Robin Spano, debut author of Dead Politician Society stopped by my blog tonight and posted about the price of ebooks. Her publisher has decided to see if price does matter and is giving her book until this Monday, Dec. 13th to see if more people will purchase her book at $1.99. What are your thoughts to ebooks?
My post is here at http://coffeeandabookchick.blogspot.com -- let me know your thoughts.
I don't know. I'm an aspiring author, but ebooks don't give me the doomsday feeling. I mean, I buy ebooks. I buy them for $9 or $10 or even $12...however the publisher has them priced. I don't know that pricing them at $2 would help. I'm going to buy the books I'm interested in no matter how they're priced. And if I like it enough, I'll buy the ebook and the hard copy. *shrugs*
Oh, I should clarify -- $1.99 isn't what it would be forever, just until this Monday as it's an experiment. But would it be more appealing and intrigue you more to buy an ebook if the price was more around $4.99? Something like that?
It would make it less likely for me to read the book. There is a difference between gratis and severely undervalued.
If it was an author I already knew and liked or was intrigued, I wouldn't spend a second thought on buying a book at $1.99. If I don't know the author, $1.99 wouldn't make me want to buy the book.
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1.99 is appealing to me personally. I still can't bring myself to spend a lot of money on e-books. The way I feel about it is, what do I do after I read it. All I have is this data file. If I spend money on the hardcopy, I can pass it to friends, take it to my used book store and get store credit and so on. The cheaper the e-book, the more appealing it looks to me. I guess even though I have an e-reader, I have yet to completely convert.
Interesting experiment, and I'm looking forward to the results. I agree with Anna that if it goes up too cheap it looks as if the author is a bit desperate - especially if it is self-published as many e-books are. Some e-books are wildly expensive - $10 sometimes. Once they become more expensive than the hardback, there is just no way it will sell. I guess the whole thing is still evolving and will eventually find a level.
It's clear that the publishers are pricing eBooks way above what they should be (some around $20). Hot new releases are priced almost the same at the physical book.
Just another way of separating people from their money. Personally, I think eBooks should be priced $2-$3 less than the paperback. Meanwhile the publishing industry is repeating the same mistakes the music & movie industry have made.
How did that work out for them?
Here is a post I wrote about the subject several months ago (unfortunatly the great comments weren't exported over from blogger): Walking the eBook Walk - http://manoflabook.com/wp/?p=95
And another post which most of you might find helpful - an informal poll about what is the impulse purchase price of an eBook - http://manoflabook.com/wp/?p=85
The whole issue of the pricing of books is massively complex. We have one book ('Saving Nathaniel' by Jillian Brookes-Ward) which downloaded 1,500 copies for free within a week, got great reviews then, when we priced it at $2.99 barely sold another copy. Equally, Stephen Sangirardi's paperback 'Monday Afternoon' has sold very well at $14.99.
Our most successful book - Daniel Birch's 'Get Some' (33,000+ copies sold) is free in the US, and full price in the UK, and the free downloads are driving the full price downloads.
As a publisher you have to ask yourself whether you are giving away a book or getting free publicity. I cannot see that any number of free downloads drives priced sales, except in the case of Daniel Birch's book, and that may have more to do with the fact that it was featured in an official Kindle promotion.
What B&N did is give the nook users a free download of the first book in a series of books - pretty smart (I noticed a pattern).