Originality and the price of books


Aspiring Author
Jan 30, 2008
I have this question- is it imperative that a story is totally original? I would think originality is a creativity squasher. I think many would be authors give up because it's difficult coming up with totally original ideas. I personally don't think originality is paramount, and nobody tells a story in exactly the same way; it shouldn't matter as long as it's not word for word plagerism.

My other question is the pricing of books. Now I have recently published my very first science fiction novel with outskirts press, but the lowest retail price they could muster is $16.95. I personally think that's insane, I know If I seen it in a bookstore, I might read the front and back cover, then when I seen the price would just put it back on the shelf. I mean $17 is alot for some people. The average $8 or so is no big deal. I don't think anyone would have a heart annurism if they threw away $8.
I've heard it said that true originality lies not in saying what no one has ever said before, but in saying exactly what you think. Originality is like an ocean that's ever expanding; reaching the frontier of what's been done is only going to get harder in the future.

As for the price of books- a lot of it has to do with the size of the print run. Only the mass produced books and extremely cheap editions (usually of classics) ever get down to $8. There have been a few that I can't find for under $15.
I think what most publishers are looking for is fantastic writing and fresh takes on things. So yes, you should feel free to use the tropes of your genre, but you should also do your best to stand them on their head and make them new, different, and exciting.

Pricewise, my first novel, STAKED (coming out March 11th, 2008 from Pocket Books) is being released in trade paperback for $14... which seems to be pretty standard for new releases in that format, so I'm not sure that I'd worry too much about the $17. Spend all that angst worrying about whether people will like it when they read it and whether bookstores will stock it.

That's where I've funneled all of mine. :)


Similar threads