Yesterday an article in the New York Times stated
that two eBooks were priced higher than the hard covers. These, mind
you, are not the bargain bin books, but brand new titles “Fall of
Giants” by Ken Follett, published by Dutton (Penguin Group USA), last
week. On Amazon.com, the price for the e-book was an astounding $19.99;
the hardcover edition was $19.39. Also “Don’t Blink,”
by James Patterson and Howard Roughan, published by Little, Brown &
Company, cots $14.99 for the e-book. Amazon priced the hardcover at
It just came out yesterday or the day before that Amazon is planning to activate a lending feature for Kindle, pending publishers approval (i.e. not all books may be lendable).
I have mixed feelings about this, because I understand the "here, you have to read this" feeling, but I also think that the lending feature will help them justify keeping the price of ebooks high, and I'm not okay with that.
The price of ebooks (even brand new ones) should be $5 or less, and I'm worried that the longer we have prices that feel inflated, the harder it's going to be to stabilize the market, and avoid creating rampant piracy later.
I mean, now that we all think 99cents is "fair" to pay for a song, how many people pirate music anymore? ( I know some, but I'm convinced a lot fewer do.) It's easier to buy the product legitimately, as long as you don't feel that you're getting ripped off.
As for me, I'm waiting patiently for my library to get the best sellers I want to read, rather than paying a high price for a file. If they were 4.99 or so each, I'd already have purchased them.
I'm in favor of lending, even if it hurts my sales. It's part of what makes books great, to be able to pass them on to others. Besides, lending books is a great way to spread word of mouth, too. If the person who is lent your book loves it, they will recommend it to others.
Just to be clear: I don't think lending itself will hurt sales. I think that big publishers will use the lending feature as an excuse to keep eBook prices at 14.99, and that will hurt sales.
Also, your book is one dollar, which sort of makes my point :) I'm checking out the free sample for now, but I'd rather pay you a dollar (30 cents to you, I know) than figure out how to make my Kindle lend something. And if I want a friend to read it, I'll just send her the link, she can try the free sample, and if she likes it...it's just a dollar, no big deal.
All that said, I am conflicted in my feelings overall. I absolutely appreciate all the sentiment involved in lending books, and am concerned about the effect more prevalent eBooks will have on my beloved libraries...
Lindsay, you make good points. I agree that big publishers will manipulate the market, which will hurt little people like us. And yes, considering that my book is only $1, I don't have a lot to lose. Even so, I paused when I read about the lending feature on Nook, because I worried I'd make even less than my 30 cents! Then I realized how crazy that was, and how important lending is to me and well....you get the idea! :) And you are right, with the free sample, AND the return feature, lending seems unnecessary. But I still like the idea of it!
I love my B & N nook, but there is no way that I will pay the prices charged for new ebooks. I have a certain price ceiling that I use and I don't go above it. There are so many good but unknown authors that are reasonably priced - or free!
Linda, Do you have any books for sale on B&N? If so, do you know how to monitor your sales? My book went live this weekend, but when I look on my sales tab, it doesn't even list my book. Do I have to make a sale before my book appears on that tab?
I think I figured it out. As soon as I got my first sale, the info popped up. Hey, and bloggers are writers, so, wouldnt' you include author in that? I never called myself an author until I published on Kindle, but in retrospect, I don't know why. I was still the author of lots of things, including two books, articles, and my blog.
My publisher doesn't, at the moment use Amazon because they took a 70% cut from all books sold! Now they've reduced it considerably, though. I'd quite like to see my name on Amazon - but not if my royalties go down to something like one penny.