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Off-Topic > How much would you pay for an ebook?

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message 1: by Whitney (new)

Whitney K.E. (WhitneyK-E) | 59 comments I've always wondered what's considered an expensive ebook and a cheap one. Ive seen people by ebook for eight dollars when its written by one of their favourite authors yet I've seen some rant about the price of a five dollar ebook.
So I want to know, what's your ebook limit?

message 2: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Chamberlain (AndyChamberlain) | 4 comments Surely it depends, as it would for a printed book, on who the author is, how much you want to read it, how long it is.

I think for a short story, anything more than $1.99 is a bit pricey, and for a novel maybe up to $5.99

message 3: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (halfpint66) | 122 comments I agree with Andrew.

message 4: by Whitney (new)

Whitney K.E. (WhitneyK-E) | 59 comments Valid point. I think category novels (40k words and under) shouldn't be over three dollars. Single title however (ranging from 40k-150k) have through right to change up to five. But.your right. It does depend on who the author is.
Thank for your responses. :)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) I agree with Andrew too. No more than $1.99 for a short or novella. For a full length novel $5.99 sounds reasonable. I know I personally WON'T buy a ebook if its over $7. But I'm a cheapie and on a budget.

message 6: by Lynne (new)

Lynne | 1 comments I am willing to pay the same price that I can get it in paperback or the going sale price of a hardback at the local bookstore for ebooks as I would rather have them in ebook format. takes up less room :)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) I understand your point, Lynne, but I figure ebooks should be cheaper since they are not using paper to print them on and don't have to have them shipped to you or the stores. I am still a big fan of paperbacks and prefer them over ebooks. I will take a PB over an ebook an day. But its nice to have ebooks readily available. I can't always find the books I want in PB.

message 8: by Whitney (new)

Whitney K.E. (WhitneyK-E) | 59 comments Agree with you Pamela. My sister and I share a bookshelf (we're twins, so we share nearly everything) and we like the sentimental value of owning a hardcopy. It's not just words then (important though they are) but something physical.
I usually only read ebooks over hardcopys if the hardcopy is over my bduget.
Thanks everyone who has replied.

message 9: by Shirl (last edited Feb 22, 2012 06:46AM) (new)

Shirl | 48 comments I've paid $7.99 for books when I first got my Kindle and I loved them all. I have since paid less $2.99
I don't think I will pay over $5.00 for an ebook now unless it is larger and a favorite author

message 10: by Hannah (new)

Hannah | 207 comments Anything over $5.99 is expensive IMO. I have done it though, but only for authors I know and like. Newbie authors I won't touch, unless they're under $3.99.

message 11: by Whitney (new)

Whitney K.E. (WhitneyK-E) | 59 comments Thank for you input girls. :)

message 12: by Whitney (new)

Whitney K.E. (WhitneyK-E) | 59 comments Your*

message 13: by Lucy (new)

Lucy Francis (lucyfrancis) | 32 comments I have a really, really hard time paying agency prices ($7.99-9.99) for an ebook. It has to be one of my auto-buy authors, and even then I'll think about it for a moment.

Otherwise, I find I have two pricing tiers that I respond to. If a book or novella sounds interesting and is $3.99 or less, I don't even think about the price. I check the blurb, reviews, and the first page or so of the sample, and if those work, I buy it.

For some reason, I pause and consider how much I want the book if the price is more than $4.

message 14: by Whitney (new)

Whitney K.E. (WhitneyK-E) | 59 comments Understandable Lucy :)With you on that one.

message 15: by Nikki (new)

Nikki (nikkit23) | 3 comments The most I've paid was $7.99 for an ebook and the proceeds were donated to a good cause. I have a Kindle so I usually just go for the free books on Amazon. I do tend to go a little crazy with $.99 books too. I don't think I'd pay more than $4.

message 16: by Whitney (new)

Whitney K.E. (WhitneyK-E) | 59 comments Thanks Nikki. :)

message 17: by Elisamarie (new)

