DyslexiaLand: A Tale in Two Volumes

Oh, Amazon, you do make life interesting.

by Cheri Rae

Screen shot: Absurd does not begin to describe this pricing.

Pictured here is a screen shot of the availablity of my 2014 little purse-sized version of DyslexiaLand: A Map and Guide for Students, Parents and Educators. That little book, with a retail price of $9.95 featured a full-color, fold-out map, and was intended to be a very brief introduction to dyslexia and the notion of DyslexiaLand as a place full of obstacles and opportunities to be negotiated to reach a pathway to success. It gained several favorable reviews, as just a quick reference, and a simple, graphic way to explain dyslexia to others.

I always envisioned it as a resource that parents could share with disbelieving relatives, skeptical neighbors, or whip out and show to uncomprehending educators in the middle of an IEP meeting.

It was replaced in 2018 by the comprehensive and information-packed new book, DyslexiaLand: A Field Guide for Parents of Children with Dyslexia, a 280-page guide to the journey of understanding dyslexia through school, the community and home.

“DyslexiaLand: A Field Guide for Parents of Children with Dyslexia” by Cheri Rae

The book, with a cover price of $20, is organized like a field guide, with information about history, culture, language and even politics that govern how our dyslexic children are educated–or not. It has a good deal of information encouraging parents to advocate for their children, and many step-by-step sidebars to help do just that–from Speaking to the School Board to Eight Great Ways to Get Help to a Special Education Action Plan. The book is based on my own personal research and experience as a journalist, mother of a dyslexic son, dyslexia advocate and even a dyslexia consultant for the local school district. It’s filled with insider information and helpful tips, and it’s the book I wish I had been available when I was first learning about dyslexia.

And it’s gained several good reviews; many others have been reported to me, and should be there, but inexplicably, they’re not. Amazon just stopped posting them a couple months ago, and despite multiple inquiries, I cannot get a straight answer about why. But that’s another story.

So while I’m just trying to sell my comprehensive dyslexia book at the modest price of $20 (and I won’t recieve even half that price) there are re-sellers trying to get absurd and ridiculous prices for a small, introductory book ranging from $647.00 (plus $3.99 shipping) to $977.00 (plus $3.99 shipping). As the author, I wouldn’t get a single cent of that.

I guess that’s why Amazon Jeff Bezos is a bazillionaire, and I’m still trying to make a modest living, forced to use his bookselling platform with rules that change constantly–and never seem to make sense. I still believe in the old notion of good values, a strong work ethic and a fair price for quality goods, and the ability to bring a product to market–and sell it in many markets.

To be sure: I have nothing to do with the absurd price on that little book. I am embarrassed to see it online, and have made attempts to have it removed, without success. Please, scarcity of that title should not make it seem more valuable. It is worth the fair price of $9.99–no more. But it sure makes the 280-page replacement book, DyslexiaLand: A Field Guide for Parents of Children with Dyslexia a bargain at twice the price!