So, this has come up a few times, in the circles I wander, and there are a lot of strong opinions out there. It’s my opinion that there is a methodical way of answering most questions like this one, if you analyze motivations and economics coolly.
How much is a book worth?
It’s something a friend asked me several years ago as we were wandering laps at a Target talking about writing and art. In the context of ‘art’ it feels nebulous and fearsome. What am I worth to the world? What is the value of the contribution I am making to society and culture. On a snarky day, I’d capitalize those, but those are real things with real value. The problem is that the value of society and culture doesn’t come in dollar units. It just doesn’t. It can come in more and less, but not in dollars.
Pushing the price of a book up or down doesn’t have anything to do with society and culture.
What it does do is change the type of reward that an author gets from his work. Continue reading “What is a book worth?”