If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

Here are the upcoming WWK interviews for the month of July!

July 4th Christopher Huang, A Gentleman's Murder

July 11th V. M. Burns, The Plot Is Murder

July 18th Edith Maxwell (Maddie Day), Death Over Easy

July 25th Shari Randall, Against The Claw

Our July Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 7/7--Mary Feliz, 7/14--Annie Hogsett, 7/21--Margaret S. Hamilton, 7/28--Kait Carson.

Our special bloggers for the fifth Monday and Tuesday of July--Kaye George and Paula Gail Benson.

Please welcome two new members to WWK--Annette Dashofy, who will blog on alternative Sundays with Jim Jackson, and Nancy Eady, who will blog on every fourth Monday. Thanks for blogging with us Annette and Nancy!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Annette Dashofy's Uneasy Prey was released in March. It is the sixth Zoe Chambers Mystery. The seventh, Cry Wolf, will be released on September 18th. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Annette on September 19th.

Carla Damron's quirky short story, "Subplot", was published in the Spring edition of The Offbeat Literary Journal. You can find it here: http://offbeat.msu.edu/volume-18-spring-2018/

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here. Tina was nominated for a Derringer Award for her novelette, "Trouble Like A Freight Train Coming." We're all crossing our fingers for her.

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), was published on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here. He's working on Seamus McCree #6 (False Bottom)

Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in July 31, 2018.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Surprising Conclusion about Why We Spend Money on Entertainment?

EB’s post this week Confessions of A Kindle Addict regarding her experiences with buying and reading books on her new Kindle got me wondering about what we are willing to pay for entertainment and why.

I admit up front that I have more questions than answers; I’m looking for our readers’ help.

Depending on how fast you read a book, it probably provides three to six hours of entertainment. I’ll use the lower bound to be conservative. Depending on the price of the book, this averages to between $0.00 (for free downloads) to $5.00/hr. for current best sellers sold electronically (and only slightly more for the hardcover version). Once you own the reading device, there are no outside costs to downloading an e-book other than keeping your reader charged.

The closest professional football team to my southern home is the Jacksonville Jaguars. You can get a ticket for the cheap seats for $55. Ignoring the extra costs of getting to the stadium and parking, this translates into about $18/hr. (one hour clock time, but three hours duration from kickoff to final tick of the game clock). Of course you can pay almost five times more for the best seats. This is for a team with a 1-8 record.

But since they’re our local team, we can watch the game at home for free. That means it’s not watching the football game per se that we are willing to pay for. The $55 must be for something else. Perhaps it reflects the value of being part of a crowd. In fact, I seem to recall Sister Sledge’s “We are family” rocking more than one basketball arena.

If not buying the feeling of extended family, maybe it’s purchasing bragging rights: “I remember when I was…” As evidence for this theory, look at prices people pay for attending the Super Bowl or NCAA men’s basketball finals. Clearly what people are willing to shell out has little to do with entertainment value and much to do with something else. I suspect it’s bragging rights.

Which brings me back to books. When we buy a book from the author at a book signing, we pay full price. Is it the signature we’re paying extra for, or the bragging rights?

And did millions of people read The Da Vinci Code because it was a good bang for their entertainment dollar or because it was “THE” book of the moment to read and so added to their personal esteem in some manner?

I’m writing myself to the conclusion that much of what we spend on “entertainment” has little to do with the actual entertainment value and more to do with our feelings. Have I convinced you, or am I way off track?

~ Jim


E. B. Davis said...

You didn't need to convince me, Jim. I've always thought that people spent money emotionally not rationally. Consider--pet rocks! No one can really but a price on fun or whimsy.

Retailers have known for years that people standing in check-out lines are vulnerable. They stock the aisle with candy and merchandise that appeals to emotions.

My son was married last weekend. The wedding and reception were beautiful, and I'm sure, quite expensive. The bride's parents paid for most of it. On one hand, it's not the way I like to spend money--but on the other hand, we all will have wonderful memories of their union. It's a lesson or at least a consideration for when my daughter gets married.

My last thought--I'd much rather spend $100 on a bunch of fiction books than on one text book. If I remember correctly, I may have bought text books, but I'm not sure I read them.

