There has been a lot of talk about this lately. I’ve heard both sides, and I completely understand all sides of the argument. For now, I’d like to take off my author hat, and speak as a consumer.
A few weeks ago, my son just HAD to have a particular book on release day. I cringed when I saw the $14 price tag.
$14 For an Ebook?
Initially I told him he had to wait until it went on sale. But eventually I caved. The kid’s not asking for a video game, after all. It’s a book. Still… $14 for memory space?
As an author, I totally appreciate the time and effort in creating a book, and yes, I did pay the price. But I can’t help but feel a little scammed when there are so many great books out there without a “Best-Selling Author” tag that are $4.99 or less.
Today, I ran across the same problem with a book that I was really interested in. I came across a blurb for it on an agent’s website when it initially sold. Today, it came up recommended on Goodreads. I was all ready to buy it. It sounds great.
But at the $9.99 price tag, I hesitated.
And the hardcover is $13.59. Does anyone else see a problem with this? Why spend $9.99 on an ebook when you can spend a few dollars more and get something you can hold?
I’m wondering… if Amazon hadn’t driven prices down so low on ebooks if I would have even blinked about spending $10 on a book that I wanted. If all books were around this cost, I wouldn’t have a choice, right?
But this is my worry.
How many people out there are like me, and want the book, but decided to pass and get two other books for 4.99 instead?
Where, as an author, I’d like to see average book prices be higher, I have to worry and wonder about houses that charge so much more than other books on the market. I suppose if they are throwing big marketing dollars at the book, that people will be influenced to buy no matter the price.
But what about the people like me who stumbled across the book by accident and just want to read the story? Are they risking turning them away?
This is one of the quandaries that keeps me in limbo about whether or not to submit to certain houses. I don’t want people to say, “Why is your book so expensive? All these other books a five bucks.”
I’m wondering what you think. If you are an author, try putting your author hat aside. Think as a reader, or a consumer/buyer of ebooks.
What do you think is the right price for an ebook?
And maybe another question: Should ebooks be premium priced for the first several months, and then the price drop once the paperback comes out? Or would fewer books even get to paperback if less people are buying?
What are your thoughts?