Saturday, January 21, 2012

What's Up and What's Down?

I recently visited my elderly mother and helped her understand her bank statement. New technologies allow the banks to include more and more information on something as simple as her monthly feedback from them.  If she would use a computer, she would even need to get that paper statement. Along with her bank statement, she also had her electric bill waiting to be paid.  She lives in a small apartment and only heats three rooms yet her bill was nearly $200. Taking a closer look at the bill, I saw she used only $54 dollars of electric and the rest of the bill was fees and delivery costs from the electric company.  It was crazy. 

From FB
Everyone us can probably come up with many other examples of the price of services and products spiraling upward out of control. Everything seems to cost more.  Except for the price of good books.

More and more authors and small publishers are offering excellent products at bargain prices.  Books for less than $5 dollars are available in the hundreds and thousands.  And lots of them are great.  I'm sure there some poor quality stuff among the bounty, but there's also some gems.  As more and more people read on electronic devices, writers and smart publishers are going to answer their demands for affordable books.  After taking back my rights to my epic fantasy series, I self-published them and have started making some money on the first two books.  Even at $1.99 for The Keepers of Sulbreth and $2.99 for Beyond the Gate, I'm seeing profits better than from my previous publisher who held back 75% of all sales against returns.  Do you think I'll ever see any of that money?   I'm happy to be selling books and the reader is happy to be able to buy quality books at a reasonable price. I wish the rest of the things I have to buy would be priced within sane ranges.

What product's rise in price is really bugging you lately? Are you keeping warm this winter, or cutting back on utilities due to the prices and freezing like me?


  1. The price of food has really skyrocketed in just three years. I'm a creature of habit and buy mostly the same stuff from week to week because it's what I like to eat. My bill has gone from $80 a week to $100 a week for the same things that I buy day in and day out (the only difference being 2008 to 2012).

    Course I could complain about the price of gas but it's better now than it was in 2008.

    Rent has gone up 5% since I moved in, but I haven't had a raise in almost four years (wages including cost of living have been frozen in time).

    I will say that the last couple of books I've bought on my kindle have been absolutely free. I got Hollowland by Amanda Hocking for $0 because I noticed that was the price on Amazon. I hit download immediately.

  2. That Public Notice feels a bit too close for comfort. :P

  3. I agree with Michael - food has gone up the most. Our mortgage is fixed, although other utilities have risen. Oddly enough, our water bill went way down. Won't question, just accept it!

  4. I really notice about the food and electric for our bills. We had to drive a lot in the past year because of college visits, so I'm complain about fuel costs a lot although it has been worse.
    Glad we have well water, tastes good and is free.

  5. Good for you, getting your books out there! And selling well - congrats.
    Yes, the grocery bill's astronomical lately. Our wood stove saves us a bundle in the winter, but I have a love/hate relationship with it. :)

  6. I'm really noticing the grocery bill also. Especially when the kids were hope over the holidays.

  7. I've noticed the rise in the cost of food too. Even at Wal-Mart and Aldi's. Water and sewage costs went up around here as well. Had to cut back on the extra long showers.

  8. My goodness, your poor mum!! I cannot believe how her electricity bill is downright robbery for the actual electricity she uses. I'm sure the electricity company is doing something most illegal! :-( I'm glad you are there to help her!

    The price rise that really rankles me is the price of my train ticket - well above the cost of inflation and most unfair for the shoddy service they give to us commuters.

    Hooorah for your book sales - that's something to truly cheer!!!

    Take care

  9. Right now everything's costing way too much, especially since I'm trying to save a lot. Having books stay affordable is doing me no favours in terms of my TBR pile though.

  10. All the extra fees everyone tacks on to their products or services drives me bat-crap-crazy. I'm ready to start charging the companies a Good Customer Fee since I pay my bills on time and am all around delightful to deal with on the phone!