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Folio Pricing Differentials-A list in honor of the poster formerly known as LesMis

Folio Society devotees

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Edited: Feb 19, 2012, 2:36pm Top

Much verbage has been batted back and forth about FS pricing by many highly eddicated people with modern computer skills, leaving it to the lowly shovel wielder to dig up a simple list, so that all may see more clearly ;v) A bit of easy detection on the FS site, with the help of an online currency converter so that all results are in American dollars, has yielded the following results. From left to right read

LE's and Shakespeare




CaTales 625...958....797...745

Tr & Cr...594...1044..697...695





KH Map.150....268...196...195

KH PB...1575..2885.2002.1995

KH Mus.625...1172..853...795



Holk Bi..388....696...597...490

Holy L...1527.2302.1856.1795





Night T 1662.3052.2207.1975










Some new titles








First, sorry Steve, I'm not used to the new moniker yet. Still....have I got a list for yoo!

Next, I remembered in the Artificial Leather, Artificial Silk thread how much more clear the the subject of the discussion became when the artificial binding materials noted in Folio 60 were listed... I was overwhelmed by the response...so I thought that my and others understanding of the pricing issue might benefit by seeing a specific numerical comparison of prices paid by members in different regions.

Some numbers really do jump out...3G for Night Thoughts!

Anyway, if I've made mistakes they are unintentional, I hope they're small, and I have rounded up the odd cent and dollar. Any corrections are welcome. And I've left off New Zealanders and ROW'ers, just lazy but I believe their prices go with Australia and GB respectively.

And it might be interesting to see a comparison of the whole FS list.

edited for presentation, so that the jumbled mass of numbers doesn't resemble whatever some people feed their dogs.

Edited grammar.

Feb 19, 2012, 1:39pm Top

Almost as interesting as watching my dog return to his vomit.

Feb 19, 2012, 2:30pm Top

> 1

I'm confused as to why all prices are in US Dollars, given that FS is a UK business. Shouldn't you convert the UK prices to local currencies, and then compare those with the prices FS charge, so as to show how much more people have to pay, even after bearing any exchange rate costs?

Feb 19, 2012, 2:35pm Top

No offence taken, #2, I'm pretty crude too;)

You know, vat1sem mentioned in Folio Marketing about Folio LE's, but I really did not understand until I made this list.

3G's for Night Thoughts, almost $1400 more! Must really be an Arion Press production.

$1300 more for King Henry's Prayer Book! (tho I have to wonder about the popularity of this item)

Mostly several hundred more all the way 'round....

And most sad, the common low price edition of which so many posters praise the wonder of a fine book for just a bit more than a regular trade edition, which is $39 UK, is $64-70 AUS. To be fair, I ask, are trade editions in Australia roughly $50-60?

Very interesting too, to see the American and Canadian differences.

Feb 19, 2012, 2:52pm Top

>1 olepuppy:

Nicely done Olepuppy!

When you see it listed out like that it really hits home just how expensive, costly, overpriced, exorbitant........it is to purchase a book "within the reach of everyman" from the FS in Australia. Over 3,000 dollars for 'Night Thoughts' - seems they've got a sense of humour.

Edited: Feb 19, 2012, 3:38pm Top

>3 housefulofpaper:

The easiest way for me to do this was to use the Folio prices posted for each book for each region from their website.

I chose US dollars as a common denominator because 3 of the 4 regions sampled here pay in dollars which are valued fairly equally, tho I did learn as I converted that the Australian dollar has a significantly greater value. I thought too that while most people are familiar with the worth of the American dollar, many are unfamiliar with the worth of the pound.

Edited: Feb 19, 2012, 3:18pm Top

FWIW, the average price per book (US$) paid by a member in each country buying all books on the list is:

UK $ 599
AUS $1,006
Can $ 770
US $ 730

Shipping, of course would make a difference, but can't easily be included here. Shipping for the typical FS book (non LE) is about US$5. LE shipping costs vary from LE to LE. Not sure what any of the shipping costs are for the other countries, but I'm pretty sure it does not make up for the US$130 (minimum)/US$400 (maximum) premium paid outside the UK. I expect it will add to the difference for AUS, and, for LEs at least, for the US and Canada as well.


{edited to switch US and Can labels}

Feb 19, 2012, 3:10pm Top

Hi Celtic, yes, funny... and not so funny.

Even the short and stocky LE's, the most affordable ones-Moby Dick, Aeneid, LesMiserables-are over $200 more.

Feb 19, 2012, 3:15pm Top

>7 Osbaldistone: Thanks for those numbers, Osbaldistone. ( Is US/Can flipped?)

Feb 19, 2012, 3:18pm Top

>8 olepuppy:

Yes - they are doing their level best best to take the 'jolly' out of 'swagman'.

Feb 19, 2012, 3:26pm Top

I've just looked at the prices for Night Thoughts using the method I suggested.

£1050 converts to AUS$1552, so the listed price of AUS$2850 is 184% of the UK price.

Similarly, the Canadian price is 133% and the US price is 119%.

