eBook Prices Demystified — Sort Of

Posted: December 10, 2011 in Uncategorized
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A couple of years ago I took all my reading digital when I bought my Kindle.  I’m always reading five or six books at the same time, so carrying around a small, lightweight digital pad was much more convenient than lugging around all those books.  It eliminated  an ever growing number of shelves and stacks of books.  I seldom reread my books.  I absorb what I need and move on.  So the simplicity of a digital reader just made sense to me.  I like the digital format, too, for people who have visual problems because they can have access to all books and can easily increase the font size to enable their reading.

What hasn’t made sense to me was the pricing of digital books.  I think that the mainstream publishers are way behind the times.  They already have the content in digital form to print the books so why are they charging so much to convert them to a text file?  They are facing the same type of change that the music industry has faced, but it doesn’t look like they’ve learned anything from that industry.  Wise up, guys.  The times are changing!As a novice author, I’m faced with what to do with my book.  To me, it only makes sense to put it out for sale as an eBook.  I’m reading up on the topic, listening to the advice of best selling authors.  I was fascinated to read this blog by Kevin J Anderson, a best selling science fiction author.  He takes us through an interesting discussion of how and why he’s pricing his books on the eBook market.

My book is still in editing and rewriting.  After that, I need to have someone put fresh eyes on it to check for any blips that come from all the editing.  (Any volunteers out there?)  Then I need cover art.  After that, the book is ready to compile into an eBook.  I already have the software to do that.  So I’m set to go.  I’m going to publish it as an eBook instead of going through the torture of traditional printing.  I want people from around the world to enjoy my stories, and ePublishing will allow me to reach more people more quickly. For me, it’s  all about the fun of giving people a little break from their every day routine.   And thanks to Kevin Anderson, I know what my pricing structure will be.

If you are interested in the inner workings of the ePublishing world, his blog is a good read.  I’ve seen a lot of criticism from the publishing industry leveled at Amazon for forcing publishers to sell books at $9.99 USD.  I’ve been watching the prices creep up to the $12.99 mark.  Why should we pay the same price for an eBook as we do for a paperback book?  The cost to the publisher is much less.  They don’t have to maintain inventory.  They already have the contents and artwork for their paper version.  Why the high price?

I like the idea of saving trees, too.  But don’t get me wrong, there are certain books that should still remain in paper.  Fine art and photography books, for example.  Technical books with large illustrations or technical spreadsheets don’t translate well to the small screen.  We’re not ready to go completely paperless.  Some people love the feel of a book in their hands. But for the books that are being published in both media, why can’t we see a lower price for eBooks?

Do you read eBooks now?  What do you think a fair price for a novel should be?




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