SciFi and Fantasy eBook Club discussion

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General Topics > What price is too high for an ebook?

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message 1: by Robert (new)

Robert | 13 comments Or is there a price too high? In general, is there a price range you would prefer to pay on a reader you've already paid money for? And do you like to bargain hunt for low-priced ebooks?


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

In general, I don't have a a 'too high' point. I look at prices this way: anything below $8 is the same as what I'd pay for a paperback, so those are all good prices. Anything that is over $8 and is not more than 84% the cost of a pbook is also good.

I do hunt for good prices and will buy a $6 book before a $12 book if all other things are equal regarding plot desirability/author recognition.


message 3: by Scott (new)

Scott For some reason, a lot of people have an "I won't pay more than $9.99" motto. I have no idea why.

I think that $6-7 is a good price for an ebook but I have paid up to $12. To go over $10, I really have to think about it.

I always bargain hunt. A majority of the books I have were probably $0-3. I especially like the free ones.


message 4: by Adam (last edited Aug 25, 2010 01:25PM) (new)

Adam Bender (adambender) | 16 comments I'm a new author, and frankly am more interested in getting my book (and name) out there than making money. For that reason, I'm charging $2.99 for my novel.

I think more established authors could probably charge more -- I just paid about $8 for a bestseller. I probably wouldn't pay more than $10, considering the production costs aren't the same as a physical book.


message 5: by Robert (new)

Robert | 13 comments Thanks for the answers!

Would added features artwork, etc, change your perception on price?


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Adam wrote: "I'm a new author, and frankly am more interested in getting my book (and name) out there than making money. For that reason, I'm charging $2.99 for my novel."

Yeah, I'm sure that's a tough spot for many authors. There are so many authors I'm not familiar with that not recognizing a name doesn't really make it into my calculations.

I will, however scrutinize reviews on Amazon or wherever more for an indie author just simply because I want to avoid unedited and/or vanity books ... But, I think I may not be part of the mainstream opinion regarding unknown authors.


message 7: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 25, 2010 10:16PM) (new)

I've only bought one ebook over $9.99: The Hard SF Renaissance. The are few titles at $12.99 that tempt me, but I haven't bought yet. But I probably will some day if the prices don't come down. Then again, I might just find something else.

Mostly I buy in the $7 to $9.99 range.

The cheap books by new authors have yet to capture my interest fully. I've read a few and the best were just OK.


message 8: by Adam (new)

Adam Bender (adambender) | 16 comments Greg wrote: The cheap books by new authors have yet to capture my interest fully. I've read a few and the best were just OK.

Just curious -- anything in particular that could change your mind about trying a new author? Would you agree with Geoffry that reviews are important, and if so are customer reviews enough or are you looking for professional reviews?

I do offer a pretty lengthy sample of the book for free, which I hoped would give people a sense of the writing style / editing. Do free samples factor into the equation?


message 9: by Robert (new)

Robert | 13 comments Actually, the sampling function on Kindle helps me to weed out books based on quality. I've found quite a few low-cost books that are high-quality this way.


message 10: by Budo (new)

Budo Von Stahl (BudovonStahl) | 5 comments I took the production cost route to price mine. Epub is minimal overhead, and nobody is getting a cut but Amazon, so I decided that at $5 I make out just as well and my readers get a pretty good deal. Just my take, other factors may apply to some.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

@Adam

For the most part, cheap ebooks published independently have all the appeal of generic brand soda pop. You don't drink because it tastes good, you drink it because its cheaper and you're on a budget.

I've only read about a half dozen or so indie books and none were top notch; some were OK to avarage, but they all showed signs of less polish or were rough round the edges with poor editing and formatting. This doesn't mean there aren't great one out there--just that I have read any yet. Saving a few bucks is going to clinch a deal for me.

What authors need to do is ensure their independent efforts are every bit as good the traditionally published ones. For example, there was an independent mystery novel for only $0.99 by an Australian author that looked pretty good, but when I downloaded the sample, the formatting was incorrect, and I deleted it with out reading.


message 12: by Budo (new)

Budo Von Stahl (BudovonStahl) | 5 comments That's a pretty good description, Greg, pretty much the same thing we all said when "pulp" or "mass-market" paperbacks became popular. Of course, it goes without saying that the result is likely the same: we will go through a few stinkers, find a few gems, and digest reams (e-reams? lol) of OK stuff without spending too much or doing ourselves any harm. I'm a bit more lenient on formatting for now though, since Kindle's DTP is so notorious (mine has a couple really minor errors), but I agree that if Amazon doesn't make timely improvements or if the same author keeps making the same bothersome errors, I might be tempted to leave one unread. I personally have been putting a lot of time into learning better formatting, so I assume other Kindlers are too.


