Would you pay $25,000 for a book? What would you expect from a book that cost that much? Have you ever read a $25,000 book? Of course, you hear reports of collectors buying rare antique books for even more than $25,000. That’s not what I’m talking about. Imagine finding a book on Amazon listed for $25,000. Would you buy it?
What’s a book worth?
I’m kicking off the launch of my first book, Stop Your Paycheck Addiction. I read a lot of opinions on how to set a price on this book. And that’s what got me thinking about how much a book is worth.
A poor way of thinking
A recent comment to a blogger promoting his book launch went something like this: “Why are you charging $30 for your book? Don’t you know how poor some of us are?” I don’t know if this particular book is worth the $30. But the comment bothered me. The person who wrote it was worried about the expense, not the return on his investment. I’ve often heard the saying: “Poor people have poor ways.” Usually it’s offered up as an excuse for a half-assed effort or just plain laziness. I think this saying should be turned around like this: “Poor ways make poor people.” And you could even take it a step further: “Middle-class ways make middle-class people. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle. You learn the ways of your social and economic class. Then you follow those ways. And the ways you follow keep you stuck where you are. [Tweet “Poor ways make poor people.”]
My $25,000 books
I love to learn, and I love to read. There have only been a few weeks in my life when I wasn’t reading some sort of book. There was a time when I read way too much fiction, but that’s another story. Some of my best books are stored in our basement. (Our home renovation hasn’t yet extended to installing bookshelves.) I have a couple of $25,000 books in those boxes.
Employee thinking is poor thinking
No, I didn’t pay $25,000 for them. But that is what they are worth. You see, like most of us, I was trained to be an employee. I went to college and became a better-educated employee. And then I tried to become self-employed using my employee mindset. I didn’t grow up poor, but being self-employed using my poor ways of thinking didn’t work at all. I floundered for too long until I quit being stubborn and went searching for answers. The books I read and the training courses I took showed me new ways. And I began to make money once I acted on the information and knowledge I got from them. In reality, these books are worth much more than $25,000.
How to find the value of a book
So, back to my question, “What’s a book worth?” I’ll answer and say, “That depends.” Let me lay it out in bullet points since I knew some readers like them.
- The price doesn’t tell the value of a book
We are conditioned to link value and price. It’s easy to compare a Mercedes and a Kia and know the Mercedes is worth more. But consider a Caltech study on how the price of wine affects the taste. Participants said wine tasted better when they believed it was $90 per bottle. It was less tasty when they were told it was $10 (the actual price). In the same way, you can’t always judge the value of a book by the price you pay. [learn_more caption=”Click here to see an excerpt from the wine study”] There was a catch to the experiment, however. Although the subjects had been told that they would taste five different, variously priced wines, they actually had sampled only three. Wines 1 and 2 were used twice, but labeled with two different prices. For example, wine 2 was presented as the $90 wine (its actual retail price) and also as the $10 wine. When the subjects were told the wine cost $90 a bottle, they loved it; at $10 a bottle, not so much. In a follow-up experiment, the subjects again tasted all five wine samples, but without any price information; this time, they rated the cheapest wine as their most preferred. – See more at: http://www.caltech.edu/content/wine-study-shows-price-influences-perception#sthash.ODFBkj6w.dpuf[/learn_more]
- The price isn’t based on the time the author spent.
Writing is hard work. Some authors try to price their books based on the endless hours they invest. But another author might produce a much more valuable book in only a week. Also, authors can work hard yet still write a poor book.
- Bigger books aren’t better.
You instinctively know that most books could give you the same information in 30 pages. Yes, the stories and analogies that make up the rest of the book have value. Stories, metaphors and analogies are like a coat rack. They give you a framework to hang the information on. Without them the valuable information you need just drifts away. But the size of a book isn’t what makes it valuable.
- The value isn’t in the information or new ideas you get.
Don’t get me wrong. New information and ideas are valuable. And you can judge the relative worth of a book by the quality of information and new ideas in it. But information and ideas don’t make a $25,000 book.
- The value isn’t because you learn new ways.
Poor people have to learn new ways if they want to become rich people. The few $25,000 books I have in my library showed me new ways and opened up new ideas for me. I love new ideas. I like to say that I’m naturally curious and easily interested. The Artist says I’m a collector of useless facts. She’s much more focused and practical. I can pull out random information from things I read when I was 8 years old.( I was reading Readers Digest back then.) Yes, I love to learn. And learning is valuable. But piling up information doesn’t do much good. You can be the smartest person in the room and still be poor.
- The true value of a book is the action you take.
Learning new stuff doesn’t help you much, except to make you awesome at trivia games and popular with intellectual people. You have to take action. You have to put your knowledge and your new ways into practice. Knowledge without action isn’t worth much. [Tweet “Knowledge without action isn’t worth much.”] The $25,000 books I own weren’t that valuable to me right away. But they slowly changed my thinking. My new thinking made me change my ways. My new ways changed my life as I began to act on them. My new ways led me to prosper in my business. The value in these books is in the knowledge I used to create wealth.
$25,000 book offer
Is my book, Stop Your Paycheck Addiction really worth $25,000? It will be worth this much to some people. Sure, you can read it for entertainment. You can read it as an information connoisseur. In either case, it’s worth the list price. But a few of you will take the ideas and run with them. If that’s the case, you’ll get more than a $25,000 value from my book. [Tweet “$25,000 book offer for a select few readers. #entrepreneur”]
My book is for people stuck in a job and looking for a way out. I give a plain-talking outline of what it takes to start and run a home-based business. I include lessons that cost me much more than $25,000 to learn. Some might read it and decide not to start a business. That’s a valuable decision too. Better to work a job you can live with than to start a business and hate it.
The two keys to being a successful entrepreneur is making decisions and taking action. You get good at decisions by making them. So now is your time. You decide whether to click the link or bail out. You have to decide if clicking the link and getting this book will be worth the effort.
Here’s the link: http://ericdeeter.com/book