Elisamarie | 12 comments I guess I must be cheap. I do my best to not pay for any ebooks. I get most from the library or I download free ones from Smashwords and Pixel of Ink. I have purchased ONE ebook and it's worth the $2.99 - "On the Island" by Tracey Garvis-Graves. Ohter than that, if it was a MUST have on my readling list (and the new Blackberry Island series by Susan Mallery might just be a must have) I'd pay for it, but it's got to be an author I adore and cna't wait to read.

message 18: by Hannah (new)

Hannah | 207 comments ^ I don't blame you. There are a lot of clunker e-books out there. I bought one for $4.99 the other day because it had rave reviews by several reviewers and I'm guessing that they were friends or associates of the author. :/ That's another thing to be leary of when using reviews to judge whether to buy an e-book. Really pay attention to the reviewers and make sure they are frequent reviewers and not just one time reviewers.

I'm back to not spending anything more than .99 on a newbie author. lol

message 19: by Whitney (new)

Whitney K.E. (WhitneyK-E) | 59 comments Many including myself would agree with you girls. Everyone one loves a .99c book haha :) Or better still, a free one.

message 20: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Brandyn (SuzanneBrandyn) | 3 comments I've bought ebooks from $4 up to $14. It depends on the author, the story, and if I know that author. What I like is the sample pages. I've found some great authors and bought their novels. I've also read some samples and relieved that I hadn't bought them. :)

message 21: by L.C. (new)

L.C. Giroux (LCGiroux) | 42 comments As a writer this discussion is fascinating! We Indies are always trying to find the sweet spot ie. somewhere we can make enough money to live on and still give readers a good value to keep them coming back. I think that idea has been lost to the trad publishers that equate an ebook with a paperback despite the costs being so different. I have on novel that I put up for .99 to give readers a chance to read a whole piece of my work at a reasonable price. The books in my series are priced at 2.99. Most people pay something like that for coffee and I am hoping you get at least as much enjoyment out of one of my books, even if the rush is a little different! LOL

message 22: by Whitney (new)

Whitney K.E. (WhitneyK-E) | 59 comments Hahah that exactly why I created this post L.C.
I aim to publish my first novel by the end of this year and decided to find out what my readers will want.
Glad this post has benefited more than just myself.
Thank you to everyone who has participated. :)

message 23: by Kay (new)

Kay Keppler | 1 comments Fascinating discussion! I think one issue with traditional publishers charging more for ebooks is that their costs to produce an ebook aren't really much different than for producing paperbacks--they've still got to pay for offices in Manhattan, editors, artists, salespeople, etc., and instead of paper, they need more servers and people to keep those servers running. So if I have to pay $7-$10 for an ebook from a "Big 6" publisher, I want to really know that author and want that book. But an unknown indie? I don't want to pay as much for a riskier reading proposition. $4 tops would be okay; free is always a great price!

message 24: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Brandyn (SuzanneBrandyn) | 3 comments I've been sitting in and reading. Great discussion. I've paid up to $16 for an ebook, but that is because I know the author. I pay from $6-$8 basically.
I agree Kay, traditional publisers have more overheads.

message 25: by Whitney (new)

Whitney K.E. (WhitneyK-E) | 59 comments My Gosh Susanne! I don't think I could ever haha.
Thank you Kay. I've just thought about that myself. A firend of mine's book has just come out and for a very short book it was quite expensive. But your right. A lot of hard work goes into producing book and all of them have to be paid.

message 26: by L.C. (new)

L.C. Giroux (LCGiroux) | 42 comments Okay guys don't kill me but I wanted the people on this thread especially to know. For the Ides of March (3/15/12) I am putting His Deception, my latest up for Free! I'd love some of you to pick it up

Because as readers who the heck doesn't like Free!

message 27: by Whitney (new)

Whitney K.E. (WhitneyK-E) | 59 comments As we have all been saying, A free book is always good news. So I don't think you'll find any haters on here L.C.

message 28: by Whitney (new)

Whitney K.E. (WhitneyK-E) | 59 comments I might do a little plugging myself actually lol. If you guys would like some more interesting discussions or tips, I've just started a blog:

I have only just started, but have some great articles coming up and my current one is called 'Beat the Block - Writers block'.
So feel free to check it out. I've got lots in store.

message 29: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Sharpe (AbigailSharpe) | 312 comments So what did you decide to do, Whitney? And how did it work for you?

message 30: by Janeiowa (new)

Janeiowa I won't pay more than $8.99 for an ebook, and I buy no print books anymore. The cost has just gotten way too high. I buy quite a few favorite authors who tend to be in the $7.99 range and I'm happy with those, since I re-read many of them.

