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Devaluing books

With the Department of Justice filing an antitrust suit against Apple and other publishers, the bottom line is that ebooks will continue to be devalued.

Amazon will again lower their ebook prices and create a monopoly, continuing their bullying policies.

What’s more, people will expect a book to only be worth $10 or less. Usually less. They’ll become upset if a book is priced at the "exorbitant" price of $10.

This article explains that the cost of a book isn’t in the paper, it’s in the other work that goes into it. Editing. Cover design. Interior design and typesetting. Marketing. The several editors and proofreaders who go through a manuscript so it can be as free of distracting typos as possible.

I’ve read tons of Amazon reviews about people distracted and annoyed by typos in those $0.99 ebooks. Well, when there are only 2-3 people (if that many) who go through a book before it’s self-published, you have to expect some errors.

I don’t know the exact number, but I’ve estimated that at least a dozen people go through my traditionally published books before they’re printed (the number is probably higher). And each of those editors needs to be paid.

(Big deal, they only read a book, right? But actually, proofreaders go through a book at least twice--once from front to back, and then a second time line by line, starting from the end, to help them catch typos better.)

That’s why the book is set at $12.99 retail. I get 90 cents of that. After you cut out what the bookseller makes, the rest goes to pay all the people who worked on the book. You can cut out marketing costs, perhaps, (and then no one would even hear about the book) but that still leaves all the other people at my publishing house who worked to make it the best book possible.

A book has to sell a certain number of copies before the publishing house even begins to make a profit over all the expenses of making the book.

When readers devalue a book, they devalue the effort of the author and all the staff who worked on it. “Sorry, Camy, your work isn’t worth 90 cents a book.”

There are people not happy with the lawsuit, and I hope the DOJ doesn’t win.

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