Carolyn Does The Coffee Math

Right. The new Book Valuation system is to equate the price of a $6.00 coffee that takes 3 minutes to make with a $4.99 price of a book that takes 12 months to write.

Let’s do some math!

So, now, 3 minutes of time results in a $6.00 cup of coffee.

Divide that $6.00 by 3 minutes… that’s $2.00 per minute of coffee making time.

So, if the book were equivalently priced, how much would a book cost?

Well, there are 525,949 minutes in a year.

The Coffee/Time cost factor is $2.00 per minute.

Which means, a book that takes a year to write should cost $1,051,989.00

You’re welcome and good luck selling your book!

Edited to Add This:

Let’s be fair and find out how much your $6.00 coffee should cost using Book Dollars:

$4.99 = 525,949 minutes to write the book. That comes out to $0.00000948761192 per minute.

3 x 00000948761192 = $0.00002846283576.

I think that means you round up to free coffee in book dollars.

Well. But as you know, we writers think $4.99 is too low a price for a book. Let’s say the book should really be priced at $9.99. That works about to $0.00001899423708 book dollars per minute.

3 x 0.00001899423708 = $0.00005698271124

Yay! That still rounds up to free coffee!

Also, good luck with that stupid argument about the price of a cup of coffee having anything to do with the price of a book.


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10 Responses to “Carolyn Does The Coffee Math”

  1. SonomaLass says:

    Last I checked, it took a lot longer than three minutes to grow, harvest and roast coffee beans. But I’m sure that doesn’t matter to the good folks who want to judge me for how I spend my leisure dollars.

    I have no problem making books the unit of comparison for leisure spending. Last night we went out for a hardback bestseller’s worth of Thai food, and later I had a mass market paperback’s worth of petit syrah. I bought a chocolate bar this afternoon (dark chocolate with marzipan!) worth a novella by an author I like, or a full-length novel by a new-to-me author whose sample appeals. I have no trouble proudly owning those choices.

  2. Sharla says:

    Cute! And I’m glad you did all that math because I’d turn tail and run the other way. LOL

  3. Thanks Sharla and SonomaLass!

    I’ll shortly do a more serious piece on this because there are some really disturbing notions in that that need to be pointed out.

  4. OMG! Free coffee…wheeee. Looking forward to your serious piece on this.

  5. LoriA says:

    Maybe some writers should stay home and drink their own coffee instead of going to coffee shops.

  6. Nik says:

    Interesting mathematically, and it’s not–as I believe you said–a valid comparison. I lay out my six bucks for coffee (which I wouldn’t, but six dollar coffee is a cultural phenomenon I never got anyway) I drink my coffee, my six dollars is gone, only to be remembered as a horrific sugar/caffeine rush and perhaps some heartburn. I lay out my cash (between five and twenty dollars, or whatever) for a book, I not only get whatever memorable scenes, excellent lines, and awesome characters ONCE, I get them over and over as I reread the book, over months and years. Whatever I pay for a book, if I like it, it amortizes (I think I used that properly?) out. Fancy coffee? Not so much.

    • Nik: Indeed! The comparison is completely inapt. I feel the analogy is really insulting to readers in a lot of ways I don’t begin to touch on in this bit of mockery.

  7. Conny says:

    Who cares for coffee when he can have your books???
    I would not pay $6 worth for coffee but would be willing to pay more for your books!
    Anyway, think of someone who makes his living out of selling coffee and how much coffee he must sell for $0.000… in order to be able to live on that! Take it that way: Coffee is so expensive because not so many people want it as want your books… 😉
    How long a pleasure does one have out of a cup of coffee and how much longer out of one of your books! Actually, you are right: Something doesn’t match here…

  8. Looking forward to seeing how you unpack this one, because the analogy might not work exactly, but when people feel entitled to get my books for free (which they do), consideration of the author’s effort needs to re-introduced to the discussion.

    Good thing I drink tea.