I also buy quite a few on the various specials that come to me via email. I also read the reviews, and if they mention poor editing, poor grammar, spelling, etc., that's a turn-off immediately.
I don't buy and won't read somebody's careless "first/rough" draft that somehow made him/her think he/she was an author. If an "author" doesn't know the difference between bare and bear or there/their/they're, he/she needs to either learn English vocabulary and/or take some writing courses.

message 31: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (Dawn_Green) | 1 comments Jane-I agree with you completely. Bad editing/grammar is a turn-off for me as well. I only recently purchased my first Kindle just to have another option for book-buying. I prefer paperbacks but will purchase digital if it's cheaper. I've read a few on my Kindle and enjoyed the experience. It certainly is more convenient. But I find it infinitely more satisfying to hold the book in my hands!

message 32: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Sharpe (AbigailSharpe) | 312 comments Completely agree on the editing!

message 33: by Hannah (new)

Hannah | 207 comments I just paid $14.99 for Nora Robert's new book. There was a huge waiting list at all the libraries around me and the book price was way more than I'm willing to go, so I guess $14.99.

message 34: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Sharpe (AbigailSharpe) | 312 comments But it's Nora. Completely understandable. :)

Ellen (more books, please) (Ellenlovestoread) | 26 comments I won't go more than $4.99 or so, even for Nora. I will just reread her others until the newest becomes "old."

I will never spend the big bucks on the e-books until they allow me to sell/donate/trade. This whole "you are buying a license, not a book" stand, or the stand that there is no savings on e over physical copies gets on my last nerve.

But I have thousands of e-books (from good and bad authors) and hundreds of physical books so I am in good shape. I also reread books repeatedly.

If an author is called "cracktastic," I know that is code for "I love her/his books even though spelling is iffy, grammar is but a dream and editing is nowhere to be found." I stay far away from those.

message 36: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Sharpe (AbigailSharpe) | 312 comments Interesting interpretation, Ellen. I like it!

message 37: by Janeiowa (new)

Janeiowa I've never heard the term "cracktastic," but I do agree it's not an adj. guaranteed to make me buy anyone's work.

I realize I'm very "old school" in that I have been taught to believe that writing is to be grammatically correct, words are to be spelled correctly, writing is to be concise,and ideas are to flow in an organized manner. That's what my writing teachers expected of me, and that's what I expect from someone who considers himself a professional writer.

message 38: by Hannah (new)

Hannah | 207 comments Huh. Interesting take on "cracktastic." I have wondered what that term meant. lol

message 39: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Sharpe (AbigailSharpe) | 312 comments Jane, I'm okay if rules are broken on purpose. You can definitely tell a difference when it's done for character development vs lack of author knowledge.

message 40: by Janeiowa (new)

Janeiowa I agree, Abigail, 100%.

message 41: by Susana (new)

Susana Ellis (susanaellisauthor) | 6 comments For a number of years, I boycotted the $7.99 books that were the same price as the hard copy. Mostly the New York publishers. I missed a lot of my favorite authors that way, though. It appears that the NY publishers are in trouble now, and they deserve it!

I've abandoned that boycott now. I'll pay a lot for an author like Diana Gabaldon. It's SO much easier to read her 1000-page tomes on a Kindle than try to handle them myself.

As far as the 99-cent or free deals, occasionally you can find a gem in the bunch, but more often than not they are not worth the price of my time in reading them!

And then, as an author myself, I wonder how much the author is getting from those cheap deals. It's one thing if the books are self-published and the author is the one who set the price and gets the lion's share of the money, but when you know the publisher and the retailer get a share, it seems blatantly unfair that the author might be getting a few cents out of the 99-cent deals.

