As usual, Richard Nash gets it right on the issues of the day:
Literary Kicks, a blog I've never seen before is running with a fine idea here and over the next couple of months (if everything goes according to plan) this is going to be required reading.
Sez Mr. Nash:
"Now, I happen to think that it would be rather good if we could engage in a far more sophisticated level of price discrimination, much like the airlines do. Signed limited edition for one price ($100), regular hardcover at another (maybe as a subscription), high-end trade paperback (maybe with flaps) at another ($16, $17?), cheap borderline mass market on 35 lb. paper at another ($9, $10), and electronic at yet another ($5, or also as a subscription). There are so many levels at which a given person might be willing to commit to a book, I feel it behooves us to try to get more of the the dollars that lie below that Economics 101 price elasticity curve. That would sound crass in a business where we're minting money, but that's hardly the case in publishing! Plus, it gets more readers."
My own thinking around hardcovers vs paperback is kind of old fashioned, and accords with the view elsewhere on this thread, that hardcovers "seed" the demand for the paperback. Apparently that's changing and if so, I'm not too worried if hard covers continue to give ground to paperback originals. No one was happier than me to see books like this find such wide acceptance, paperback original be damned.
As books start to reflect reality in terms of the stronger Canadian dollar, that's only going to bring prices down further. There's a concern around year over year sales, but anything that's going to shave a few dollars or more off of a cover price makes a handsellers job easier.
I mean at twenty per cent off at our place, this is only twenty four dollars.
Posted by Dave