Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Is this the time to be raising prices?

The election is over. The sun rose this morning. I suppose there will still be a few days of total dissection of the election results, but at least no machines should be calling my phone. I could have added this to my gratitude list for the day, but it seems too easy.

Update on book pricing. My publisher sent an email yesterday to all the authors saying that they were working with Amazon to offer more services, which meant an increase in pricing. As of 8:15 this morning, the price at Barnes & Noble was still the 'old' price, with a discount for members. If you want to take advantage of the lower price --- enough said? The publisher says the new deal with Amazon will let them offer deeper discounts???? I'm still wrapping my brain around that one--why raise the price if you intend to lower it? Or are they going to lower it to a price still higher than the 'old' price and make it appear better?

I don't pretend to understand marketing decision, and it's moot, because I have no control over them, but my books compete with mass market NYT best-selling authors, and their books are available for less. Seems that's the price point my publisher should be shooting for, with the allowance for a higher price because they print trade paperback, not mass market. And with everyone tightening belts, is this the best time for a price increase?

And who knows what will happen with my new release, which is hard cover, but from a different publisher entirely. I know that book will be pricey, but I also know it's targeted to the library market, so I encourage any interested readers to request that their library purchase it.

Today's Gratitude list:

1. The wonderful customer service from eBookwise and their technology supplier, eBook Technologies, Inc. My replacement arrived (on a Saturday, no less) and is up and running. I'll be taking it to the doctor's office while I hang around the waiting room.

2. Jessica, for being a first reader, a brainstorming partner, and a fight scene choreographer.

3. My new herb garden.


Ray said...

You are not the first to have issues with Amazon. A bookseller friend orders from Amazon and has had books arrive looking as if they had been packaged by Amazons practicing sword play.

Just about every year there are price increases in books. Since reading is my only pricey recreation I just eat the increases, but I hate to see authors lose money because books are being priced out of the range of the average reader.

Many people I know are already reading library books instead of buying their own.

Perhaps someone in Amazon's marketing department has been shopping at a store that has weekly 50 to 75% off sales with the retail price only five days a week to satisfy the FTC.

It is sad that the authors who keep the publishers in business are at the bottom of the food chain.


Terry Odell said...

I'm a firm believer in libraries. I read about 3 books a week and could never afford to buy all of them. It's a great way to try out new authors.

I don't know much more about what's going on with pricing, only that it's a decision made by the publisher and Amazon's 'features' whatever they may be, helped determine the new pricing. However, a 70% increase is VERY steep!