Last night we went to the store. It was one of those big “buy anything” stores, and of course my boyfriend and I stopped at the book section and took a look.
Several of the books caught my eyes. I loved their covers, I liked their descriptions. One made me pick it up and do a double take. It was bright pink with a pentagram on it. Urban fantasy? Yes. Please. Another proved to be a science fiction fantasy series that I new I would love.
Then I looked at their prices.
Why won’t I buy a paperback in a shop like Target, or FredMyers? Because you are charging $13 for a paperback, that’s why. That is double what I use to pay. They’ve also made paperbacks into larger sizes instead of the cute little pocket editions I use to get, so they don’t match up with my selves and shelves of pocket edition books. They fit great with the hard covers, but they aren’t hard covers.
I looked the books up on Amazon. I’ve never done that before. I’ve taken a few pictures of books as a reminder that they look interesting and I might like them later, but I never looked a book up on amazon specifically to buy them before. Even then I hesitated because the prices were high and I already had a stack of books to finish reading.
There are so many good books out there. Books I’d love to buy and read, books I’d love to own to stick on my shelf. They have beautiful covers, and the stories sound interesting…but that third item, the price, also has to be right.
Maybe I’m cheap when it comes to books. Maybe I have unreasonable expectations because I bought so many of them brand new when they were only $7. Or maybe the publishing industry has changed and I just don’t like the way it’s changed. But when the ebook is $7-12 I simply can’t be bothered to buy it brand new anymore.
Part of this is probably because I’ve seen behind the curtain. I know that if I buy that $13 dollar book the author isn’t going to get much of that money anyway, but if I buy a kindle book from an indie author for $5 that author is going to make 70% of the cover price. That seems like a better bargain to me because I’m supporting the person who is actually writing the book, and the more I support them the more books there will be.
I use to listen to a lovely author’s podcast. She had some great fiction, and I liked her books. She traditionally published. At the end of her podcasts she would sometimes say “If you really enjoyed this please buy it to let the publisher know you want more. Because if you don’t buy it there won’t be more books” or something to that effect.
I did buy one when it came on sale because I do like the author and I wanted to support her. But I would have bought all of her books had the prices not been set so high buy the publisher. And it saddened me that she would abandon a really great series just because a publisher didn’t think it was making enough. She had so many followers. She would have been able to support herself easily if she had to produce more books through self publishing.
Anyway, that’s my rant for the day.