Marchbooks' Blog

October 30, 2009

What Do New Price Wars Mean To Self-Published Authors?

An interesting article by the Washington Post A close read finds hope in the madness of book-price wars (be aware that if you follow this link, you will probably have to create a membership before viewing the article) discusses some drastic changes to the industry with WalMart’s move to greatly lower prices on best selling hard cover titles. I can’t help but wonder what effect this will have on small publishers and self-published authors that rely on POD technology.

It is already difficult for these publisher to compete with the pricing of large publishing houses that can take advantage of huge offset print runs. It is currently a challenge to meet a $9 price for a good sized paperback, never mind a hard cover title, when using POD technology. As much as I would like to believe that this will result in an overhaul of the payment structures in the publishing industry, I think that it might instead lead away from the wonderful new POD technology and back toward the wasteful practice of larger and larger offset print runs. I won’t reiterate my arguments about the impact of this practice on our environment, but I think it is an unfortunate turn of events.

Perhaps though, the result might surprise us. It may be the push that some publishers need to force them into the epublishing arena. If so, it will be a great thing for our environment. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how this new turn of events plays out. I think the parting message is this – if you are involved in or thinking of being involved in this volatile industry, be ready to respond to an ever-changing playing field.

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