Friday, November 9, 2012

How much is your book worth?

I've previously written about book pricing and value. I recently purchased the book shown at the upper-left, mainly because it was published by the company I love to hate: Outskirts Press. I was curious to see how bad it was, and if the $24.95 list price could be justified.

The book is pretty good (it definitely needs more editing) but the price is absurd. Books are not judged based on the number of pages per dollar, but publishers must consider perceived value and importance to potential readers.

This is not a book that is vital for career advancement, business, medicine, technology or government -- and it has many less-expensive competitors.

Most $24.95 books are hardcovers with 300 or more pages. This is a puny paperback. As with most books of 'secrets,' it contains no secrets.

It may offer "more for the money" than the other books about car flipping (and they apparently were never edited). But, will the casual book buyer who wants to learn a bit about car flipping appreciate the difference and be persuaded to spend a lot more money? Maybe not.

Examine the competition when you price your book. Don't fall into the trap of deciding that your book is worth more because it's fancier, or a p-book rather than an e-book. Book pricing should not be based on egomania. Readers who just want basic information quickly may not care. E-books have put huge pricing pressure on p-books. The book world has changed, for better and for worse.

Outskirts Press brags that "Only Outskirts Press grants you full control over all your pricing." That's not necessarily a good thing. Because Outskirts makes most of its money by selling services to authors -- not books to readers -- it has little incentive to tell an author, "Hey, your price is so high that no one will buy it."

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