What Is the Value of a Book?

Value 2

It’s interesting to compare the value of a book to other products:

  • Suppose you’re thirsty and decide to buy a bottle of water. If you’re lucky, you might get a bottle for 99 cents (plus tax!); you might spend $2 or $3. A few minutes later, your bottle is empty. Is an eBook that provides hours of entertainment worth just the same?
  • At lunchtime, you might grab some fast food for about $5. Maybe not the best meal, but it’s quick and relatively cheap. You gulp it down in a few minutes and it gets you through the day. Which is worth more—the meal or a good book?
  • Remember the last time you went out for a movie. Were you able to get a ticket for under $10? Did you double or triple your expense with popcorn, soda, and candy? When the movie was over, did anyone say that the book was better? It’s funny how many people say that the book is better than the movie, but spend more money watching the movie.
  • The next time you spend $50 on a date, ask yourself if the date turned out to be better than several good books.
  • How much money would you spend for the chance to ride in a spaceship? You don’t have to spend a penny to enjoy the experience in a science fiction book. Now that’s a bargain.
  • You can experience the lifestyles of the rich and famous or travel just about anywhere for the price of a pizza, simply buy reading a book.
  • Learn how to do something new, take a vacation from the monotony of life, or live a fairy tale. The experience is priceless. The book that provides it is exceedingly affordable.

If you enjoy a book and feel that it’s worth much more than the price you paid, leave a tip:

  • Have you ever left a tip for table service when the service wasn’t all that good? Have you ever not left a review for a book that you enjoyed? If you answered “Yes” to both questions, how do you reconcile this?
  • If you find a new restaurant or business that you like, you tell your friends, right? What if you discover a book that you enjoy? Do you share that, too?
  • There are many ways to help support an author whose book you enjoy: Write a review at Amazon, tell your friends, like the author’s Facebook page, mention the book online and what you liked about it, contact the author to deliver a simple thank-you, like the author’s page at Amazon, click the link to be notified of the author’s new releases in the top right corner of the author page at Amazon, rate or review the book at Goodreads, or join a fan club, for example. Authors appreciate any support at all, no matter how little.

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

8 comments on “What Is the Value of a Book?

  1. You raise so many good points. It’s a difficult thing for a writer to read this and realise how little respect is given to their craft and years of hard work as compared to a 5-min fast food meal.

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