Archive | November, 2009

5.3 Selling Books in the Great Recession: Dennis Batchelder

29 Nov

I wrote this series on book selling in the Great Recession because I wanted to give my readers some concepts to help tame the beast. More than just concepts, wanted to give examples of people who are selling like crazy despite the recession. For those who haven’t read the previous articles, I am an economist […]

5.2 Selling Books in the Great Recession: The Only Equation Book Sellers Need to Know

21 Nov


It means that overall consumer demand is off. (Duh.) Folks have less discretionary income––money they can spend as they want. That means that every friggin’ thing that they buy with that income competes with everything else for limited dollars.

Though we book producers worship books and consider them hallowed, other folks consider them just another form of entertainment. In a recession, books compete with all other forms of amusement––movies, sports events, music, everything.

Consumers rationing scarce dollars will think twice before plunking down $20 for a book (especially from an unknown author) when they could go to the movies or hit Starbucks.

Buyers may be more aware of opportunity cost, the economist’s jargon for, “Every time you make a choice, you lose.” If you’ve spent your $20 on diapers for the baby, that coffee table book fades into the sunset.

The book is the opportunity cost of the diapers. But which do you need more???