It's being ripped off by book and magazine publishers.
This is all about price.
Recently, I purchased a collection of Japanese manga (comic book) stories called Naruto.
It was a collection in book form of previously published material from a Japanese magazine called Shonen Jump.
To be honest, the brand name is unimportant, or where it is from - this is a global rant.
Anyhow, after I bought the book and finished reading it over a couple of days, I noticed the price, or should I say prices, on the back of the book.
It was $9.99 in Canadian currency.
But, only $7.95 in U.S. dollars.
What the hell? Or, if you prefer, WTF?
In case you are unaware, the Canadian and U.S. currencies having been trading at or around par for quite some time now. Like since 2007.
So, why am I forced to pay an extra $2.04 for a book available cheaper in the U.S.?
At first I thought - well... maybe this book was printed before 2007.
Well, the original material was first printed in 1999 in Japan. but, the first edition of the collected works in English was printed in 2003.
That explains it, right? Wrong. My copy is the 23rd printing from April 2010. If Canada and the U.S. weren't at par at the time, we had a stronger dollar than the U.S.
So why am I being asked to pay more?
For years, back in the 1980s and 1990s - when Canada's dollar sucked when compared to the US, people like myself who collected comic books often had obscene exchange rates imposed on us by Marvel Comics and DC Comics.
While the difference per dollar may have been about $0.30 in exchange, these publishers, and others, often were asking for 40 cents more on the dollar.
It got so that I couldn't afford my hobby, and I was forced to choose which books I really, really wanted to read and began cutting back on what I purchased. But what did it matter - the publishers still got my money - and more. But that also meant some books lost a reader. And probably a lot more than just me.
It's either pure and simple greed, or publishers are too cheap to pay for a new cover to the magazine or book, as that means higher printing press rates.
So... instead, you cheap bastards make the consumer pay.
And you are right... if I don't like it, I don't have to purchase your product.
After 40 years, I stopped collecting comic books. I have close to 40,000 comic books. Some old, some rare, some shrewdly purchased, and some bought new from the comic stores.
And books from book stores? How's business folks? People still reading a lot? Or is there a reason why you also sell coffee there and offer free wi-fi? Is there a reason you also sell toys like LEGO there? It's a book store. Books. Paper.
I prefer to purchase used books because I am tired of being ripped off by publishers. Which is sad, you know, because as a writer, the last thing I would want to do is hurt another writer.
But your narrow-mindedness is causing me to call a halt to the purchase of new books, too. And I hate doing that.
Now... I know major book seller Indigo (here in Canada) is also concerned about the outrageous price difference regarding Canadian and US currencies... it offers discounts on the larger, more expensive books and proffers on-line deals... but I don't care... most of the books I purchase are simple paperbacks... mysteries, comedies... books that aren't affected by their deep discounts.
I don't blame Indigo... at least they are doing something, when really, they don't have to.
But... we all know where the real problem lies, don't we? The place where everyone is concerned that print is dead... that no one is buying books anymore because no one is reading.
You're shooting yourselves in the proverbial foot.
Do you know what I hate?
I hate being ripped off by publishers.