The Eight-Year-Old investigates retail book pricing

Now that NaNoWriMo is finally over, it’s only natural that The Eight-Year-Old, who spent November drafting tales of Snoopy, the World War I Flying Ace on her manual typewriter, would find her thoughts turning to how she could use her words to bulk up her allowance.

In an effort to understand the potential profits to be made from a lifetime spent spinning out words, The Eight-Year-Old asked me one Saturday morning: “Mommyo, when you finish your book, will you sell it for $20?”

Mommyo: “No. More like $8, or $5. But only if it’s in print. Ebooks sell for less.”

The Eight-Year-Old, disappointedly: “But why not $10?”

Mommyo: “Most print books sell for $8 or less. A lot of work for just eight dollars, huh?”

The Eight-Year-Old, hopefully: “But what if it’s a classic? Could you sell it for $10?”

Mommyo, guardedly: “Maybe.”

The Eight-Year-Old, decidedly: “If I’m president before you finish your book, I’m totally going to make it a classic.”

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