Feb 19, 2012, 3:53pm Top

Thanks, I see that. I get the same percentage figures using the American conversions.

Feb 19, 2012, 4:08pm Top

>1 olepuppy:
A list of currency conversions is a useful way of proving something that, to my knowledge, no-one on this forum has ever doubted. Or maybe I missed the post where someone claimed that Aussie price concerns were fantasy?

Anyway, we're at the same point we always get to: so what?

The oft-expressed sympathy for Aussie members asked to overpay for FS volumes is clearly genuine. Many have also signed the petition - I didn't, and my reason is petty, as I found the "honourable" Soviet to be rude and over-bearing long before this issue raised its head. My bad.

So what are we expected to do, Olepup? Join a worldwide boycott of FS? Alter our thinking to accommodate the rantings of a disgruntled individual, whose agenda spilled far beyond this issue and poisoned numerous unrelated discussions on this forum?

Soviet withdrew his custom from FS. Other Aussies did not, despite their deploring FS policy. Why do you feel the need to support this individual so publicly? Is it because his attitude to FS lines up with your own "single issue" view of the company?

Feb 19, 2012, 4:23pm Top

> 7

Shipping to Australia for non-LEs is $9 US per volume (with multiples for sets) and fully priced for LEs (which means that none of the LE cost goes to shipping). For example, Moby Dick is $53 US and the Roberts $160 US for delivery.

Feb 19, 2012, 6:48pm Top

I did sign the petition and I do feel for our Aussie members, but what can be done? Even if every last Devotee quit FS, with 788 Devotees and 120,000 FS members (2011 according to Wikipedia) that would mean they would lose 0.66% of their membership. Less than 1%. And while the friendly accommodating customer service people might be a little upset by our leaving the marketing gurus would probably look at it the same way big-box stores do--so we lose a customer here and there, there's ten more coming through the door in their place. They would probably see even a 1% loss as acceptable and we can't even make up that much. And the other 99.4% of the membership aren't likely to find out about the price differences unless they all become Devotees because the controversy bit on Wikipedia is gone again.

P.S. And even if the other 787 Devotees drop their FS membership I can't do it--my addiction is just too strong. Sorry guys. :-(

Feb 19, 2012, 6:55pm Top

Interestingly, it looks as though the FS has taken into account the recent rise in the value of the Canadian dollar.

Feb 19, 2012, 7:33pm Top

>13 ian_curtin: Thank you for your questions, ian_curtin, I'll do my best to explain clearly.

I don't know where 'we're at'. I know that, after making this list, I'm at a different point of understanding than before. I think the problem of overpricing is worse than I thought previously, based upon such high numbers, and I thought I was quite aware of the severity after all the discussion we've had here. I've put the list out so that other members from any region may determine for themselves their own feelings on the matter. I would be surprised if many posters looked at all the prices and said,yep, what I thought, so what. I will not be surprised if many posters say tired of this, so what, or I'm in UK/ROW, doesn't affect me, so what. But there are many members here from the US and Canada and Australia, and maybe many more who only read, and they may wish to see the numbers, even crunch their own.

As I said above, the idea came from my previous listing in artificial materials. I thought I had become fairly knowledgeable then, yet the listing showed an amount and frequency of AM usage which indicated more questions needed to be asked. I think the questioning there has led to more trustworthy advertising about binding materials, which are a big part of the presentation and cost of Folio books. Of course, I do wonder about the Faulkner, but not enough to restart AL/AS.

I think 88 signatures only says we, as a group, will not support a more fair Australian pricing.

You seem to say that the pricing argument is valid, but because you never liked a proponent of fair pricing that you cannot join in to help. I can only suggest to let the past remain in the past. As to boycotting and such, I don't know.

I remember outrageous pro-folio rantings from many devotees so I don't unfairly single out one individual from either side. I claim some responsibility for the widespread discussion across threads, because I said at that time any question about the cost of a book, in any thread, allowed for the question of pricing to be introduced.

What to you mean by single issue? I've taken the lead about materials and the resale of damaged returns, joined in about pricing and marketing, declared my love of many books here and elsewhere and enjoyed the many posts about books and reading.

I honor the poster formerly known as LesMis for the rightness of his cause and his bravery in the face of overwhelming opposition. I don't say he always made right statements, but I do not make that claim of his opposition either.

Sometimes things get to a point where all the fingerpointing prevents any progress.

So what about you, Ian? Can you let your hurt feelings go away? Can you sign a petition if you think it is right? Can you help this thread not become another blowout? And howabout your friends?

Edited: Feb 19, 2012, 7:59pm Top

>16 kdweber:

I had thought that US/CAN prices were almost identical. Has the letterpress Shakespeare always been $100 more?

>15 haniwitch:

Whoa, haniwitch, whoa, no one needs to leave...I'm not sure your analysis is the only scenario possible.

Did you look at the lists? Were the price differences what you had thought they were?

