The Remix of Orchid

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Price Perfect

Interested in a signed copy of "The Remix of Orchid"? Mail to (nanda underscore lit at hotmail dot com)

'Today I had been to buy a pair of Rebok shoes. The shoe-seller charged me some 1499 rupees. (Thank god, he didn't price it 1499 rupees 95 paise as Bata shoe fellows would have done it!)'

'Beg a pardon-how much did you actually pay?'

' Well, it was less than 1500 rupees, say 1400 and something'.

Pricing just short of the round figure is an old gimmick from the shoe sellers. No wonder Rebok did that way.

Yesterday I went to a reputed bookseller in my town Bhubaneswar to approach him for showcasing my book "The Remix of Orchid". It was 9 o' clock in the evening and he was about to leave his shop closing its shutters. Still he saw the book, rather with interest, and got instantly impressed. I need not have to do any canvassing.

'What's the price of your book,' the shop fellow asked me as he couldn't readily locate his specs and see the price for himself.

'It's 250 rupees,' I replied coolly.

'Oh, I thought it should have been at least 300 or 350 rupees,' he quipped.

A shopkeeper's opinion about price of an article is always meaningful. And it was an honest opinion from his side. I know the bookseller for last thirty years. He has been there in the town at the same spot selling fictions all these days. His next door cabin sells liquors. The good old bookseller has not changed over to selling textbooks where the money lies these days. His other competitors in the town have left and gone to sell textbooks, even CDs and other stationeries. But he has been continuing in his old niche.

I reflected. I'm sure profit is not my aim; circulation of the book is. If anything comes, it maybe incidental, or it will make self-publication of my next book easier. I kept the book affordable. Despite all the quality ingredients in it! It has 80-gsm papers of natural shade, jacket laminated, hardbound, ISBN barcoded, bookmarked-each piece is a pleasure to look at. Book lovers will understand what I say. At least that was what the shopkeeper said. It's a different thing that he couldn't sale even a copy of my first book of poems, "In Harness".

So, I shouldn't feel bad why I didn't make the price 295 rupees. Increasing the price and then slashing it in the name of giving rebates may be a good selling proposition, but it is an unmixed cheating of readers. I'm happy I have not followed that.

After all, a self-published author should always be different from a shoe-seller!
A.N. Nanda



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