When book pricing exceeds the quality... (Am I a snob?)

Discussion in 'Non-WOT - Literature and Fiction' started by Erin al'Denael, Jul 28, 2020.

  1. Erin al'Denael

    Erin al'Denael Ban Hammer, Scourge of Spambots Everywhere Aes Sedai Director of Community Outreach

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    Anyone else have the problem (or encounter the situation, or whatever) where an author (or the publishing company) jacks up the price of new books, yet you as a reader don't feel the writing justifies the price increase? I'm mostly seeing this in self-published authors, more so than published authors, though I have seen it in both.

    For example: Molly Harper's books are all being released in the $10 range for an ebook. I enjoy her work, but it's more in the $5-$6 range, based on quality of writing and enjoyment, to me. She is published via Simon & Schuster, so I'm sure the company is part of that decision. But I don't get it.

    An indie author I like has postponed releasing a full-length novel in favor of releasing a series of novellas -- which she released at $5 per novella. For a novella. In her case, I like the books and will read and reread them, but the price still makes me cringe.

    I get it when an author is just that stinkin' amazing. If Ilona Andrews books jumped up a couple bucks, or Nalini Singh, or Pat Rothfuss finally finishes/publishes book 3 and it ends up being $20 -- take the money! But when the quality of work doesn't match up to the price inflation, I abstain.

    Authors need to make money, too. And I imagine in this time of COVID-19, their budgets are strapped, much as anyone else's. But I've noticed this trend over a period of years. And it tends to turn me off of the author rather than inspire me to spend the extra $ or $$ to continue buying their work. Bear in mind, I don't even use Kindle Unlimited because I prefer to buy the book and money go to the author. But I'm not going to spend money on subpar fluff that I don't see as an equitable return on value.

    So...that said. Am I a snob about book pricing? :|
     
  2. Alora Sionn

    Alora Sionn Mama Wolf Gaidin Forum Moderator

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    I'm like this about all books, I mainly buy second hand so to me every new book is overpriced lol but yeah I do have a set value of things in my mind and if the price exceeds that value, it ain't happening lol
     
  3. Jocasta Braithe

    Jocasta Braithe Novice Forum Moderator Game Master

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    Sometimes inexplicably the price of an ebook is unreasonable compared to the print copy too. I remember paying $21 for a Lois McMaster Bujold ebook once. Like LMB - always worth it. But an ebook for over $20? Whaaat? It was a fairly short novel too, on the border of being a novella.
     
  4. Thaddius al'Guy

    Thaddius al'Guy That Guy Aes Sedai Forum Moderator Game Master

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    I've been part of three settlements now where e-books were price fixed due to publishers making deals behind the scenes. Now I'm hesitant to pay more than $6-8 for an ebook, no matter who makes it (Except for Sanderson since he fights for this stuff a lot)
     
  5. Miridyth Al'Landerin

    Miridyth Al'Landerin Novice

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    I have noticed that the books I read are getting more than an average person makes per hour. So I would have to work at least an hour and a half to afford a book. NOT to mention children's books. I am a snob when it comes to kids books. I like hard backed, excellent illustrations and a good story to read to my child. I could not believe it when I saw that children hard backs were the same as hard back novels for adults. However, kids books we reread often, so I am often okay with the price to appease my snobbery. For enjoyment reading, I prefer paperback historical factual books. These are also becoming quite prohibitive, but I keep them for years.
     
  6. Laralelle Susandrea

    Laralelle Susandrea Aes Sedai

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    This is what I say to people who complain about buying art: They have the right to charge what they think it's worth, I have the right to say that's too expensive and buy something else. Now, where it gets tricky here is I kind of doubt most of these authors have any say over what their books sell for. The recent Butcher I'm fairly certain was split into two novels just because, and I feel pretty certain that he didn't have that much say in the matter. It's annoying. Have you reached out to the authors themselves (via Twitter or something). Let them know you can't afford their book? Or, there's always the library.

    TL:DR-no you're not a snob.