Feb 19, 2012, 9:07pm Top

I have recently become a member of The Folio Society, but, being in Australia (not to mention a poor uni student), after the required books I have had to purchase after the original joining offer, there is no way I'm going to be buying any more books direct from their site. It is much easier to find them at significantly cheaper prices on sites such as AbeBooks.
Having read through a large portion of the threads talking about this price disparity, I doubt anything we can do is going to convince them to change the prices, and the only way they're going to change is if, in another 5 or so years, the Australian Dollar is still as comparatively strong as it is now, they might change the prices to reflect conversion rates.

Feb 19, 2012, 9:15pm Top

>1 olepuppy: Thanks Olepuppy - it really is interesting to see the numbers listed like that (even as a disgruntled Australian member who does check the prices individually, it is different to see the list en masse). And the pricing of the new editions suggests that the problem actually seems to be getting worse.

>13 ian_curtin: LM/Soviet may have been the only one to post on LT about withdrawing from FS because of the pricing policy, but I can assure he was not the only Aus member to take action in this regard. (Even if it wasn't done as part of an ideological stance, some of us have had to leave FS purely because we can no longer afford the books - we have to transfer allegiance to other presses whose books are more affordable in our neck of the pond, or move to the second hand market, or even impose on the kind members who've offered to buy books on our behalf and send them on.) Sadly, this means our local market gets smaller, which probably makes the problem worse, but those of us who stuck it out for a few years assuming there would eventually be some sort of 'correction' in the prices have been disillusioned.

>15 haniwitch: I was thrilled so many non-Aus members signed the petition - how awesome of you guys to care about fair treatment of members across the globe! But you can rest assured it never entered my mind anyway that you would *resign* in protest! (Where would we find our second hand fixes then?)

Feb 19, 2012, 10:21pm Top

Not saying anyone needs to leave, or would leave (I even said I couldn't). But in the retail world the most effective type of protest is to boycott the product (i.e. don't renew my FS membership). Personally if I were part of the FS marketing group I would ignore the Devotees as we represent less than 1% of the customer base. And there are only 88 signatures on Les Mis's petition so that wouldn't even be a blip on their radar. So basically I feel kind of helpless in all this.

As for the price differences I'm used to that. I just bought Cemetery Dance's The Century's Best Horror Fiction from the Amazon US site for $88 US instead of from the Canadian site for $122 Can. The US/Can dollars are equal right now so I don't even need a currency converter to realize there's a $34 difference. This is why I think FS should have only one (UK) price and let our various credit cards sort out the currency. But as I said, with the Devotees being less than 1% of their customers and I'm 1/788th of the Devotees why should FS listen to me?

Feb 19, 2012, 10:33pm Top

Sorry, skullduggery, you won't get any "second hand fixes" from me. The FS books I buy are with me to the end. And god knows what will happen to them after I'm gone. I keep trying to drum into my sister and nephew that FS books should not be part of a yard sale and I have mentioned the Devotees as a good place to find homes for them but their attitude towards books scares me (they might own ten books between the two of them and those were probably all gifts from me). In the meantime I look on my library as an incentive to live a long, healthy life because who's going to take care of them when I die? ;-)

Feb 19, 2012, 10:42pm Top

>21 haniwitch: I thought you brought up immediately the idea that 'even if every devotee quit' etc, and what I meant is one thing at a time, sorry. Let's max the petition first.

I think it's been shown here time and again that FS does listen to us here. The membership consistently increases and I wonder if other new members might become more vocal. I do think that not trying to do something will mean nothing will happen. I understand, tho, what to do that will make a difference or encourage others to help.

Anyway, thanks for posting!

Feb 20, 2012, 2:50am Top

olepuppy, thank you for all the work you put into the comparative price table. Must have taken you ages, but well shows what we in Australia face when buying from the FS. It also demonstrates the discrimination against North Americans.
Can you email this to the FS with appropriate covering comments and ask for their response?

Edited: Feb 20, 2012, 6:15am Top

I fully agree with haniwitch: 11% of the Devotees signed the petition; this is only 0.07% of the whole FS membership. This kind of fight is doomed from the start.

There are other fights which can also drain a lot of energy from us generous people, as for instance helping death-row prisoners, children in Haiti, or a school for the blind in Cameroon. It can be much more rewarding and useful.

Edited: Feb 20, 2012, 8:47am Top

> 25

I agree. I am afraid that I really don't see the point in this thread. It's not going to change anything and it bores and alienates the majority of members.

Feb 20, 2012, 9:37am Top

>25 Pepys:,26 ditto

Edited: Feb 20, 2012, 10:10pm Top

Whatever you think of the thread, the debate, its proponents, the conclusion that FS can ignore it because 788 Devotees make up only .66% of (120k) members is mistaken.

First, I would guess that Devotees average a multiple in FS spending over others (most people don't buy LEs!).

Second, the multiplier effect, whereby one happy customer spawns new customers (word of mouth, gifts, etc) works both ways - i.e. one happy customer creates more, and one unhappy customer rails and complains until he has removed far more than his own custom. Also, Devotees are (or could/should be) the more enthusiastic FS members, so they're more sensitive to FS behaviour, which means their ability (willingness) to convert or subvert potential members is much greater. Alienating an insider is especially risky (consider the Wikipedia entry).

