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Books/book club

Should books cost more?

(18 Posts)
Antonia Sat 02-Jan-21 22:47:01

I was influenced by a recent Gransnet thread to buy a Jeffrey Archer book. I am enjoying it, and I paid £0.99.
It must have taken months to write, and yet it is priced so cheaply.
I admit, it isn't great literature, but I do feel that an author who has spent a lot of time writing a book, is surely worth more than 99p a go.
Of course, small sums add up, and he is probably wealthy as a result of his writing, but even so, 99p seems a bit demeaning.

Lucretzia Sat 02-Jan-21 22:51:02

Jeffrey is worth £205 million. Amazingly

I think he'll be OK

I do know what you mean though.

Witzend Sat 02-Jan-21 22:55:32

Presumably he sells millions, inc. lots of foreign editions, and gets nice big fat advances.

It’s the mid and lower range authors who are often paid peanuts.
J K Rowling’s first advance for Harry Potter no. 1 was £2,500.
Obviously she took off into the stratosphere, but no matter how long a book has taken to write, advances are often pitiful.

Callistemon Sat 02-Jan-21 23:07:54

Was that a paperback in the reduced basket or an 'e' book, Antonia?

I've often wondered whether authors get anything at all when their books are free on eg Amazon.

However, I just downloaded one for £1.99 and it is such utter drivel that I'm glad I didn't pay more. She is not an unknown author and one whose books I have read before and they weren't that bad.

Dont worry about Jeffrey, he always seems to come out on top.

Antonia Sat 02-Jan-21 23:17:31

It was a Kindle book. I'm not worried about him, he'll be richer than I can ever dream of. I suppose my point is, that, having spent months writing it, surely people shouldn't be able to read it for 99p, however rich he is.
Of course, he isn't the only one. Lots of Kindle books are either free or cost peanuts.
The only exception I have found is a book that I would have liked, about vitamin d. Unfortunately it was priced at over £150, so that was that! I couldn't afford it!

Lucretzia Sat 02-Jan-21 23:24:17

I watched a documentary/ film about Northern Ireland during the troubles.

Lost Lives it was called. Excellent film. But terribly sad.

I thought I'd buy the book that it was based on.

Amazon have the hardback edition for £525. No idea why it's so expensive.

Apparently it was the most stolen book in Belfast at one time.

I agree though. It must be rather sad to see your book priced at 99p.

Callistemon Sat 02-Jan-21 23:54:40

You can buy a lot of vitamins for that.

I wish I had some books worth £525 - I would definitely be selling them.

Oopsadaisy1 Sun 03-Jan-21 08:00:57

No books shouldn’t cost more, youngsters and anyone who is stuck at home need more access to cheaper books, especially with the current situation.
Thinking back to when my children were young and the Nett Book Price was in place , literally a set price for ALL books with the only discounts being given if bookshops had a sale on and how hard it was to afford them.
The cheaper the better IMO.
And more access for all.

PollyDolly Sun 03-Jan-21 08:13:06

I have a Kindle but I refuse to pay for ebooks, I simply type free Kindle books and the genre in the search box and select titles to download from there; there wa a Jeffrey Archer title amongst those too recently.

If I wanted an actual "book" either hardback or paperback, I would do my research for the best price.

Daisymae Sun 03-Jan-21 08:32:41

This is a business model that some companies use. Don't worry they have a plan!

BlueBelle Sun 03-Jan-21 08:34:00


Elegran Sun 03-Jan-21 08:35:35

Don't assume that buying a cheap book on Amazon means that the author is getting less than they would if you bought them in a bookshop. I was told by an author that they get more that way. By the time the publisher, the wholesaler, the bookseller and all the rest have added their profit, each copy of a "real" book sells for several times what the writer receives for it.

I used to feel guilty about buying ebooks, but now my conscience is clear.

It depends on what you are buying. If you want the concept, the plot, the characterisation,the descriptions, the carefully chosen words, the time that has been spent putting it all together and editing, then that is all there in the ebook, just as much as in a paper edition.

If you want the weight of a physical book, the sensation of turning pages and the ability to put a pretty bookmark into the place you have reached, you might just as well as buy one blank book to handle, and turn its white pages as you listen to each story on Audible.

Lilypops Sun 03-Jan-21 08:36:53

I read a lot too and download lots of books mainly cheaper ones , I really miss being able to go to the library. I wonder how long it will be before they can reopen. A kindle is great but I still love to open a real book ,

Elegran Sun 03-Jan-21 08:49:50

I phrased that wrong. I should have put "buying an ebook cheaply on Amazon" not "buying a cheap book on Amazon".

M0nica Mon 04-Jan-21 08:30:12

Most of a books price is the cost of production. Paper printing, graphic design, distribution, book seller's costs.

A Kindle book needs far less preparation and once one copy is available online it can be sent out again, and again. Like sending an email instead of a letter.

Generally authors get 5-8% of the selling price. Obviously you get less froma Kindle book, but if Jeffrey Archer gets 10 per book and sells a millon books - and he does - then he has made £100,000., not a sum to be sneezed at.

nadateturbe Mon 04-Jan-21 08:48:58

Many books are reduced in price over time Antonia. The book on vitamin d at £150 - I have seen this type of thing. But if you look further at other sellers you will probably find it at a mch lower price.

Humbertbear Mon 04-Jan-21 10:33:11

I know someone who worked on that book. It involved an incredible amount of research and only a small number of books was printed which is why they are now so valuable.

Dragonella Thu 14-Jan-21 01:59:08

The main advantage of keeping book prices - especially ebook prices - low is to encourage people to take a chance on new authors they haven't read before. But I take your point, OP, and of course students/hard-up people can often buy books second-hand if they can't afford new.