message 13: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Alley (traceya) Considering that in Oz we pay a minimum of $12ish for a DTB I've made that my upper limit for e-books. I've personally been very pleasantly surprised at some of the quality 'cheaper' products available, often from Indie's, but I do tend to look at reviews and check the sample prior to purchase


message 14: by Lyndl (new)

Lyndl | 27 comments If you want a bestseller or recent release in oz the price is usually between $25-35. Paying $10 or $12 for an e-books seems pretty minor to me. I'll pay it if it's a book I want to read.


message 15: by John (new)

John Hartness | 4 comments I get grumpy if I pay more than $5-6 for an ebook. The dramatic reduction of overhead and reduction in the number of middlemen stepping on the price of the product makes me want to pay less than a paperback book. If the profit margin for a publisher is higher on an ebook than a DTB, and it has to be, then why should I pay the same?


message 16: by Budo (new)

Budo Von Stahl (BudovonStahl) | 5 comments John wrote: "I get grumpy if I pay more than $5-6 for an ebook. The dramatic reduction of overhead and reduction in the number of middlemen stepping on the price of the product makes me want to pay less than a ..."

Exactly. By buying a book (in any format) I'm literally paying the author to tell me a story. I'll stick a fiver in his little tin cup without hesitating, since I'm the one who asked for a story, lol. Maybe a tip if the tale was really good...


message 17: by Carey (new)

Carey Bostwick (carebear11) | 40 comments I cannot see any reason to pay more than the paperback price. I know that most traditional publishers are not happy about ebooks. They are trying to stop the change from DTBs to ebooks by increasing the price. hopefully, this will not work and authors will either publish their books independently or on low cost websites. I have down loaded several books from smashwords that were okay reads and some were very good stories.


message 18: by Charles (new)

Charles (nogdog) I don't have a fixed ceiling, but generally I'll only pay more than $9.99 if it's something by an author I really like and I have a high confidence I'll like it and want to re-read it at some point in the future. Otherwise I'll wait for the paperback release and -- presumably -- a comparably priced e-book version.


message 19: by Robert (new)

Robert | 13 comments I've seen some great ebooks for free. Naomi Novik often lists her #1 Telmeraire as a freebie.

I do think the price should be at least lower than the paperback, given the lower production costs. That said, it's interesting to see how valuation has been working in practice for ebooks -- with very popular books commanding a higher price and authors looking to break in pricing lower.


message 20: by William (new)

William Bentrim (wbentrim) I think an agressive price point on eBooks is going to be needed to really drive the sale of eReaders and conversely, a $29.95 eReader will drive sales of higher priced eBooks. Since the bulk of the books I have authored are picture books and not too many people are buying eReaders for primary school kids, I haven't coverted any to eBooks. In regards to new authors vs. established, oddly enough at some point the established authors were new so take a chance. There are some excellent new authors out there. (Yes I know, I mentioned I am a new author and that could be seen as self serving but I was NOT talking about myself although I could have been. LOL)


message 21: by Adam (new)

Adam Bender (adambender) | 16 comments I can't see there being a $29.95 eReader unless they force you to bundle it with a large quantity of paid eBooks. Or at least, it won't be a very good eReader.


message 22: by William (new)

William Bentrim (wbentrim) I paid $90 for my Augen. I reviewed it here.
http://money-saving-tech-tips.blogspo...
I sold laptops for over $5k and the last one I bought would run circles around them and it cost less than $500. Technology is one of the few things that continue to increase in capabilities and decrease in price. I don't think we will see an eReader for $29 this year but I suspect it will be out before long. Ahh the joys of technology.


message 23: by Robert (new)

Robert | 13 comments William wrote: "I paid $90 for my Augen. I reviewed it here.
http://money-saving-tech-tips.blogspo...
I sold laptops for over $5k and the last one I bought would run circles around th..."


The prices do seem to keep going down. I'm betting on a $99 Kindle pretty soon.


message 24: by Greg (new)

Greg Adam wrote: "I'm a new author, and frankly am more interested in getting my book (and name) out there than making money. For that reason, I'm charging $2.99 for my novel.

I think more established authors coul..."


You charge .99 you'll lose my 2 bucks... Don't ask why - unless it's a blatant marketing ploy (eg you have a three book series and the hook is book 1 for .99) I won't even hit your link.


message 25: by Liz (new)

Liz | 19 comments I have a hard time justifying paying more than $9.99 for an ebook. And I don't even buy those often. I average $5/book. I certainly won't pay more than a papercopy.

And we really seem to have stagnant prices now. The Law of Nines has been sitting at $9.99 since its release. Just checked, its dropped to a whopping $8.99. You can now buy the hardcover for $5.90 or the recently released paperback for $9.99.