Third, beyond the 788 Devotees, there is a universe of silent monitors. When people purchase from small foreign companies over the internet they are especially wary, and Google directs them here - so FS is more likely to be "researched" by the foreigners they're "over-charging". Many people will happily pay a given price, but baulk when others get it cheaper.

Fourth, as a group we're a useful market research tool, and allowing for differences in emphasis, it is likely that our concerns represent wider, unbroadcast concerns - so FS would consider the percentage of offended Devotees, rather than the percentage of Devotees to members.

Anyway, my point is it's absurdly simplistic to add up disgruntled Devotees and discount their business from the model. From Folio's (from the IP address) speedy deletion on Wikipedia of the "controversy", following its mention here, we can be confident it's being actively discussed at board and management level.

Feb 20, 2012, 11:19am Top

You're speaking of 788 Devotees, leonb. You're absolutely correct. But remember that only 11% of the Devotees signed up the petition. A real minority.

Feb 20, 2012, 11:22am Top

> 28
Good point Leonb. Especially the mention of our group as a useful market research tool for the FS.

Feb 20, 2012, 11:40am Top

Discussing this pricing issue here is a bit as if we were complaining about some of us having a lot of money to spend on FS books, while some others are comparatively very poor; and if we were asking that everybody gets the same earnings. (A very sovietic view, isn't, Soviet?)

But real life isn't like that. There are rich people and there are poor people, even in this group. And worse: some rich people might happen to live in the UK, and some poor people in Australia, which would aggravate the difference when they buy FS books. It's utopian to think that this group can reform this. Some of us read too many Fairy tales books. (From FS, of course.)

Feb 20, 2012, 11:47am Top

> 31

I agree. And the fact that the FS may or may not take note of this site is irrelevant. I believe that many of us here are sick and tired of the poison and venom that has been injected into this forum. A proportionate debate is fine - but the issue has just gone on for too long, being randomly injected into completely unrelated threads. I am sick of it.

In any event this site has boxed itself into a cul de sac of irrelevance. I don't think the FS take it seriously any more - our civil wars have become something of a joke.

Feb 20, 2012, 12:48pm Top

>29 Pepys:

Pepys, I recognize that only a minority of Devotees have signed the petition (I haven't). But the 11% that have signed is more representative than the .66% figure quoted (Devotees to members). And there are other considerations which should overweight disgruntled Devotees (average spend, zeal, & presence).

>31 Pepys:

Whatever your views on this, I think there's more going on than rich vs poor - many rich people would take umbrage at being charged more for the same product sold at the same time by the same company. Airline tickets, the classic discriminatory example, are more chaotically priced, so less instinctively offensive, perhaps. I'm not saying it's "unfair", but if it feels "unfair" it can easily impact sales (beyond price driven supply & demand).

>32 Quicksilver66:

This isn't an unrelated thread. Though I understand your frustration more generally.

Feb 20, 2012, 1:52pm Top

I find it fascinating that a thread entitled "Folio Pricing Differentials-A list in honor of the poster formerly known as LesMis" attracts group members stating how much they hate the folio pricing debate, how they resent LesMis' role in it, and how they can't understand why others keep discussing it. I assumed the title would serve as a repellent for those folks. I don't read threads that don't interest me and, if they annoy me, I use the 'Ignore topic' button at the top of the thread (quite useful).

I'm also a bit confused by the occasional comment that a thread like this is inappropriate because the group is called "Folio Society Devotees". Perhaps someone should start a new group called "Folio Society Blind Devotees" for those who don't want to see any negative comments about FS.


Feb 20, 2012, 2:25pm Top

> 34

It’s nothing to do with the presence of negative comments. Constructive debate, positive and negative, is good. It has been the constant intrusion of this debate to the extent that it has to appear in practically every thread. That's not constructive - it’s destructive. Les Mis was a great and eloquent advocate for his cause when he was more restrained.

Edited: Feb 20, 2012, 2:38pm Top

Have a thought for Martians who buy Folio books. The costs are astronomical. I don't know what on earth is going on.

Feb 20, 2012, 4:04pm Top

> As they are only a small group, they would fall under the ROW group (expanded to include those that are out of this world but not Australian, New Zealand, US and Canada). Therefore, they would pay the same price for books as UK residents, but with a legitimately appropriate charge for delivery. I'd be quite happy with the Martian deal.

Feb 20, 2012, 4:13pm Top

The price list in # 1 is interesting, but not necessarily instructive. What we need to know is something we probably can't find out, which is: why does FS price differentially (after taking into account differences in shipping costs)? I can think of only two reasons:

1. There are more people in the UK who subscribe, so FS makes up the difference by charging more in the less active markets.
2. After careful analysis of sales data over time, FS has come to the conclusion that UK members wouldn't pay any higher prices, whereas people in other countries would -- with Australians being the most willing to pay top dollar.

Feb 20, 2012, 9:52pm Top

>19 johni92: I like that you've expressed your opinion...and signed the petition, thanks.

