Cheap Book Publishing (The American Way)
Last weekend I did a little grocery shopping. Three separate times, I overheard conversations about which type of item to purchase. Each time, the conflict was solved by choosing which item’s purchase price was cheaper. In each of the three conversations, nothing but price was ever mentioned.
- Why was the taste of the product never considered?
- Why was the container’s functionality of use never discussed?
- Is ketchup always ketchup no matter the brand?
- Why, as consumers, do we focus on price and rarely consider the other factors?
I certainly struggle with this issue. Last week, I booked the cheapest flight I could find to Nashville, which just happened to be on American Airlines. I only considered two things: the price of the ticket and the schedule. I failed to look at the entire cost of the trip.
The (Cheap) American Airlines Way
I failed to consider American customer service. As soon as I was notified the plane was delayed and I would miss my connection, I called the airline. The automated system told me they were too busy to take my call because of bad weather. Then they hung up on me.
I failed to consider how the baggage tagger would handle my daughter’s stroller. I was told I had to check her stroller and that I had no choice in the matter. I was assured the stroller would make it safely without damage to my destination.
Was that the case?
No. They broke the stroller in two different spots. After spending over an hour at the customer service desk (and after a very long eight hour travel day), I found out American Airline’s policy is to not cover damage on strollers.
I failed to consider the competence of the ground crew. On the first leg headed to Dallas, the ground crew forgot to latch the luggage compartment. After making it out to the runway, we promptly returned back to fix the issues. This caused a 40-minute delay, which was exacerbated by a storm that moved over Dallas. We then had to sit in a holding pattern for 30 minutes.
The Total Cost After Loss
I failed to consider safety. The MD-80 on the last leg of the flight had so many safety issues; I wondered what I was doing in that aircraft. Caution tape all around the jump seat made it obvious it was broken. There was no water in the bathroom so we had to use hand wipes. On top of this, the bathroom smelled something awful and had a very sticky floor. Even the smoke detector seal was tampered with and just dangling in the air.
In addition to the total cost, I lost out on one day in Nashville, a broken stroller, hours lost with “customer service,” concerns about airplane safety, and a lot of worry. If the total cost were listed up front, would I have purchased the cheapest ticket? Absolutely not!
The true value of a product or services is in total cost and not just the price paid. When looking to have a book published, look at the value and not just what is cheaper on paper- there are a lot of hidden costs that could pop up. It is wise to have one of Izzard Ink’s publishing consultants guide you through the publishing process.