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Welcome to my story blog. I will post one new story here every day. You are welcome to comment on any or all of them. Enjoy!
                   --Lee Pound

The Problem with Books

One of the biggest problems with books these days is that they are following the same pattern the music business followed. Actual print books from major publishers have become prohibitively expensive. A hard cover major release can cost up to $35 while a paper version can be over $22. Meanwhile electronic versions of many books are going for under $10 and in many cases for free.

I usually don’t complain about pricing since most of the books I publish in paper are priced from $15 to $20 and one as high as $39.95 and it sells at that price because the information in it is worth the price.

The biggest problem is that the author of a commercially published book, the actual creator of the material, gets very little of the $35 price the consumer pays, sometimes as little as $2 to $3 per copy, meaning the middlemen, from the bookstore to the distributor, the printer, the agent, and the publisher split the rest.  Because of this, many authors are going the self-publishing or small press route where they get far more of the proceeds from the sale of their book.

This has added a huge number of books to retailers like Amazon and to individual web sites. It had also led to authors realizing that if they want to sell a lot of books they will have to market them themselves. Unfortunately, it has also led to a huge decline in the quality of books available on the market.

I just read an article about a company that copies long articles from Wikipedia, throws in some other material, and sells the books for $50 on Amazon. The quality is poor but there are so many poor books enough people unknowingly shell out the money. Many of the cheap books and novels on the market are very poorly written if my surveys and the material that crosses my desk are any indication.

The bottom line is that anyone can publish any kind of book they want, even garbage, and can sell a few copies. However, the garbage does them little good in the long run. Still the best way to publish, whether you go self or commercial, is to make sure your book is of above average quality, written carefully by the author, and edited by a good editor before it is published.

The muck will usually sink of its own weight. However, it can drag down some good books that deserve a wider audience as well.

 

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