Skullduggery and wcarter, y'welcome. Thanks for the email suggestion, it is my place to do it, but Folio doesn't answer my emails unless they involve billing or damaged books. If you wish please feel free....

I'm quite disappointed by your many statements here, QS, I need your help too, could you please prepare a pricing list for 'Children's Books' ? Thanks a lot.

Great stuff, leonb, thanks for posting. I found devotees googling about a Folio book, and I remember feeling famous when I googled artificial leather to search for info and the first item was my latest post from Art Leather/Art Silk. Our talk here does get around.

I really am trying very hard to be polite, thankful, and inoffensive...but I really do like the Blind Devotees bit, Os.

And sorry all, I wanted to get out some new numbers, but I'm beat, long day, taken me 2 hours to write this lil bit, I am either devoted or demented...hmmm...sounds like a Perry Mason story...The Case of The Demented Devotee;)

Feb 20, 2012, 9:55pm Top

> 4
"To be fair, I ask, are trade editions in Australia roughly $50-60?"
I didn't see anyone answer this earlier in the thread, but to answer your question, the RRP of new hardcover books does tend to be $50-$60, but I don't actually know anyone who buys them at that price. Mostly I've seen paperbacks and not a lot of hardbacks for sale in bookshops, presumably because nobody buys them. They still sell paperbacks for $30ish, which is why I buy all my books either second-hand or from Amazon UK. These prices are what I see as being the most likely cause for the Folio pricing for Australians being the way it is.

Feb 21, 2012, 3:34am Top

>17 olepuppy:, 39
Thank you in turn for your reply, Olepup. You have indeed been polite and thoughtful in your posts.

I absolutely acknowledge the validity of the pricing argument, I have never claimed otherwise. I am, however, like some others have mentioned, a little fed up with (a) the widespread coverage it receives; and (more importantly) (b) the poisonous tone that seems to inevitably manifest itself when the topic emerges. On the latter, as you say we should let the past be the past.

Yes, I associate you with the "materials" issue, and I don't intend any slight by using the term "single issue". All aspects of Folio deserve disussion, and I have never believed the company to be perfect or above criticism. I don't accept though that there is evidence they are "immoral", meretricious or deliberately misleading, as some seem to be believe.

We should probably recognise that FS attracts all kinds of members, from the gushing neophytes to the jaded long-timers. All deserve to be accommodated and accorded respect. If we can return to having that quality on Devotee threads (regardless of the topic under disussion) then perhaps the evident intelligence and passion of the group could be harnessed in a way that works positively for change where it is needed. And we can get back to sharing news and opinions about what I believe to be the most important things - the books.

Feb 21, 2012, 3:39am Top

THANKS to olepuppy. I tried last night to do a conversion of the prices of the new books I'm interested in and I managed about two currencies before my head caved in, so my caved in hat is off to you.

Feb 21, 2012, 5:11am Top

> 39

I assume your reference to "childrens books" to be an attempt at a personal insult. I did not insult you or anyone else in my posts. So who is being childish ?

Feb 21, 2012, 6:56am Top

> 43

Stop being so paranoid.

> 1

Keep the faith.

It doesn't take a majority to make a rebellion; it takes only a few determined leaders and a sound cause.
H. L. Mencken

Edited: Feb 21, 2012, 10:25am Top

> 44

I don't think I am being paranoid Steve. The context of Olepuppy's post is pretty clear.

Feb 21, 2012, 1:06pm Top

>45 Quicksilver66:
Funny. I took it to be becaue you had demonstrated an interest in all the FS Fairy Books. I suppose the real reason was clear to everyone but me.


Feb 21, 2012, 1:43pm Top

> 33
many rich people would take umbrage at being charged more for the same product sold at the same time by the same company

Rich people always take umbrage if they think they're being over-charged. That's how they stay rich!

Feb 21, 2012, 2:36pm Top

> 46

If that is the case, then of course I will retract my comment with apologies to Olpuppy.

Feb 21, 2012, 9:50pm Top

>40 johni92:
Thanks for the answer. $30 for paperbacks, doesn't the Australian government want the population to read?! Is this a form of censorship?

>41 ian_curtin:
And thank you for your most considerate explanations, Ian. Your conclusion is beautifully writ...the harnessing of the devotees intelligence and passion... getting posters to join together,despite differences, to achieve a consensus, a unified...vote...the respect is the key.

>42 letterpress:
Sure enough, letterpress, but PLEASE do not hurt your head, just send me the names of the new books and I'll...trade for designer slipcase covers,?)

>43 Quicksilver66: (Iwillnotdefineassume, Iwillnotdefineassume, Iwillnotdefineassume ) Yo, QS, I mean no disrespect by saying bluntly that you're the only one on this thread hanging on to a hateful past, you know, when you find yourself in times of trouble...let it be...if you gotta rocket in your pocket, be coolly cool, boy...I only want to see you laughing in the purple rain...climb every mountain, ford every stream...she's as sweet as tupelo honey...sorry, QS, losing my way down memory lane, anyway, specifically, I just wanted to get you out of your negativity and said Children's Books, which I was going to price next, probably more Freudian about me than you. Try some Tollbooth Willie. Cheers!

