[DWJ] OT: book pricing

LWilkinson at slv.vic.gov.au LWilkinson at slv.vic.gov.au
Thu Jun 22 21:51:16 EDT 2006

The book pricing thing has several reasons.

1. is what Sally said, the unit costs are much, much higher here.

2. books in the US tend to be published in hardcover first (where they make
all the money) and then a mass-market paperback. in australia, it's very
rare for a book to be published in hardcover. if it's very special, it will
go to a trade paperback before an ordinary paperback, but more often than
not, it just goes straight to paperback (like The Da Vinci Code: that came
straight out in paperback here when it was published

3. US mass-market paperbacks are usually pretty horrendous quality. we get
a few imports, and the difference in quality is astounding. the US PBs are
often on cheap, thin paper with small print and crappy binding that falls
apart after one read.

4. big chains like KMart and BigW are forcing publishers to lower their
discount rate, which means they have to hike prices.

5. people are importing their books from OS, so it's harder for the
publishers to make a profit at lower prices.

For anyone that's interested in that sort of thing, there is a really,
really interesting discussion of P&L calculations (profit and loss) on US
books here:

Part One

Part Two

Lili Wilkinson
Web Project Manager & Event Coordinator
Centre for Youth Literature
State Library of Victoria
328 Swanston Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
PH: 03 86647014
FAX: 03 96394143

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