Friday, July 29, 2011

E Book Prices

I just got a notice that a very popular author I like has a book coming out. Since pricing is getting to be a hot topic in e industry, I glanced to see what the e price was for the new release. I was stunned to see the price was $14.99. Nearly fifteen dollars for an e book? If you're willing to forgo the hard copy, its cheaper to buy a paperback. How can a publisher justify that price for an e?

After this mental rant, I looked at the prices of my own e's and noticed a couple were listed at $8.95. So with a gulp, I swallowed my indignation. I realize, that unless the reader buys directly from the publishing site, its like anything else...a chunk goes to the middle man/distributor.
For publishers, and self-pubbed authors, pricing is a fine line. Every publisher has his/her own idea of what price will net the most profits.

So if you were a publisher--or if you are one--what would be your approach? Mark it higher so that everyone makes something from the sale or bring the price down in hopes you'll sell more books and be compensated for the drop in price?

What do you think is a reasonable price for an e book? And what price do you normally pay for an e?


  1. Uh-uh, shaking head. Some publishers simply price ebooks and print books high. They make the profit, not Amazon (and for sure not the author). They want the buyers to go directly to their site, however, your average buyer on Amazon simply won't buy the book...period. It's a penny-wise/pound-foolish strategy.

  2. I agree that books need to be reasonably priced to get the sales.
    There are some distributors out there though that take as much as 50%. Now that's high end, not all of them of course, charge that much.

  3. No - $14.99 is wrong and ridiculous and frankly unless it has a gold cover and comes with three packs of tim tams then forget it. Since starting Scarlet Harlot I have been very mindful of price versus length of book. I have also looked at the market and what people are selling and I have been under cutting slightly on that price. It's not brain surgery and if you do it right and keep your overheads low you can turn a profit...

  4. And the author with an established publisher doesn't have much to say about it...even if they knock all your books down to 99 cents, which a lot of mine are now...

  5. Amarinda, I agree.

    Anny, You've got me beat. Mine are at 1.49:)

  6. I'll pay as much as $5 for a eNovella and $7 for a eNovel. But you won't see me putting down $14+ no matter how many good reviews are out on a book. With the amount of competition out there prices really need to be competitive and not reaching for the stars. Prices does matter when making my selections. Great Post!

  7. When I was growing up a paperback novel would run 4-6 dollars. You can still get some paperbacks around those prices but what I've noticed is that if a book is in e-format then chances are the actual book will run about $15. I think what publishers are doing is pushing the e-formats. It would be nice if they were more reasonably priced, but with today's high prices I suppose that would affect books as well.