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Just in general, I don't understand how books are priced by publishers.

I haven't a clue why a hardback version of a best-seller might cost $30 at the store and online, but the e-book version is $10. How do they come up with that?

We just received the new Bernan catalog. Bernan publishes government books, like "The Social Security Handbook" and the CIA's "World Factbook."

And I really have a hard time understanding Bernan's pricing.

That "Social Security Handbook," for example, is priced at $69, and it is 715 pages. That is about 10 cents a page. The "World Factbook" is also 10 cents a page or $83 for 850 pages.

But, get this: "The Almanac of the Unelected 2013: Staff of the U.S. Congress" is 49 cents a page or $299 for 715 pages. What?

"The Budget of the U.S. Government Fiscal Year 2014," whch is what the president proposes, is 232 pages in length with a price tag of $39 or 17 cents a page.

And "Washington Representatives Spring 2013," which is the "pre-eminent source for information on the individuals and firms in the Washington, D.C., area," is 13 cents a page or $269 for 2,014 pages.

The "Social Security Handbook" is available in an e-book version. But the price is $68.99, compared to, as I mentioned above, $69 for the paperback.

Does any of this make sense?

-- Carroll Wilson

Circulation Librarian

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