>44 LesMiserables:

Hi Steve, is that from the LOA Mencken?

I'm pretty wiped after a few nights of this after the work day, I think you were damned lucky, and I mean outrageously fortunate, to be on vacation on a tropical island with a good dog and plenty of coconuts and fresh fish and yams and a wee bit of Glensomething and a nifty little computer setup and a pile of books and the odd mermaid while posting for the last couple years, warthog!

Feb 21, 2012, 10:11pm Top

Is it just me, or is the Complete Harry Potter box set available in the US and nowhere else, not even the UK? That doesn't seem to make much sense...

Feb 21, 2012, 10:13pm Top

That means there's only one price.

Feb 21, 2012, 10:22pm Top

True. I expect they would probably send it to other regions if you emailed them about it. Still strange they would only include it on the US site.
(not that I actually want/need them: I already have two copies of each of the books in the series - the ones my parents bought me well actually for me and both my brothers, but I was the only one interested in reading as they came out except for the first two, which I got as a birthday present from a school friend when I was 7, and a fairly nice-looking box set of them in their "adult covers")

Feb 22, 2012, 12:11am Top

> 50

My understanding is that this is not an FS edition but a tizzied up publisher's edition. Looking at the exquisite treatment of the Pullman HDR, I imagine that the FS will do an outstanding job when Bloomsbury/Scholastic give them the rights to produce a genuine FS edition.

Feb 22, 2012, 1:24am Top

> 49

Toolbooth Willie ? Whatever it is it sounds good - think I will try some.

Feb 22, 2012, 8:10pm Top

>54 Quicksilver66:

That's Tollbooth Willie, Adam Sandler...the men roar and the gals leave the room, shaking their heads.

Have you picked up any Liberty Fund editions recently? Most of their offerings are over my head, but I like the having primary source material for the early years of the American Republic.

Feb 23, 2012, 5:33am Top

Despite my resolve not to buy any Folio books direct from the site, I just couldn't resist ordering the Kelmscott Chaucer at half price, a great price for it even at Australian prices.

Feb 23, 2012, 6:46am Top

> 55

Damn. I thought it was something to drink.

I have not picked up any Liberty Fund books for a while, but I have a few. I have my eye on their edition of Hume's Histories. Very reasonably priced.

Feb 23, 2012, 8:03am Top

>57 Quicksilver66:

If you have a kindle (or some other type of ebook reader), almost all of the Liberty Fund Books are available for free downloading through gutenberg or other sites given that they have been OOP for years. I use the catalog as a great source for tracking down such books--for example, I highly recommend Hippolyte Taine's trilogy titled the Ancien Regime, the French Revolution and Modern France (which is published by Liberty Fund Books and available for free ebook download).

Feb 23, 2012, 8:58am Top

> 58

Thank you for that tip, Podaniel.

I think Liberty Fund books are nicely produced as well. Their soft backs all have top quality paper and nice flexible bindings that are quite tough and durable.

Edited: Feb 23, 2012, 9:27pm Top

Unfortunately Soviet can't be PM'd - I wanted to thank him for his thoughtful recommendation, despite our differences, guess he's not such a bad guy after all...

Hi Leonb
Knowing you are a bibliophile and your political position, I thought you might be interested in this bargain http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/ENCYCLOPEDIA-JUDAICA-16-Vols-COMPLETE-w-3-Yearbooks-1...

Feb 23, 2012, 9:29pm Top

55, 57, 58

Can I request that you please, please not hijack this thread with irrelevant discussions of Liberty Fund books? ;-)

Feb 24, 2012, 9:50pm Top

>61 vat1sem:

Can I hijack my own thread? This is confusing...well, then, I'm a big fan of potpourri, let it all hang out;)

>59 Quicksilver66:

My last book from Liberty Fund was The Sacred Rights of Conscience coupla years ago. I read a bit and skimmed then shelved it, have it back out now, completely happy to have it in my library. Some reading purists may scoff, eh.

And I apologize, QS, but I changed my mind about children's books, before them I'll do these:

(remember, UK...AUS...CAN...US, in US$)



Bewick's B...197...344...250...250


One way right off the bat to reduce Australian prices would be to raise the ROW prices to US levels, or at least $5-10 per book, and apply the increase to a similar decrease for down under. That seems fair.

Feb 25, 2012, 12:29am Top

Re: The Liberty Fund

I had not hear of it until now. Some scary books in there.

The only way to guarantee Liberty is to be collectively free. Individualism is slavery. It guarantees exploitation by the powerful business and socio-political interests of society.

It is true...Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains.

Man must be forced to be free in the Rousseauian sense.

Feb 25, 2012, 8:53pm Top

I've been absent this group for a while, because I moved from the US to Australia about a year ago and haven't found the heart to stay a member of the FS from here, with these prices.

But I haven't told them officially yet, which I plan to do soon. I'll tell them to stop emailing me, and I'll tell them why.

Meanwhile, people who don't want to talk about this issue should be HAPPY that there's a thread for it. Maybe that way, it won't bleed so much to other threads. Don't come here if you don't want to see it.

