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Yeah, see? Didn't I say this a few weeks ago? You're seeing the light. Not worth it. And *guilting* readers into it by explaining why they should be grateful for a price like that (

Yes, wait for it at the library, at Half Price Books, or pb.

Conroy can probably afford for you to borrow it from the library. It's beginning authors, or niche authors, or authors with smaller presses that need our bucks. And that's where I spend mine.

Wait long enough Jeff it may end up in the Bargain Books section for $5.98-that's where I've been getting quite a few of my bestseller books lately.

We just ordered Julia Child's cookbook, you know the one that's the main event in the new movie? Apparently it's sold out everywhere, so I ordered it online because it was listed at half price, but still it's $22.

and then we found out my in-laws have this very cookbook. That they found in a secondhand store for $2. I believe it's even a first edition.

I had a really intelligent comment to make about book pricing ... but now all I can think about is Jeff dancing to Boom Boom Pow.

On the other side of this, there's the whole Kindle movement. I've sold upwards of 5,000 units since mid-May by dropping the price point to a buck.

For a book that got rejected by everyone any way, I see no downside of pricing it at a dollar, selling 10,000 units/year, and netting 40-50 reviews on Amazon.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see which way the cultural tide is turning. 30 bucks for a Pat Conroy or a buck for a perfectly capable Stacey Cochran suspense-thriller with blurbs from Sean Doolittle and J.D Rhoades?

I mean even the biggest haters of self-publishing can't say they'd rather shill out 30 bucks for Conroy.

As much as it pains me to pay that much for a hardcover, it's Conroy, the writer who can rip out my heart and make me laugh my head off in the same paragraph, if not the same sentence.

Look at it this way, Jeff. He only publishes a book every decade and a half so the pain is spread out. Unfortunately, we can't amortize the payment. *g*

How do you think us Nora Roberts fans will cope when they start charging $30 for her hardcovers? She writes around 3 a year on top of her paperbacks -- some of which are now released as more expensive trade size.

On the flip side, I was a little pissed off that JA Konrath's Cherry Bomb had a lower price point than expected at Borders. (And that was before the discount.) So, the whole basic economic supply and demand thing applies to publishing, too. Conroy is more established, longer career and infrequently published so they charge more for his books to make back on his assuredly huge advance.

Joe puts out a great book a year but he hasn't been in the game as long, so they price him lower. Hopefully that will help more people make the decision to try out his books so he can build up.

You're right on the money, Jeff. Thirty bucks is too high for a book. I'm sure, though, that the publisher would tell you that it's necessary because of ungodly increases in the costs of paper and ink (true), steep rises in shipping costs (true), heavier promotional expenses in the face of fewer people in the bookstores (true), and what is undoubtedly a very big advance paid to Conroy.

The book business, as everyone knows, has shifted in recent years toward big advances for a few sure-fire authors who have guaranteed big sales awaiting each book. This of course comes at the expense of lesser-known authors or first-timers (like myuself) who have to scramble for the little bit that's left over, and generally get lost in the shuffle.

You know, the same disease infected the record business a few years back. You had just a few big artists taking down all the big money, with very little opportunity remaining for the up-and-comers. The record companies, in all their short-sighted glory, decided to plunge ahead with the certainty of Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey and overlook all others. Then, along came digitization, and where are the record companies now? Where even are the record stores?

Publishers beware!
--Mike Dennis
Las Vegas

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