Should Price Equal Value?

photo by Robert Linder is a number. Value is the outcome of a relationship.

My first book, The Commonsense Entrepreneur, has made the difference between a lifetime of struggle and successful entrepreneurship for more than one person.

Lifetime earnings of, let’s estimate, a million dollars. Measure of happiness and contentment from working for yourself instead of a soul-sucking corporation: priceless (meaning, oddly enough, “of such high value as to be incalculable.”)

My books change lives. (I intend my mysteries to be compared to Chandler, so it applies even to fiction.)

Tell me: if The Commonsense Entrepreneur were priced at $10,000 dollars, which is how much a smart business owner will probably increase their net in just a few years after reading and applying it, would you buy it? Would anyone buy it?

Fiction changes lives. The impact of Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep on my life is, literally, incalculable. If someone threatened to suck my memory of Chandler from my brain, and destroy all his work, unless I gave them everything I owned, I cannot tell you what I’d choose, though I know my wife would sigh and start preparing for life under a bridge because she knows what I’d probably choose.

When you start down the road of “price equals value” you need to take it all the way, not just to the first bend.

What book, ever, in history, had a value of $10? How do you calculate that? If it takes you 10 hours to read it, were you paying a dollar an hour? Or is your time worth $100 and hour, and the book was paying YOU $99 an hour?

Price is a number. Value is the outcome of a relationship.

2 thoughts on “Should Price Equal Value?

  1. Wow, what a great thought exercise you’ve given me – to retroactively price a book proportionate to the value it’s provided. Well, for starters, “The End of Faith” by Sam Harris I’d have to price in the thousands of dollars (and I’m not an atheist). Gotta apply that to business books next…

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