A few days ago I was making one of my semi-regular trips to Amazon to see if they still listed my first book, LOVE, DEATH AND THE TOYMAN. Mainly I like to look at their secondary market, the other dealers who attach themselves to Amazon like pilot fish on a shark to vend the same item, sometimes at a large discount, sometimes at greatly increased prices. I've seen my book go for as little as 47 cents for an ex-library copy to $50 for a new one. But the one I saw the other day really floored me. Just $500. Yes, friends, just five hundred dollars for an unsigned copy. If that doesn't say hypermodern I don't know what does.
What's more, a few days later the listing was gone. Shazam! Either it was relisted for a lower price or--and I can't believe this--some damn fool paid the five century notes.
Which brings up a subject that puzzles me. I've seen this book listed for a lot more than the retail price ($118 was the old ceiling) from dealers who, I think, never even owned a copy. They take an order, drop ship it from a distributor's warehouse, and never invest a cent in a product from which they hope to reap an obscene profit. There's something wrong with that. If they're going to sell a book they at least ought to buy it from the distributor and have it on hand. Maybe then they'd set a realistic price on it. When I check Amazon for a book I always check the used listings and get the one that's both cheapest and in the best shape for the money. If I want it new I'll pay retail, but not retail times two, or five, or fifty. Are there really suckers out there who patronize these hogs? I hope not.