Q&A with Steve Morris discussion

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Book prices in general

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message 1: by Steve (last edited Nov 16, 2010 01:14PM) (new)

Steve Morris | 250 comments Mod
I think that paperback book prices are too expensive for what they are at the moment. I think that the "going rate" of 7 to 10 GBP for a new paperback is prohibitive, especially in these economic times.

I thought about the price of "Probability" and as whether people could afford to speculate 8 GBP on an unknown book. That was around the minimum price that the publisher could set due to the production costs and the discounts demanded by online retailers.
I think that this may have held it back slightly.
None of us are willing to gamble 10 GBP on a CD from an new unknown singer who we just happen to see in a music store.

When "Jumble Tales" was being put together, I asked the publisher that the minimum price possible could be set for this book in light of the current economy.

Incidentally, I recently bought an unread leather finely-bound gilt tooled maths text book for 20 gbp and also saw a brand new very-recent celebrity hardback in a charity shop for sale for 99 pence. It's a funny world.
I left that one there.....


message 2: by Nicolle (new)

Nicolle | 135 comments I know what you mean...this year I got a book for my birthday bought on the release date at £18.99 ...I didn't even know they sold books for that price even though it was a hardback. The next week it was around £10 in ASDA. I could not believe my father had spent so much on one book. I got a paperback book from the same author from a local charity shop for only 50 pence!

I think it helps that you published a couple of short stories online so people will see that your worth the money!

I also got a HUGE bargain the other day...I have to pay £10 to college for the 2 books The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-timeand Wide Sargasso Seaand I spotted The Curious Incident for only 99pence in the Red Cross charity! Now I only have to dole out £5 for the other book.


message 3: by Steve (new)

Steve Morris | 250 comments Mod
Yes good bargains. It certainly pays to shop around and it also shows the mark-up that some stores try to cash in when a major release first comes out.

"The Curious Incident" is a good book. I heard it first read on OneWord radio. Then a colleague and I had a read when we worked with two autistic boys who couldn't cope with school life.
We need more awareness and understanding of Autistic Spectrum Disorders and I truly believe that the condition is far more common than is diagnosed.

Shopping online gets the best prices for books but I worry about all the independent high-street bookshops who won't be able to compete. Those dusty old shops were treasure troves as were libraries when I was a boy!


message 4: by Nicolle (new)

Nicolle | 135 comments Yes, I do try to buy from small non-chain stores, the experience of chhoosing and buying a book is much more enjoyable.


message 5: by Marc (new)

Marc Johnson (marcjohnsonbooks) | 8 comments Books are expensive in the U.S. as well. My experience is that it seems to stem from the what the publishers are charging to produce a book. When all is said and done, from the sale of a book of $17.00 (about 11 GBP I believe) I walk away with about $3.00 (2 GBP). Then again, the publishing industry in the U.S. is abysmal.

I agree with you Steve about buying online. I'm willing to pay the extra couple of dollars to make sure that the money goes to a local book shop.


message 6: by Steve (new)

Steve Morris | 250 comments Mod
Very true.
I hear that the same thing happens in the music industry in terms of CDs, that a CD costs about 0.5 GBP to produce, that the retailer makes the main margin and the artist collects only a small percentage. Now downloads have replaced CD sales, I hear today that HMV High Street music stores have had a poor Xmas and will close 60 stores in the UK which will include some Waterstones book stores.
Marc, are Amazon.com asking for a disproportionately big discount to stock books in the USA in the same way that Amazon.co.uk do in the UK, so as to make profits hard to obtain on small volume sales?


message 7: by Steve (new)

Steve Morris | 250 comments Mod
What do people think is a reasonable price to pay for a new release paperback book?
I am amazed these days at the discounts available in supermarkets of all places.
I still think that new release paperback is overpriced, especially in the current climate.


message 8: by Nicolle (new)

Nicolle | 135 comments Around £5 is reasonable, though it depends on the size of the book. At ASDA you can buy 2 books in the top 40 for £7 or £8 (cannot remember specifics).


message 9: by Steve (new)

Steve Morris | 250 comments Mod
I agree. That's a fair price at the moment. I suspect that ASDA are probably buying them in at large volumes and getting a big discount, but even so, they won't make much profit on the top 40 books. £10 to £15 is just too much for a paperback.
And the library where I was working this afternoon was conceringly too quiet. People should use them more in case we lose them.


message 10: by Nicolle (new)

Nicolle | 135 comments I agree, on the news this morning they said they are closing some libraries and cutting funding from others. Though my local one isn't huge it is always jam packed full of people so I doubt that it will get closed, though the two tiny ones which are in the outskirts of town will probably close and I also cannot say I use them so I may be part to blame...
Hopefully Colne library (the one I do use) will be unnaffected. I am have been trying to get a part time job there since I did my work experience there but there is never vacancies. Our library now has a self service machine which is incredibly annoying and probably why I don't have a job there, does yours have one?


message 11: by Steve (new)

Steve Morris | 250 comments Mod
Yes, two libraries in my area have just installed these cold robotic self-service machines, presubambly having made a member of staff redundant. A student today asked me who's mobile phone kept pinging.

I wonder if we should ask the self-service machine if they can recommend another good book similar to the one we returned! A cold piece of science fiction itself!


message 12: by Nicolle (new)

Nicolle | 135 comments Haha good idea! That pinging noise is incredibly irritating and I'm sure that my local has turned the volume up from last time which caused me to cringe away from the machine it was so loud.


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