But I've waited this long, I can keep waiting. I have plenty of books to keep me busy.


message 26: by Lyndl (new)

Lyndl | 27 comments It's annoying isn't it Byron? Amazon claims it's the publisher who sets the prices, but there's no getting around the fact that Amazon charges $2 for their "free delivery" via wireless.


message 27: by Fran (new)

Fran (draigwen) I've only just got an e-book. My general rule of thumb is to compare the cost of the e-book to the cost of the same book in paperback. If it costs more then I'll not buy the e-book.


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Fran wrote: "I've only just got an e-book. My general rule of thumb is to compare the cost of the e-book to the cost of the same book in paperback. If it costs more then I'll not buy the e-book."

Well then welcome to the world of a new addiction ....


message 29: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Arenson | 7 comments I've bought $9.99 ebooks, but I feel like anything above that is too expensive. I feel like ebooks should always be cheaper than the paperbacks.


message 30: by Robin (new)

Robin (robinsullivan) | 9 comments I'm a firm believer that e-books should be $9.99 or less. I'm not a big fan of $0.99 as I think that shows no value. To me a perfec price is $4.99 just under the $5.


message 31: by stormhawk (new)

stormhawk | 75 comments I tend to top out at $9.99. I have paid more than the paperback cost for the convenience of having a Kindle Edition.


message 32: by Regina (new)

Regina (reginar) It is interesting that the limit for many people is the same one initially advertised by Amazon (9.99).

For me it depends on what book it is. I typically do not want to buy an ebook for more than $7.99. I consume books quickly, and with few exceptions, I won't re-read them. If it is a book that I know I will re-read and want to revisit for a long time -- I will pay more. Additionally, if I am waiting for a new release and it is a sequel in a series -- then I will pay more than 9.99. I have a new release I have pre-ordered that will be released January, I pre-ordered it in May -- and it is $14.


message 33: by Mark (new)

Mark Lopez | 6 comments I'd say no more than $4.99 for light, entertaining reads, and no more than $9.99 for longer, weightier material. Books should never be less than $1.99, because that kind of devaluation really starts to kill the value of books.


message 34: by Christine (new)

Christine Schulze | 2 comments As a new author, I have chosen to publish my ebooks for cheap--$1.99 to $4.99, hoping, as others have said, to spread my name rather than make a ton of money right away. Of course, this is for my self-published works. I do have some books published in paperback by a small press, and their ebook versions release for around $7.99. Also, I have a book published by an e-publisher, and their general price is $4.99. I wouldn't really see the point in paying much more than ten dollars, since I could have the paperback for about the same price.

I do have a free book available as well, but that's only because it was my first fan-based work. "Silent Hero" is a novel based on Nintendo's "Legend of Zelda", and I didn't need them suing me for charging money for the book. It was a fun and rewarding challenge without receiving compensation.


message 35: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) I bought my Nook for convenience, for the search ability as well as the ability to look up words thanks to the built in dictionary, and for the fact that I can make the print size anything I want. I can't understand expecting ebooks to cost less than regular books. Typically we pay more for convenience. I also know that epublishing saves trees, is work to format, and whether in eformat or on paper, the author deserves to get paid for his/her work.

I love books. I love their smell, their feel, their look. However, I can't tell you how many books I've bought and didn't like or didn't particularly enjoy. Since I can't bear to throw books away, my shelves are full in triplicate. With an ebook, if I don't like it, at least I don't have to look at it or dust it!

If I truly LOVE a book, I buy it in several formats - paper, electronic, audio, hardback, paperback, whatever.

Besides, money spent on books is never wasted, and doesn't count against the budget in any case.


message 36: by Donna (new)

Donna (donnahr) Sandra aka Sleo wrote: "Besides, money spent on books is never wasted, and doesn't count against the budget in any case."

My philosophy exactly!


message 37: by Mark (new)

Mark Lopez | 6 comments I like to think of paperbacks as premium ownership, the same way I'll buy a physical album if I really love it.


message 38: by Lyndl (new)

Lyndl | 27 comments I just can't put a limit... Although I haven't done so yet, I would pay $20 if it was for a book I really, really wanted.


message 39: by Al "Tank" (new)

Al "Tank" (alkalar) | 231 comments Regina wrote: "It is interesting that the limit for many people is the same one initially advertised by Amazon (9.99).

I think Amazon did everyone a service with their $2.99 - $9.99 policy. If a seller falls outside that range, their share of the sale goes down to 35%. If they stay within that range, they receive 70%. I see no reason why eBooks should be priced as high as paper, they just don't have the same distribution and shelving expenses; just the editing, promotion, and royalty.



message 40: by Robtek (new)

Robtek | 1 comments I still buy most of my books in paper format (over 100 this year) as I can buy then a lot cheaper than I can get the ebooks versions for. The only ebooks I have bought so far have been from Indie authors and these have all been under £2 in price which is the maximum I am willing to pay for and ebook, i.e. half paper prices.


message 41: by Al "Tank" (new)

Al "Tank" (alkalar) | 231 comments If you're shopping in GB, you're in an unusual market that has some real problems. Those problems may kill off the paper book market if things don't change.

