Friday, October 03, 2008

Hypermodern Cap'n

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.


Kadri said...

Sadly some log out of their brains when they log on to the internet. They buy things they would never buy and pay prices they would never pay if it was in the real world.

Bill Crider said...

Wow, two blog posts! I hope you bought about 100 copies of your own book and put 'em in storage. Better investment than the stock market.

Ray said...

When I saw one of my tomes going for £80 - I thought: Where's my share of that?
Is there really a mug out there who pays silly prices?