Book Pricing and What’s Behind It

In all this debate over what e-books should cost, here’s an interesting look at what consumers think. Many people (understandably) can’t see why an e-book should cost almost as much as a hard copy of the same book.

But it’s not as simple as “there’s no paper so it should cost way less.” A publisher still needs to pay the author (hurray for writers getting money!) and pay the salaries of everyone working on the book (editors, marketers, graphic designers, etc.). Even though you’re not paying for physical assembly and shipping, there’s still a lot that goes into making a book. As someone who’s worked in publishing, I have to agree that making a book involves much more than putting pages together, and the people doing that work (which is necessary for both e-books and hard copies) deserve to be paid fairly.

Does that mean the debate about e-book pricing is over? Not even close. But I think it’s good to keep in mind that just because it’s digital doesn’t mean there was no effort in the creation process.

Saving the Faerie Cottage

When I was in high school I came across Weetzie Bat and fell in love with Francesca Lia Block’s novels. With the perfect combination of magic and grief, struggles and hope, it was exactly the kind of book I needed at the time. So I’m very sad to hear Block is going through such a hard time with her home:

“For close to a year, Block, author of the Weetzie Bat books for kids, has been calling and talking to various representatives at Bank of America. Some call her back, some disappear, some give one answer, some another. She says she’s underwater on the mortgage but has never missed a payment — all she wants to do is renegotiate terms and save her house. On Friday afternoon, she posted a record of her travails on Facebook and a new blog, Save Francesca’s Faerie Cottage.”

It sounds like the media attention might get Bank of America to look at her mortgage. It’s also a good reminder that there are lots of people across the country who are hardworking people and got really bad mortgages when the market was up. I can’t even imagine dealing with that and not being able to get any media attention. I hope Francesca’s campaign is able to help her family, and also to bring to light what other families are going through.