I am so utterly sick and tired of seeing this false equivalency nonsense. A cup of coffee is NOT a book. And greeting cards? SERIOUSLY? You buy birthday/christmas cards once a year. Anniversary etc..You want to compare that to books? UMM ok.
My book buying habits have changed due to the following factors : Less income, less shelf space, and more choices. The market is changing. I now have more choices about what I want to read. Whether it's a publisher like Samhain. Or self pubbed. Or a digital imprint like LoveSwept or InterMix.
Up until two years ago, all I bought were traditionally published books. That has changed since I got my kindle as a gift.
So yeah. I'm less likely to take a chance on an $8 book. With the noted factors above, my likelihood of trying out books on an impulse (even with stellar reviews) is getting smaller and smaller.( I still peruse used book stores upon occasion - how do you like them apples?) I'm sorry about that. It doesn't mean I don't value what the author brings to the table. It doesn't mean I won't shell out $10, $12, or hey, $25 if you're on my list of top tier authors. Getting there - however, is fucking hard. I'm not apologizing for that.
TL;DR - The average reader *will* pay for the books they want. Whether or not those are YOUR books, that's a different story.