Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Question...

Imagine you feel like a spot of live poetry and you see that a few poets are reading in a well known poetry venue. You don’t know much about the poets, but the venue tends to have good stuff.

Do you feel more inclined to go if the event is:

a) free.
b) Costs about £3 / $5.

In other words, does free mean a) great! Just what you always want!, or b) that what’s on offer can’t be worth hearing?
And does payment indicate a) a degree of quality, or b) nothing whatsoever?


Crafty Green Poet said...

Hi Rob, If I don't know the poets, I'd be more likely to go if the event was free. If I knew the poets it would depend on how much I liked their work on whether I was prepared to pay or not.

My line manager always says that people are more likely to commit to going to something if they have to pay for it. I can see his point but I'm not sure I agree. Having to pay may indicate: quality; fashion; an organisation with not much cash; an expensive to hire venue; good refreshments or an organisation that takes my line manager's line of thought.

Rob Mackenzie said...

Thanks cgp. I think you've hit on all the relevant issues. I can't decide one way or the other myself.

I also remember someone once told me my chapbook was underpriced at £3 and that more people would buy it if it had been, say, £4.50. I'm not sure I agree, but who knows for sure...

Crafty Green Poet said...

HI Rob, finally returning to check your comment on my comment! My pamphlet Bougainvillea Dancing was £4 I think, all proceeds to charities working in Malawi. One shop in Edinburgh wouldn't stock it because they said it was overpriced. However I sold 200 copies in 18 months so it can't have been too overpriced. Charity links helped! £3 may be undervaluing your work but then other people will see it as a bargain, I think it would balance itself out. I don't think its easy to sell poetry full stop.