Most authors I know work full-time and write in their spare time and don't begin to make even minimum wage.

message 42: by Janeiowa (new)

Janeiowa I've assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that the majority of the authors did the free and .99, not to make money, but to get their names out to the ebook public.

I will not spend much more than that on a new author these days. There are far too many publishing who haven't learned the basics of writing. Many of them "overwrite." In most cases more words is not better! [I don't need to be told a character walked around the front of the car, opened the door, got in, closed the door, put the key in the ignition and turned it on, etc.]

Someone who begins writing and publishing to make any money, let alone minimum wage for the hours put in, is going to be sadly disappointed, I'd venture.

message 43: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Sharpe (AbigailSharpe) | 312 comments Jane, I think you're right. At least for some. They're hoping you'll buy the book, love it, and by a different one at regular price.

message 44: by Janeiowa (last edited Apr 21, 2013 08:37AM) (new)

Janeiowa It seems to me that selling the merchandise is the same as in any retail operation. If the product (novel or a handbag) isn't moving, you'd better get some attention for it and price is one way that seems to work. If nobody is buying an author's work at whatever price, then it's time, in my view, to slash the price and get the product before the public most likely to buy it. I think that's why the various enewsletters (BookBub, etc) are popular.

I have taken to reading the one and two star reviews. If those reviews are well-written and explain why the low rating, I take them very seriously. I don't take seriously those that say "the language is bad, this is not for children." DUH! Adult books aren't intended for children, and the reviewer in that case sounded like a 6 yr old.

message 45: by J (last edited Apr 22, 2013 09:14AM) (new)

J (JFA3) | 9 comments Susana wrote: "For a number of years, I boycotted the $7.99 books that were the same price as the hard copy. Mostly the New York publishers. I missed a lot of my favorite authors that way, though. It appears that..."

Yes I have fallen in the bad habit of only getting the $4.99 and under books. I have found some great authors or series I like when I have taken the bate for the free book. Good for the author b/c I end up buying all the other books written by her/him. The star rating is important for me too b/c there are so many to pick from.

message 46: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (loverespect) | 10 comments $5 unless I'm desperate then $8

message 47: by Chris (new)

Chris Mascaro | 11 comments This is a tough an author, it is super hard to price your books, because as an author publishing an ebook, you only get 25 cents on a 99 cent novel, and for a 2 dollar book, you only get 65 cents.
However, for a 2.99 novel, you get $2 per sale (not if it's being borrowed on get even less if it's borrowed!) :(

message 48: by Chris (new)

Chris Mascaro | 11 comments Jane wrote: "It seems to me that selling the merchandise is the same as in any retail operation. If the product (novel or a handbag) isn't moving, you'd better get some attention for it and price is one way th..."

This is the course I follow as a seller. If it isn't moving, I lower the price. Beware of reviews and ratings! I have had Amazon delete 8 reviews that people have posted because their algorithm says they're 'too salesy'. I have had many author friends have the same complaint. On my ebooks, I have 4 ratings and have sold over 1000 copies in a month. A good rule that I follow, is I get about 5 reviews for every 2500 books your opinion, is that moving or not? I also lower my book if it is getting 'old'.

This is why a lot of authors on goodreads do 'giveaway in exchange for review' because the rate of review is extremely LOW, and add on the fact that Amazon actually deletes and disapproves reviews, the author is at a disadvantage. Now, when I buy a book, I buy it based on how the description sounds rather than the reviews.

message 49: by Chris (new)

Chris Mascaro | 11 comments Jane wrote: "I've assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that the majority of the authors did the free and .99, not to make money, but to get their names out to the ebook public.

I will not spend much more than that ..."

Again, you're right on this. I do a giveaway right before the release of my new 'ebook installations' to spur interest. And, you're right about minimum wage...the average new ebook author makes about 300 a month off of a 99 cent priced book. That's why 'installation or series novellas' are super popular. Give away the first for 99 cents or free, get readers to buy the rest.

message 50: by Chris (new)

Chris Mascaro | 11 comments Susana wrote: "For a number of years, I boycotted the $7.99 books that were the same price as the hard copy. Mostly the New York publishers. I missed a lot of my favorite authors that way, though. It appears that..."

Susana, are you self-published or represented?

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