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“Make Something Worth Paying For”

I came across a post from Seth Godin this morning that crystallized some of my thoughts on the whole problem of getting people to buy more literary fiction, particularly the debate hosted by Levi Asher at Literary Kicks over whether publishers should do more simultaneous hardcover and paperback printings to lure (young, cash-strapped) readers with a cheaper edition as soon as a book comes out, rather than waiting a year or more to publish the paperback.

When a potential consumer says “I can’t afford it,” Godin claims, that’s almost always not true. “What they are really trying to say,” he explains, “is, ‘it’s not worth it.’” So instead of slashing prices to reach those consumers, Godin suggests you “tell a better, more accurate story” about your product, “and to tell it to the right people.” Or, he adds, “make something worth paying for.”

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