) agrees not to make
> > any money on it. Me, personally? I like to get paid.
> >
> > And as for capital punishment, if it really was a
> > deterrent, the few countries that still routinely
> > execute prisoners would also be the safest.
> >
> > They aren't. Look out the window.
> >
> >
> > Kevin
> >
> >
> >
> > [Non-text portions of this message have been
> > removed]
> >
> >
> Moody friends. Drama queens. Your life? Nope! - their life, your
story. Play Sims Stories at Yahoo! Games.

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