A number of authors, including JK Rowling, Philip Pullman and Vikram Seth, are leading a coalition against the removal of retail prices from books. Philip Pullman notes that “books are not eggs,” midlist authors would suffer, and royalties would be more creatively calculated.
There’s actually a simpler way to look at the issue: Does anybody really want to go into a bookstore and be surrounded by books with terrible price tags besmirching their exterior? The affixing paste may ruin the cover. Or the pricetag might become so prominent as to destroy a carefully designed cover. Worse still, the name of a book or an author might be blotted out due to some rushed, underpaid bookstore clerk threatened with a flogging.