Feb 26, 2012, 9:50pm Top

>56 johni92:

So you paid $430+?shipping AUS for the Kelmscott? Why do you think that is a good price?

>64 gistak:

Welcome back, gistak. Thank you for posting.

Well, 795 Devotees, 91 petitioners, that says it all...the majority of devotees won't join in to sign a petition to lower Australian prices. C'mon, let's get going!

I still think that raising ROW prices $5-10/book could result in a nice little reduction down under...hell, let's just go for it, let's raise all UK/ROW prices $5-10/book, keep US/CAN prices the same, and really make a dent in the AUS/NZ price reduction...the differential will still be in place yet more closely aligned.

Is there any group in Australia working for a lowering of book prices in general? For how long? Any success?

Feb 27, 2012, 1:44am Top

$434 including shipping, but it's much better than $800, and after seeing the photos of it I decided that I absolutely had to have it. Also, at least if I buy it from their site I know that it'll be replaced for free if it's defective, unlike if I bought it from another seller.
I don't know of anything like that happening, but the majority of people I know wouldn't have a clue how much cheaper books are in other countries.
Out of curiosity, what are the prices of university textbooks and stuff like in other countries? I know that if I was going to buy them new, all of my textbooks would be about $150 each.

Mar 6, 2012, 4:00am Top

>4 olepuppy:
>40 johni92:

Your questions picqued my interest, so I chose as randomly as possible some non-FS books to compare UK and AUS prices (I got bored after 4). The RRP is self-explanatory, the Disc. price is the cheapest I could find a major online retailer selling the title for. All prices are shown in Australian dollars - the % shown is what percentage the Aus price is of the UK price.

Haruki Murakami, IQ84, books 1&2, hb, (Harvill & Secker/Vintage)

RRP: (AUS) 59.95 - (UK) 29.50 (203%)
Disc.: (Aus) 36.40 - (UK) 14.75 (246%)

Roberto Bolano, 2666, pb, (Picador/Macmillan)

RRP:(Aus) 24.99 - (UK) 14.73 (170%)
Disc.: (Aus)22.91 - (UK) 9.13 (251%)

Alain de Botton, Religion for Atheists, hb, (Penguin)

RRP: (Aus) 35 - (UK) 28.32 (124%)
Disc.: (Aus) 32.05 - (UK) 12.73 (252%)

Jodi Picoult, Lone Wolf, hb (Allen & Unwin, Hodder & Stoughton)

RRP: (Aus) 47.49 - (UK) 28.3 (168%)
Disc.: (Aus) n/a - (UK) 16.97

Mar 6, 2012, 4:07am Top

I've also noticed with the Wordsworth Edition Classics, which I find are good for if I want a classic just in a cheap paperback to read now - in the UK their RRP is £1.99 (which is roughly $3), but in Australia their RRP is $6.95, which is more than double the price. I can actually just buy them from Amazon UK for the £1.99 each and get free delivery to Australia if I spend over £25.

Mar 6, 2012, 5:04am Top

> 67

Automatique, I’m not sure what your survey was intended to show, but every discount price you showed for Australia is considerably higher than I could find on Book Depository ($27.15 for Murakami in Hardback, $13.95 for the Bolano and $25 for de Botton in hardback. These are the Australian dollar prices shown on the BD website (no currency conversion by me) and include delivery.

I did not look at Amazon UK or US. Typically they are cheaper per book but charge for freight.

Also, the UK discount seems extraordinary. Which bookseller provides such cheap prices for recent publications?

Mar 6, 2012, 6:23am Top

> 69

Vat1sem, the discount prices were the cheapest I could find from an Australia-based online retailer, sorry I didn't make that clear. Of course the possibility exists of buying from overseas sources, but that doesn't bear on the consistently higher prices charged inside Australia. The UK discount prices are from Amazon UK.

I did this for my own curiosity and as a response to the two posters who raised the question of Australian prices for non-FS books. I always found the disparity between FS's UK and Australia prices strange. The obvious conclusion though, as johni92 suggested, is that FS's Australian markup as a percentage is roughly consistent with that of other publishers - whatever the reasons for the latter may be.

Mar 6, 2012, 8:18am Top

>70 automatique:

I see. The fact is, though, that if I wanted to buy these books I would order from the Book Depository or Amazon (depending on the number of books ordered). I would not order from an online Australian retailer. Indeed, some of the Australian retailers actually take the order in Australia but arrange despatch from overseas - at prices comparable sometimes to BD.

It is clear, however, that the FS continues to find it profitable to sell to Australians at inflated prices (even if they sell less books than they would at cheaper prices the profit is the same or higher and there are less transactions to service). Why their Australian market continues to be so profitable is anyone’s guess, but I suspect that there are a few different segments.

There are people like me who only buy from FS when they are heavily discounted (typically averaging half the standard price). We are probably still profitable, though not by much, given that we still pay significantly more than UK members offered the same deal and they would be, I think, profitable.

