Saturday, 7 July 2012

The Price of an Aussie Book!

It astounds me just how high the price of paperback books are in Australia. Is it the same in other countries or is Australia again (see cd's etc)  paying over the top prices for a paperback?

Here in Ozzie (we'll pay overs) land, we pay around $34:00 for a paperback in a bookstore - now why pay that when you can buy the same book through Amazon for a lot cheaper? Are people really so into the browsing (and the instant gratification) that they are willing to pay at least $10:00 more for the same book?

I think the book stores are being foolish letting the big publishing companies force these prices upon them - especially when the same publishers then let discount bookshops sell relatively recently published books by them for as little as $5:00 - again why shop in a normal bookshop when you can hunt down one of these cheap bookshops and buy good books for  about a 6th of what you pay in a normal bookstore.

What is going on here?

Is it just poor practice? A result of publishers and bookshops not understanding the new world of the internet - I am really how new is it anyway - and surely even a bookseller reads the occasional paper and sees the trend in retails and can guess what might happen to their business.

And why in this world of digital printing do publishers insist on the big runs which then force them to sell lots of stock dirt cheap outlets (as in Dirt Cheap Books etc.) - which hurts the author who gets a percentage of $5:00 rather than the larger, original price.

Are these people stuck in the last century?


Is there a plan afoot?

Do publishers want to see the bookshops crash, the authors struggle for a pittance?

Is it in their interest for this to occur?

It could be. What if they then took over the control of retail distribution, instead of allowing bookshops that profit? Could we see Random House bookshops? Penguin bookshops etc?

They could then stipulate the price and have an even greater leverage on both the market (and a book's popularity) and on an author's percentage.

I do not know if any of this is true but here in Australia we can see the bookshops dwindling and yet at the same time (and even with the advent of Amazon etc) the price for books rising and large print runs allowing cheap books to flood the market.

My publisher - free plug - Dragonfall Press do their publishing the digital way and this allows them to keep the cost of their books way down - at least $10:00 cheaper than most other, new and original paperbacks.  It also means they don't have old stock gathering dust or they don't flood the market with a book of mine for $3:00 or whatever. If a small, independent publisher can operate this way why are the large publishers apparent Ludittes when it comes to the publishing of their new books?

It does seem odd - doesn't it?

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