E-book Pricing

The battle rages over how much to pay for an e-book.  Andrew Burt at Critters.org put up a poll on e-book pricing. After taking the poll, click over to the forum which cusses and discusses e-book pricing. Each commenter does not say if he is coming from the writing side, the publishing side or reading side of the book business. I am sure there are folks who are both authors and publishers, but many comments are colored toward favoring their specific interest.

Granted there are no costs associated with printing, shipping, or returns for an e-book publisher, but the costs are there similar to a printed book version when it comes to contracting authors, artwork, editors, office expenses, internet hosting, time relinquished for promotion…yes, some small presses actually help the author network and get reviews…

In the poll Burt asks what the reader would pay for an e-book. In another section, he puts forth the idea of NOT paying for the book until after the reader actually reads it. Then, as in tipping the waitress at your favorite restaurant for good/bad service, the purchaser will pay for the book based on how much he enjoyed it. This idea boggled my mind. I wish I could pay the doctor as to how well he cured me or the electric company for how bright my lights are. Actually I would love to pay the gas stations after I used their gas for a big or small trip!

I am sure you can tell where I stand on this utopian idea. Publishers would be out of business in no time. Not because the books are bad, but because a reader will never return in three days or two weeks to pay the piper after reading a book. But it would be a great experiment to see how well this would go. Perhaps the ABC show, What Would You Do?, could try this exercise in human nature?

Tell me now, how much are you willing to pay for an e-book? Should it be close to the amount of the major publishers hardback or paperback book? Why or why not? It is interesting to get many views, but please keep them polite. Thanks.

3 responses to this post.

  1. I have always thought an ebook should be less than a regular book but the last few times I’ve bought a book on Barnes & Noble’s website, the physical book was cheaper than the Nook version. I will always buy a physical book over an ebook if I have a choice – mostly because I’m over fifty! That being said, I think we should not get in the habit of giving away eBooks. People value a thing they’ve paid for much more and I will always stand behind the notion that good writers should be paid their worth! (am I dreaming?)

    Reply

  2. Exactly! I agree with not giving away our writing. I am struggling with giving up a short story for the free reads at our publisher. But I guess it is all for the sake of promotion?

    Reply

  3. Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, not so much. I guess we each have to weigh the pros and cons of giving our writing away. Truthfully (and I have not done this) it makes more sense to me to give away one or two but once your in print go for the $ from there on in. Good, solid, original writing is no different than art. You have to find people who value your style and hue and they will be willing to pay for it.

    Reply

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