Friday, March 05, 2004

Recommended retail price

Bookninja provides a link to commentary regarding the book-publishing industry wanting to remove the recommended retail price (RRP) from the covers of books.

I've never really considered the implications of that tiny line of print.

Some retailers price-clip their books, as do some people who give books as gifts. They must not be aware that, should that particular edition of a book gain status as collectible some day, they are drastically reducing its value.

Books that show both U.S. and Canadian prices also intrigue me. How are those prices set in consideration of the fact that the run of books will be on shelves for a relatively lengthy time while the currency exchange rate fluctuates daily? I price-comparison shop even between Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.

Then there's the question of who buys books at the RRP anyway. I occasionally buy books online at discounted prices, I occasionally buy books through the Book-of-the-Month Club at discounted prices, and I often buy books at the big-box bookstore bargain bins (at discounted prices, naturally). Rarely do I buy books at the RRP — even new releases in hardcover generally come at a 20% or more discount. I pay the RRP for mass market paperbacks, of which I've purchased four in the last year.

Nevermind how authors' royalties are to be calculated, how will I know if I'm getting a deal? And I never really know till after I've read the book, do I?
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