Pricing children's books

<p>Asda was being a bit disingenuous in accusing Bloomsbury of profiteering from Harry Potter 7 when it, like every other high street retailer, had demanded its discounts and clearly had no intention of selling the book at the full RRP of &pound;17.99. The final retail price is up to individual booksellers and it's hard to find any bookseller, other than some hardy independents, selling Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at full price.</p>
<p>But does Asda have a point about the price tag? I can't think of any other non-illustrated children's hardback fiction priced at &pound;17.99. The highest price for children's hardbacks today is &pound;12.99, and those books also weigh in at a hefty 450 to 650 pages - so it's not about size. Ask any retailer if they could sell a children's fiction hardback for &pound;17.99 and they all agree it would have to be something pretty special.</p>
<p>And that's the thing about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - millions of children and adults want to get their hands on the book. Let's face it, Bloomsbury could have charged what it wanted and perhaps it's been pretty restrained at &pound;17.99.</p>
<p>But the debate has raised a more general issue around the pricing of children's books. Children's fiction may be getting more attention than in pre-Harry Potter days but it has taken publishers a long time to get the price of children's hardbacks up to the &pound;12.99 mark. Adults, who buy most children's books, don't put the same value on children's reading material as they do on books they want to read. Most adult hardbacks fall into the &pound;17.99 to &pound;18.99 price range while their paperbacks carry a RRP of &pound;12.99. Children's publishers have to bear the same costs as adult publishers but on much tighter margins, which impacts throughout the industry, from what authors are paid to how books are marketed.</p>