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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Low Cost = High Sales? Not Quite

Publisher Ravi Vyas has an interesting article in The Telegraph in which he draws the conclusion that a book's low price is no guarantee of sales. He offers as an example two editions of Pankaj Mishra's recent anthology, India In Mind: the first, by Random House, India, priced at Rs 275; the second by Vintage International at $ 6.75 with an Indian price of Rs 311. He goes on to speak of how American publishers "muscle" into the Indian market and concludes:

"The retailer isn’t interested in handling low-priced books because at the end of the day, he has very little left. So,what he does is prominently display the higher-priced edition and keep the lower-priced one in the bookshelves. Given the time the buyer spends in the shop, the higher-priced edition takes off, the lower-priced one remaining in the shelves.

"Hence the conclusion which has been reached in market research studies: price matters but not to the extent that is often imagined. What matters is information for a specific purpose or simply entertainment of any kind."

By the way, one chose the Vintage International edition. One liked the cover better.


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