Friday, June 15, 2018

Book prices can be mysterious--and amusing

Prices fascinate me. For books, food, anything, everything.
  • There are Chinese restaurants on the upper west side of Manhattan where you can pay $4.95 for a large order of fried rice. However, if you are willing to accept four delicious chicken wings along with the rice, the total price drops to just $2.95.
  • The price for a slice of ordinary American cheese in a Greek diner can be 50 cents, a buck or even $2--depending on what it's attached to.
  • The "list" prices for ebooks almost always end with 99 cents. For pbooks (printed books), the price usually ends with 95 cents. Nobody seems to know who made up the rule.
  • Independent ("self") publishers often have an unrealistically high opinion of their work, and price them too high to sell many. This blog post will help you to price properly.
  • Online prices from major and minor booksellers often make no sense. It's common to see used books advertised for more than new ones, and even 'used' books advertised within minutes of publication--when no used copies should be available.

I just checked the Barnes & Noble website to see if they'd started selling my newest book, What's Wrong With Trump? They don't have it yet, but prices for some of my other books makes no sense at all. Some are selling for more than list price. One paperback is selling for a nickel more than the hardcover version. Three books are priced at $18.95, $19.00 and $19.02. Surely, they could all be priced the same.

B&N has been slowly slipping into the retail sewer for a decade. Is the wacky pricing a cause or an effect?

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