The fifth book in Yasmine Galenorn’s Sisters series (following Witchling, Changeling, Darkling and Dragon Wytch) has a new title. Previously known as Death Maiden, it shall be known here onwards as Night Huntress. Expected release date is January 2009, but this, of course, could change.
Recently one of my American pals visited Australia, and she returned to the US with information: Books are more expensive in Oz than they are in America.
Let’s put things in perspective: One Aussie dollar usually equals somewhere between 80 and 90 US cents. Sometimes lower, sometimes higher. But that’s pretty much it. Mass market paperback prices in Oz range from about $18-$25. From what I’ve heard from another associate, mass market paperback prices in the US go up to about $10.
So in Oz we’re (I’m) paying double what Americans pay for books. But why? It’s not like an Aussie dollar equals 50 American cents.
My American pal asked a bookstore manager in New South Wales (an Australian state). When I inquired about this, I was told that Australia is second to New Zealand when it comes to reading. Australians are keen to spend their dough on literature. “Not like in the USA,” the manager of the bookstore said. “Books are inexpensive in the States because…” The manager gave a reason that I’m not repeating here because it’s totally untrue of the Americans I associate with. But no doubt there are some people out there who represent the manager’s reasoning.
Readers, here’s where you come in. Tell us about where you live, estimate book prices. Do you think Australians are paying too much for books? Are Americans paying too less? What reasoning do you give for the differences in our prices? (Don’t mention importing, because it’s the same price for books published in Australia.) And what can we do to campaign for change, if necessary?
And to the authors reading this, do have your say. Am I scummy because I buy your books from eBay when I can’t find them in stores? Would it help your royalties/advances/sales ratings if I asked my local bookseller to import your books for me? Do libraries take valuable profits away from authors, because we’re borrowing books (not buying them)?
Have a lovely day! 🙂