Lately I've been looking at the original pricing of the Oz books - it's trivial but interesting!
This was an elaborate children's book, with 24 inserted color plates and color used throughout the book. The price was a little higher than the $1.25 average at the time, but it sounds like a bargain to me!
The earlier titles had 16 color plates or color throughout the book, while titles after 1913 were standardized with 12 color plates. So, while the price stayed the same, there was a definite cutback in printing costs.
This was a price increase as America entered World War I. This was also the period when sales of the Oz books began to climb, after a few slack years.
Another increase along with the end of World War I.
This period was a height of Oz popularity, and the books achieved the highest prices charged prior to 1950. The jump to $2.00 in 1920 was a substantial increase, and this price can be seen on the dustjacket spines of other Oz books
published that year. In fact, it's an easy way to date a jacketed book to 1920!
A considerable price drop from the previous titles, even before the start of the Great Depression in 1929. I have 2 non-Oz titles by Baum from 1930, both of which are priced at $1.00 - John Dough and Sea Fairies. Clearly the less familiar titles were fading as Oz continued.
A price raise in the midst of the Great Depression - but not for long!
This is the longest period with one price, and the lowest price for the books since 1919! Color plates were dropped after Wishing Horse in 1935, which would have affected printing costs.
1949: Shaggy Man - $2.00
1951: Hidden Valley - $2.50
1963: Merry Go Round - $3.95 - all older titles were priced @ $3.50
As the series continued, prices increased regularly. Still, over a 63 year span, prices stayed relatively level!