Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Are You Buying This?

Books can take months or years to write and get published. But that’s something you already know. Authors, to get themselves established, are selling their books for $2.99 or $9.99 or even giving them away for free.

Well…not all authors.

Publisher Kraken Opus has ten copies of a book. That’s all. Ten copies. Each one sells for $75,000. Each one has a signature page that’s a mix of paper pulp and a pint of Indian cricket star Sachin Tendulkar.

According to the Wall Street Journal, that’s not the only high-priced book.
 Earlier this year, Taschen Books sold pieces of the moon with 12 copies of its massive photography book on the lunar landing (one of the lunar-rock editions sold for $112,500). Taschen previously published a $7,500, 800-page book on Muhammad Ali, "GOAT" (for "greatest of all time"), that comes with four signed photographs of the boxer and a sculpture by Jeff Koons.
Believe it or not, some of Taschen’s luxury books go up in price.
 Its massive Helmut Newton photography edition, titled "Sumo," now costs $15,000, up from $1,500 when it came out in 1999. The Ali volume now sells for $15,000. The 2006 book featuring work by the artist Peter Beard now costs $18,000, a 260% increase from its $5,000 original price tag, while a book of Mr. Koons's work went up to $4,500 from $1,000, and goes for even more on eBay.
I’m not coveting these high-priced books. For one thing, I don’t have a climate-controlled vault to keep them in. I do have a closet library and I’m happy to say it’s packed with books.
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33 comments:

  1. I have to admit, having a piece of the moon would be awesome. But yeah, I'm not going to be bidding on any books at that price. I'd have to sell my house!

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  2. I like my books for reading, not for statues or signature pages. And the cheaper they are, the more I can buy.

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  3. If I want a piece of the moon (which I do), and I had that kind of money, I would rather look for an actual piece of rock that I can hold in my hand than have it crushed into a book.

    And mixing blood in a book is just gross.

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  4. Heh...That's like our mutual friend Jon Strother considering selling his comment space for one million dollars. He'd only need one taker... ;)

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  5. Books costing that much - I think I'd be afraid to touch them. I certainly couldn't enjoy it knowing it cost that much. You're right, just think of all the wonderful books you could buy for the same cost as that one, WOW.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

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  6. Don't see this purchase happening any time soon. Hmm, not ever!
    All of my books are there to be touched and hopefully read.
    Giggles and Guns

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  7. Wow, this is insane. I've never wasted more than twenty-five dollars on a book, and it was Dean Koontz. Enough said. : )

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  8. I hear you. What would you do with that kind of book? You'd have to lock it in a environmentally safe vault, and there goes another $100,000. And the vault would need a glass side so you could peer in and see where your retirement went.

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  9. Wow, what an amazing array of products in one industry. From free to $100,000! Something for everyone, that's for sure. I buy at the low end of the spectrum ;)

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  10. If that's what it takes. You can have my sweat and tear soaked wip for (any bids) I'll even go out West and glue some down under red earth onto the introduction. Just like being here. (where's my ebay password?)

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  11. Nope, nope nope. Not gonna happen - ever. I don't think I'd purchase even if I could easily afford it. But having a piece of the moon would be awesome....
    Karen

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  12. I heard about that book the other day. I guess if that's your thing. . . .

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  13. Unbelievable prices! But have you noticed some of the online bookstore prices at Amazon.com? I once saw a copy of my out-of-print centennial history book, Casper Country, listed for $850 and thought it was a typo, but it was listed for over two months until it disappeared, leaving me wondering whether someone actually paid the price or the supplier gave up and took it down. :)

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  14. Sounds kind of nutty to me, but then if you can get it, go for it. I think it's an artificial market, and the last one in the buying chain will find themselves holding an upside-down investment. Remember when baseball cards were all the rage?
    ~jon

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  15. Think how many other books you could buy with that money...although you might need to hold some of the cash back to build a library addition on to your house.

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  16. I'm thinking of including a wormhole with every copy of my book. The reader will never know what page its on until its too late.

    Stephen Tremp

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  17. Haha what a concept! My book is about dogs. My dog sheds enough, maybe I could cover it in real dog hair!

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  18. All I can say for now is 'woow'...


    is it the value of novelty or uniqueness ?

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  19. I'm with Peggy, maybe I will start covering gmy books with all the pet hair I vacuum up every day and sell them as novelty items.

    I'm curious, Helen. In describing the book by Kraken Opus did you leave something out? "... a pint of Indian cricket star...." A pint of his blood? If so, that puts it in the same yuck factor as the coffee I blogged about today. Why would people buy that suff?

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  20. As much as I'd love a moon rock, I'm going to pass on that particular offer. Isn't the book supposed to be the thing, not the nifty assorted goodies?

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  21. I swear, Helen--where do you come up with all this information!! You sure know how to dig it out from everywhere!!

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  22. Yeah, what's the point? Not like you'd be able to read or touch them. They'd live under glass forever.

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  23. Go for it, Simon!

    Jean, you should have offered your autograph for a cut of the sale.

    Jon, we're holding onto our son's game cards. We'll be rich someday! Yeah, right.

    Stephen, I'm in DC and the subject of wormholes came up today!

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  24. Don't laugh, Peggy. That's an idea.

    No typo Maryann. I copied that from the article.

    Elspeth, it goes way beyond getting an autograph.

    Alex, it's kinda like getting an expensive painting. You'll have to get the place to store it out of direct sunlight, with the proper temps, etc.

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  25. I wonder what the cost is to produce one of these books. None of them would fit into my book budget, but I’d love to see one just out of curiosity.

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  26. Those prices and items are just crazy. I laughed. I guess it's something you buy when you have too much money and not enough sense ;)

    All power to the publishers for thinking it up.

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  27. Like so many others, I think having a piece of the moon would be cool but I'd like it to look like a rock. I have a few old, old books my aunt picked up for my father at auctions and they came to me. They're the only books I have for decoration and they're mostly precious only for being my father's. I could buy a lot of books I really want to read for the price of some of those. Or invest in an expensive ereader.

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  28. Jane, maybe one of them will end up in a museum.

    Great alternative, Susan. For that much money, you could buy a lot of people e-readers.

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  29. I agree - totally insane. I wouldn't even be interested in a piece of the moon, either. It just seems silly to me.

    Elle
    Word 4 Writers on HearWriteNow
    Blood-Red Pencil

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  30. It's like limited edition, so ok to sell in such high price, though I probably won't buy.

    Steamy Darcy

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  31. Elle, I clicked over to Word 4 Writers. Is that your program that you created? It sounds great, but I couldn't tell if it was yours or you were advertising it because you'd used it and liked it.

    Enid, I won't be buying it either!

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  32. I'll wait and borrow a copy from the library.

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