Updated June 1, 2021.
Times are tough, and for many people money is tight. That was true in 2008 when I originally wrote this post & it is even truer today.
The prices for books have gone up since then, but the problems remain the same. Although many designers are better about matters such as printing on both sides of the page, and many books are reasonably priced, needlepoint books are often just too expensive.
People want value for the scarce dollars they have to spend on needlepoint. Companies want to create products that will compel people to buy them.
So why do I find so many needlepoint books which cost too much for the material in them?
Here are some examples.
1. An 8.5 x 11 spiral-bound book that has a price per page of over $1.00. And when you read it, it has lots of padding and is printed on only one side of the page. Lovely full-color pictures, but not too much content.
2. A tiny book, printed on only one side of the paper, using very heavy glossy paper, with some color photos. This works out to about $.50 per page when the book is 1/4 the size of the book in #1.
3. A book in a three-ring binder, small size, no color, which has many pages of charts and which costs lots more than $50. I think the price per page works out to about $2.00 per page.
What are these people thinking?
I’m fried. The companies could make the books a better value for the customer in so many ways:
~ They could print on both sides of the paper, which would reduce the size of the book, which would mean it wouldn’t look so “worth” the price. But I feel gypped anyway. Why not add more content and make it worth my money.
~ Use less costly production methods. Maybe a different kind of paper, a less glossy finish, a less expensive printer.
I know the bit about printers. The last time I shopped around for a printer I got some quotes which were 3 times other quotes for the exact same specifications!
~ Look to newer technologies for production. The Stitches CDs are a fantastic value, giving you lots of stitches for a good price in a small package. Other ideas might be eBooks, a booklet with a CD, a DVD demonstrating the technique, or even a Cybercourse might be alternatives to an expensive book.
As authors and teachers, we may have had the luxury before of having our products bought no matter the cost. But with gas at well over $4.00 per gallon, we can’t count on this anymore. I’d really like to see this change, how about you?
About Janet M Perry
Janet Perry is the Internet's leading authority on needlepoint. She designs, teaches and writes, getting raves from her fans for her innovative techniques, extensive knowledge and generous teaching style. A leading writer of stitch guides, she blogs here and lives on an island in the northeast corner of the SF Bay with her family
Miss 376 says
Much as I would love to spend money on books, I’m just not able to. I some that I have had for many years and love them, but I find that with new technology, more people are looking to the internet for inpiration rather than the printed page. Not quite the same as curling up on the settee with a cuppa and a book to browse through
Oh, I agree with you completely. There is another point in favour of things like e-books, CDs and DVDs, online classes and the like – they encourage those of us who live outside North America to purchase them.
The shipping costs on books is horrendous because paper is actually quite heavy. Internet-based things such as e-books and online classes have zero shipping content of course, and postage on a DVD is generally not nearly as much as a book because they are smaller and lighter.
So if authors would only use these sorts of things, their sales would multiply I’m sure. I for one would willingly purchase an e-book that is “made” in USA, where I wouldn’t purchase an actual book.
Mary Lou Heinig says
I agree. Many times these new books which are overpriced have nothing too new in them so why purchase them? A new cover and a couple stitches shown differently and everything else the same. Forget it.
Pam Hatcher says
I was just looking at some books last night to purchase so this post is very timely. Everything I looked at was nearly $50 or more. I’m retired, enjoy my art but hesitate to purchase books at this price. I realize we are paying for the time, effort and research as well as printing costs but needlepoint books have become a luxury not a necessity for me.
Janet M Perry says
I built my needlepoint book collection largely by getting used books. You can find older copies of needlepoint for much less. My best sources have been library sales, guild auctions, and eBay.