The costs of producing a book are:
-Author's royalties (much higher % for eBooks
-Cost of reviewing editor (the person who reviewed the original submission for acceptability)
-Review board (which books actually get published)
-Story editor
-Copy editor
-Format editor
-Conversion/printing (depending upon format)
-Returns of unsold books
-Distribution
-Marketing

The only costs that eBooks don't have are actual printing and returns. Distribution costs for eBooks are also lower (different model).

So, an eBook that sells for, say, 70% of the price of a mass market paperback, is quite reasonable.

Most Kindle books sell between $2.99-9.99 USD (£1.93 - 6.45 GBP) on Amazon's site.


message 42: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Long (valeriejlong) | 17 comments Al wrote: "...just the editing, promotion, and royalty."
Plus the cover designer, and eventually an accountant keeping track of the money ;-)


message 43: by Al "Tank" (new)

Al "Tank" (alkalar) | 231 comments Valerie wrote:So if you want cheap, you'll get cheap. What do you think? ..."
That's something I have to deal with, too."


Well said.


message 44: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Cotterill (rachelcotterill) I'm in the UK and have a Kindle, so my experiences are mostly based on the UK Kindle store. Most books I'm interested in are £4 - £7 (um, that's about $6 to $10 I think). I think slightly harder about more expensive books, but if I want to read it, I'll buy it. I always read the sample first.

I've also read a few freebies from Smashwords, and found some genuine gold dust as well as some junk (that I don't finish! I can usually tell pretty quickly whether I want to bother...)

BTW if anyone fancies trying out my debut novel, just message me and I can fix you up with a discount ;)

Rachel


message 45: by stormhawk (new)

stormhawk | 75 comments A friend of mine who works in a bookstore tells met hat this is the "next big thing" ... A Discovery of Witches.

I won't be finding out whether that's true for some time, because the Kindle edition is $14.99, which happens to be (as of today, 2/14/11) 22 cents MORE than the hardback.


message 46: by Donna (new)

Donna (donnahr) I came across that book recently too and thought it sounded interesting until I saw the price. What is up with that? Even weirder, the hardback is $14.77 and the paperback is $19.92. Something screwy going on there.


message 47: by Arthur (new)

Arthur | 1 comments I'm in the 9.99 or less camp myself. Though I have paid more for a book i'm desperate to read.

My own books which are resurrected versions of my out of print books are$2.99. Partly because they are just released. Would prefer to be in the 3.99- 4.99 range.


message 48: by Canoe (new)

Canoe I generally like to see kindle books $1 or 2 less than the mass market paperback. My general rule is to not pay more than $10 for an ebook.


message 49: by Jacen (new)

Jacen | 3 comments Being from Australia its not really a big deal for me to pay a higher price as even a book that is 14 or so dollars still comes in under the average mass market paperback price here, around 19-24$ is about the average book price here (we get ripped off majorly). So I definitely wouldn't be in the $9.99 camp.


message 50: by Al "Tank" (last edited Feb 20, 2011 08:44AM) (new)

Al "Tank" (alkalar) | 231 comments Jacen wrote: "Being from Australia its not really a big deal for me to pay a higher price as even a book that is 14 or so dollars still comes in under the average mass market paperback price here, around 19-24$ ..."

Excellent reason for buying eBooks online. The price is the same worldwide, depending upon the exchange rate.

As an eBook publisher (I work for AKW Books), I don't see any reason why an eBook can't be priced significantly below the price of a mass market paperback:

-The production costs up until printing are the same (acquisition, editing, etc.)

-The "printing" costs are lower (translation into several eReader formats)

-Distribution is all electronic (no trucks carrying piles of books to be hand loaded into book racks)

-No returns (the bane of paper publishing)

-And the book never has to go "out of print".

Granted, the production costs are spread out over a smaller number of sales (for the time being, but that's changing) AND royalties to the author are generally higher (although some NY houses are still ripping their authors off by paying them 15% or less, even on eBook sales).

So, overall the cost of producing/selling an eBook is still lower and the price should reflect that.

Amazon thinks so too, and does everything they can to entice the publishers to keep the price between $2.99 and 9.99 (USD) which is a fair range from where I'm standing.

Authors are starting to "get it" also and are starting to embrace the eBook concept. In fact, some very good novels, anthologies, novellas, etc. are now ONLY available as eBooks.


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