Paula Gail Benson said...

I think comfort and belonging are strong factors for purchases also. Really interesting post, Jim.

Alyx Morgan said...

I agree with you & EB, Jim, that people spend money emotionally. I know a guy who owns multiple (as in 10 or more) high-end bicycles. Why he owns so many I'll never understand, because I personally can't imagine there's much of a difference from one bike to another, but he's a big cycling junkie, so he must feel there is.

I, on the other hand, own several hundred DVDs & several thousand mp3s. That's where putting my money gets me the most enjoyment - well, that & traveling. There are still others who get enjoyment out of spending $150 on a dinner at an upscale restaurant in Chicago.

It's all just a matter of where you get the most enjoyment/entertainment.

Gloria Alden said...

I buy books - print books. I buy most of them at conferences for two reasons - the authors on their panels hooked me, and I know I'll probably forget about their book when I get home and not order it from Amazon, although if I enjoy their first book, I'll probably buy more of theirs from Amazon.I also buy books from these authors and have them sign them, not because I particularly care about the signature, but because I want to show them support. I hope to be in their position some day.

I go to concerts and buy CD's. Most of the concerts I go to are folk concerts at a lodge in Cuyahoga National Park about 50 miles away. Sometimes I go to as many as two a month. Even though the muscians come from all over the country and sometimes other countries, the cost of these concerts are much cheaper than rock concerts or concerts by the Cleveland Orchestra, which is quite excellent and world renowned. I've only been to a few of those because of the cost. Because I'm a member of Friends of the Cuyahoga Vallen National Park, my concerts are only $12.00. They went up this year from $10.00 before. Really cheap when you consider a recent one was the Tannahill Weavers, a Celtic group from Scotland.

I like community theater which is reasonably priced and enjoyable.

Yes, I spend money on entertainment, but as you can see not nearly as much as those who go to ball games and rock concerts. Entertainment's worth it if it's what you really enjoy, and concerts and plays are much better when spent with others who are enjoying the same thing.

Warren Bull said...

Jim, We live in a mostly free market economy. Prices generally reflect popularity, not values. We all could listen to the presidential debates for free if we wanted to but many professional wrestling matches are pay per view. Events are promoted but "the sizzle, not the steak." I think it is rational to pay for what I enjoy and let others buy tickets to the Twilight Saga,

cj petterson said...

I ditto all the things that Gloria Alden wrote.

Splurging on one enjoyable event/book prevents me from stretching my entertainment dollars into several enjoyable (and worthwhile) events. Plus I really like to support local entertainment--I guess that's emotional.

cj petterson

Patg said...

I think the interesting thing you mentioned was 'feelings' and how we do anything to make us 'feel' whatever it is we think we are missing.
I spend money on books and movies in my daily life, but my focus on true entertainment takes he somewhere on an airplane and a ship. I'll settle on an airplane and a convention as a back up.

Gayle Carline said...

Well you're certainly making me feel better about the $$ I shell out on ebooks. When I think of the entertainment in $/hour, it's not so expensive after all.

For me, going to live entertainment has a control value to it. We went to the Rose Parade one year. It was mostly a good time and I'm glad we went, even if I don't need to go again. What I enjoyed most was that I was in charge of what I looked at and listened to. I was not watching TV, where the cameras were directing my focus. Same thing at sporting events and concerts. I'm in control of my own focus.

I guess what I really want to do is direct...

James Montgomery Jackson said...

I love everyone's take on this question.

I have to admit that Pat's comment that she'd settle on an airplane and convention as backup made me laugh.

I immediately thought of the work conventions I used to have to go to and all the plane rides I had to take while working. I thought frequent flier miles were consolation prizes from putting up with the flights.

Then I realized Pat was probably referring to writing/fan conventions -- and so I got to laugh again, but at myself.

~ Jim

James Montgomery Jackson said...


Glad I can help justify your e-book purchases.

Ii thought your comment about wanting to be in charge was insightful.

I can picture you on your rocking horse getting a bit frustrated that it didn't go where you wanted it to...

~ Jim