We Need To Talk About Book Pricing by Tara Sparling | Writing.ie

Yesterday I was briefly let out of my cage to do a bit of investigating in three bookshops. The first was a big Irish chain. The second was a very big independent bookshop. The third was a very small independent bookshop.

I went about each shop idly picking up titles to see how they were priced (because I am a nerd, and I find myself doing that sort of thing when I should be doing other things, such as following the person I’m with around the shop and piling more and more books into their arms until they have the To Be Read Pile from hell and they are creatively plotting my demise).

Prices were all over the place. There was as much of a pattern to them as a toddler’s leftovers. So as a control example, I picked up a standard paperback version of My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, published in 2012.

Both independent bookshops priced it in the same range – expensive, for a paperback, at around the €12.99 level, but not necessarily an eyebrow-raising price in Ireland.

The big chain had it at €17.99.

17. Effing. 99.

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We Need To Talk About Book Pricing by Tara Sparling | Writing.ie.