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Showing posts from March, 2012

The Cost of a Book is Mainly the Time You Spend Reading it and Enjoying it

For most of us, who have not enough time on our hands, the most expensive thing is time. Whereas money comes and goes, and can return in much larger quantities, time, once spent, can never be repurchased at any price.

I have been thinking about what is the fair pricing for a book--from a writer's viewpoint, and a reader's viewpoint. Because fair pricing cannot be separated, in this case, from cost, and value. And when I use the word "price" below, it is sometimes shorthand to mean cost or value, and to include both the monetary and non-monetary component, unless it is obviously otherwise.

From a writer's viewpoint: of course, any true writer writes because he/she must, because of a compulsion that goes far beyond financial logic; but in a money-based economic system, his work should ideally fetch him/her at least a U.S. postal clerk's salary for the years of life he exchanged for writing that book (in my case, 8 years for The Revised Kama Sutra and 1-2 years…