This is the period when I usually receive a couple of emails in which people ask me if I’ll have a Black Friday sale for my book. My answer is always “no, I don’t do Black Friday sales” and then I never hear back from them. They never ask why but I decided to write this post and share my thoughts.
Black Friday is often referred to as the “consumerism holiday” and I can’t help myself but this sounds so wrong to me. The level of consumerism that we got to in the world today is absurd. Maybe I think that because of my minimalist mentality and lifestyle. Minimalism is something that has attracted me for years now and it became a fundamental part of my life. This doesn’t mean that I never buy anything on Black Friday sales, I do. But it’s usually something that I have been thinking about buying for a while. When you adopt the minimalist mentality, a buying decision is never an impulsive one. I think 10 times whether I really need something before I buy it. This is the complete opposite of what the whole Black Friday thing promotes and what it means to most people.
So there’s a huge misalignment between what Black Friday represents and my lifestyle. I would like that people who buy my book make a rational decision when they do so. I don’t want it to be an impulsive purchase only because it costs $5 instead of $50. If you think you need to learn about web typography and my book looks like something that’ll help with that, go ahead and buy it. Don’t buy it because there’s a huge discount and you found it in a Best Black Friday deals for designers blog post. And in the end, you never actually read it. Or worse, you never even start reading it!
Another reason why I don’t do Black Friday sales is that I discount the book every month when I send out my web typography newsletter. The discount is significant but not absurd. It’s usually around 30%. An absurd discount like 90% can also make people question the quality of the product. I don’t want that. I invested a lot of time into writing and illustrating it and I want my customers to recognise that.
I can’t afford your book, can I get an extra discount?—Someone
Sometimes I receive a different email. Someone will write to me asking for an extra discount because they live in a country where a price tag of $20 represents their weekly earnings. I don’t give them more discount. If the person writing to me is sincere, I send them the book for free. It happened many times in the past and I intend to continue doing this. I didn’t write my book with intentions that people generally have when they write books—fortune, fame and recognition. I wrote it so that other designers could learn about typography faster and better than I did. The fact that it brings me some extra cash is a bonus.
So if you live in a country where $20 is a ton of money, let me know. We’ll see what we can do. But if you don’t, know that when you buy the book it helps support my work and one day I’ll be able to dedicate more time to it. This way I’ll be able to reach and help out even more designers.