The Mysterious Book Pricing Strategy

Deborah Grant-Dudley

What happened to the price of books?

For the last few years, book prices were too low for many authors to make a living. This year, paperback book prices are suddenly too high for many readers to buy them.

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Photo by Nic Wood on

How did we get here?

Hundreds of years ago, books were precious treasures. They were so expensive, they were displayed as symbols of wealth and status. It’s hard to imagine now, isn’t it? The invention of the printing press changed all that. And more recently, the print on demand phenomenon reduced wastage to the point that paperback books became downright cheap.

This could have been seen by the publishing industry as an opportunity to maintain book prices. And pay authors a living wage. But paperback book prices continued to lag behind cost of living increases in recent years. Some indie authors gave up on paperbacks…

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5 thoughts on “The Mysterious Book Pricing Strategy

  1. The cost of paper has rocketed, partly because paper-making is an energy-intensive process, and partly because of the shortage of woodpulp… My paperbacks had two rises, one in Jan and one in July. Then the distributors took out their basic cost band, and so distribution went up to 36%…
    Then Amazon decided to sell the paperbacks of the middle of the series at the price of the kindle books. What?? How is a girl supposed to sell these books at a reasonable price face to face as I do these days at craft fairs?
    I could rant on…

    Liked by 1 person


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