book pricing

There have been a number of posts recently lamenting the ridiculously excessive pricing of some books from certain publishers.

The volume linked above costs $329.99 US (about $390.00 AUS). It is 360 pages, so not too short, but nonetheless very, very expensive. Apparently it is print-on-demand.

So if I had a PDF of the book and wanted to publish it using this technology, how much would it cost me? For a base-level I went to Blurb. Assuming I can produce it in black and white (seems reasonable given the subject matter), and if I want a hardback and a small size (13cm × 20cm), this book would cost $29.95, and that’s without any volume discounts!

Now certainly there are costs associated with editing a book, getting ISBN sorted, and other matters that aren’t included in the Blurb cost, but nonetheless, it seems entirely unjustifiable for OUP to price any volume as they have.

Perhaps the solution is for authors to stop submitting manuscripts to such publishers. It is pretty certain that most individual buyers cannot afford to but such books. Thankfully there are publishers such as Eisenbrauns who produce good quality books at good quality prices!

4 thoughts on “book pricing

  1. People probably need to make better use of their libraries, which should offer inter-institutional loans, or document delivery. Request the book and let them figure out how to get it to you.

  2. Hi Carl. I’m afraid I can’t speak from experience on the matter (not having tried any of these out), I was just using Blurb to give some sort of reference for pricing of POD publishing. LuLu also provides a cost calculator which would price the book above at around $10 US or so. If anyone else has had any experience I’d be interested in hearing about it!

  3. Martin,

    One thing that people need to realize is that most of the cost of a book is not the cost of printing and binding. The major cost is in editing, followed by typesetting. Even so, I am not defending the high prices some places charge.


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