The dollar's now fallen to below 80 cents US, but again the price on the book jacket doesn't reflect that....
Prices are set and printed months before the books hit the shelves.
That means that right now, books are a bargain," Smith said.
"Like Neal Stephenson's new novel Anathem, it's $29.95 US, and it's $31.95 Canadian. But, if I went at today's [currency] rate, it should be $39.95 Canadian. That's a 10-buck difference. That's another book," Smith said.
The publisher's CEO, David Kent, watches the exchange rate every day, because most of the books it sells are imports from the United States.This is exactly opposite the situation that occurred just a few months ago when the Canadian dollar gradually reached par with the U.S. dollar. At that point, Canadian consumers rightly complained that they were being gouged because of the "old prices" at which the books were still being sold. Some Canadian bookstores, as I recall, started selling the books at lower prices then despite the fact that they had been imported to be sold at a higher cost. Consumer pressure worked then but, now that the pricing situation has reversed, Canadian bookstores should not expect any sympathy from customers. Funny how that never seems to happen, isn't it?
"We import 75 per cent of the books we sell," he said. "The difficulty for us is, when we adjust price, you won’t see it on books in the stores for a month in advance … right now U.S. books are a tremendous bargain, priced less than they would be in the U.S.," Kent said.