12/02/2008

When I am King: Price Fixing

When I am King...

My book will be significantly cheaper.

Oh wait - it already is!

Just in time for the holidays: the price of the book When I am King... has been slashed from $14.30 down to $7.95. (By the way, isn't slashed such a nice term for price reduction? It connotes both a price cut and a bloody horror film in 7 easy letters). The original price was, I thought, a reasonable price for the category of "as a favor to the author," but this new price is I believe closer to a real price for a real book.

But why, might you ask, did the book ever get priced so high to begin with? Was it like small colleges with tuitions so painfully unaffordable that you remember your education for every ensuing day of your debt-ridden life? Or was it that the humor in the book was so sophisticated that it could only be appreciated at double-digit prices? Or was it instead that the publisher foresaw that the book would surely become a collectors' item, soon available on auction sites at huge multiples of that price?

In fact, the answer is far more interesting: I could see the impending economic world disaster and wanted to do my part by being able to offer the book later at a substantial discount. In this small way, I wanted to help shoppers feel that they were saving money that they could then put toward other, less important things in life like rent, food, and chemotherapy treatments. By spending less on this book, buyers can now afford to both live a little longer and enjoy the book. I would hate for people to have to choose between these two priorities, so it is wonderful to be able to provide the option of having both. Or of having two books instead for about the same price.

Buy it for yourself or as a present, or for yourself in the present. And when times get really tough, think of it as 170 pieces of paper that you got at the cheap price of under five cents each.

And if you number among the privileged few that took advantage of the offer to buy the book at the exciting, earlier, higher price, congratulations for owning the truly collectable First Edition of the book.

For anyone that actually cares about the real story:
I found a new publisher, createspace, which makes it possible to publish on Amazon.com at a much better (read: lower) price. Lulu.com, my first publisher, provides a reasonable service. But if you want to sell the book anywhere outside of the Lulu site, such as on Amazon, you basically double the retail price, which is how I got such an extraodinary price as $14.80 when the book first came out. The Lulu quality is quite good, and the pages seem to be of heavier weight and creamier complexion than those of the createspace edition ... but I doubt people want to buy this book because of what's on the inside. Instead, I think people generally judge a book by its cover.
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