Then there are those who recognise that they are paying over the odds but want the books enough to pay the price anyway. A few of these people have outed themselves on the various threads of this group.

Finally there are those who are not aware of the price differences and can afford to continue paying FS Australian prices. Many of these people, I think, probably don’t go out of their way to seek out heavy discounts on other books sold in Australia at special antipodean prices. I suspect it is the continued patronage of this group that makes the FS Australian pricing strategy so profitable.

Now to have a look at the new books just posed on the FS website :-}

Mar 6, 2012, 5:23pm Top

I've noticed that you get a voucher for introducing a friend to FS. Is the worth of the voucher at least proportionate to the price of the books for each region? Aus one is $125.

Mar 6, 2012, 8:11pm Top

Just a comment here - do you notice that the monthly prize has not yet been won by an Aussie or NZer. I notice Canadians have won several times. Do you think this is because of less members from Aussie, or what??

Mar 6, 2012, 8:52pm Top

>72 johni92:
I've never seen a voucher here (US).


Mar 6, 2012, 9:30pm Top

>73 kiwidoc:
I'm sure it's just that there's less Aussies than people from other places. Isn't it just a random selection with everybody who enters having equal chance to win?

>74 Osbaldistone:
That is interesting. Maybe that's at least one thing going for us here...or maybe they just really want more Australian members because of the amount of profit they get from us. Anyone from UK or ROW have this offer?

Mar 7, 2012, 2:28am Top

> 75

The 'introduce a friend' offer comes together with books ordered and is displayed also on the webpage (£50).

Mar 7, 2012, 2:44am Top

Ah, so it is at least proportionate to prices. Thanks for that. Strange that Os doesn't have it though. Not looking in the right place or just not offered in the U.S.?

Mar 7, 2012, 2:47am Top

Recentish release of slipcased edition of A Game Of Thrones - Aus RRP and price in-store at Dymocks $80, UK RRP £40, Amazon UK price £26. Once again about double the price for Aus.

Mar 7, 2012, 6:07am Top

>77 johni92: I don't see it either. I suspect it's a non-US offer.

Mar 10, 2012, 5:05pm Top

> 35

It’s nothing to do with the presence of negative comments. Constructive debate, positive and negative, is good. It has been the constant intrusion of this debate to the extent that it has to appear in practically every thread. That's not constructive - it’s destructive. Les Mis was a great and eloquent advocate for his cause when he was more restrained.

I wonder if there is anyone out there, with more time than me, who would verify this claim?

No need, because it is a falsehood. Check it out. Do the arithmetic.

Post like these are easily detected as groundless.

QS - You are a lawyer?

If I ever need to defend myself in court, remind me to hire you as the prosecution. :-)

Mar 11, 2012, 12:22am Top

>80 LesMiserables:
I think we all assumed QS intended that as hyperbole, and knew that we knew it is hyperbole. I assume 'practically every thread' meant 'more threads than I would have liked'.


Mar 11, 2012, 12:40am Top

> 81

No, I think practically every thread means practically every thread.

Mar 11, 2012, 12:43am Top

> 35

Discussing this pricing issue here is a bit as if we were complaining about some of us having a lot of money to spend on FS books, while some others are comparatively very poor; and if we were asking that everybody gets the same earnings. (A very sovietic view, isn't, Soviet?

Is that an analogy? then it is a poor one.

Soviet means harmony by the way.

Mar 11, 2012, 12:51am Top

>83 LesMiserables: "Soviet means harmony by the way"

'Harmony' was already taken. :-)

However, my Concise Oxford Dictionary says 'Soviet' comes from the Russian for 'council'. A nearly equally promising, optimistic meaning, however.


Mar 11, 2012, 1:12am Top

> 84

It has that meaning too, though that is more political in nature.

Mar 11, 2012, 5:17am Top

83> Soviet means harmony by the way.
Yeah, that's a good joke, Les Miserables!

Mar 11, 2012, 5:55am Top

> 86

Harmony of prices. Not a joke: an inevitable consequence of activism.

Mar 21, 2012, 8:21pm Top

New LE, Japan!

UK $ 1055

AUS $ 1317

CAN $ 1154

USA $ 1145

Prices much closer all the way around, a good step in the right direction, hope it continues.

Thanks fair price supporters, thanks FS.

Mar 21, 2012, 8:40pm Top

>88 olepuppy:. Wow! I wonder if these new prices for Japan is a consequence of all this discussion that has occurred? If it is, I would agree olepuppy, it is a good step in the right direction for FS to travel down.

Mar 25, 2012, 9:04pm Top

>89 brother_salvatore: Wow indeed. I would think several factors might be involved and that the discussion here is one of them.

Actually it is the second step, brother s, the first step being South Polar Times. As you can see in the original chart, SPT shared the same UK base price as Sharpe's from last spring but was over $300 less for Australians and $50 less for US/CAN, with the percentage increase in pricing being much less than usual for down under.

The percentage increases for Japan, at roughly 125AUS and 110US/CAN, seem great! If succeeding LE and regular edition prices follow a similar pattern, even better.

Thanks to all who have helped to make this change.

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