Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It always surprises me

... how many people imagine that publishers will sell $7.99 Mass Market paperback versions of the hot new thriller at the same time that they release the $25.98 hardcover.

I don't think they realize that publishers and writers and marketing staff and booksellers do it to make a living; it's not some kind of hobby everyone does for fun, this book-writing stuff.

It's always a strange moment when an old woman complains even as she pays me for her books that Amazon is so much cheaper. I considered telling the last one that since no, Amazon does not and would not offer any discount on her three mass market paperbacks, she was in truth saving on shipping. Most of you people probably don't read those, and I only own 4 in my entire library,* but now you know. I'd rather pay more and not get ink on my hands, but then again I'm not sitting in a dark room alone counting my pennies all night, either.

(I usually ignore things that old unpleasant customers say. One quickly learns that there is no good or right answer, if by "right," we mean, will make the bitter old woman happy. She is, after all, buying old woman pornography for a reason.)

I'm cleaning the house today. Probably.

*Susan Howatch's Glittering Images, an old copy of Catch-22, A Farewell to Arms, and The Moviegoer by Percy.

6 comments:

Zachary B said...

And if by "hot new thriller" we mean a beautiful paperweight, let them buy it. Though in the long run I would rather some read a "hot new thriller" than nothing. Or would I????

Indie said...

I too own Glittering Images. When my husband saw the cover he couldn't believe I was reading such a thing.

Tommy from Michigan said...

This is funny.

Just remember one day you will be a grumpy old man. Sooner than you think.

Kyle said...

Hopefully I won't go about complaining that the world owes me discounted, cheap paperbacks.

julie said...

I love it when you write about the bookstore. I can laugh right along with you remembering all of my "war stories". And, strangely enough, I own a mass market copy of Glittering Images as well.

Mr. Imperial said...

Having old people complain about cheap books has got to be better than hearing old people (smart old people) complain about how complicated library technology is getting. Yeesh.