Tsk Tsk Tsk

I could have told you this would happen.

Remember the various disputes over eBook pricing last year between Amazon and some of the Big 5 publishers? They ended when all reached new deals with the company and kept the right to set their own eBook prices. Now they’re seeing what happens when prices are set at ridiculous price points.

The average eBook prices for the publishers involved in the recent contract negotiations is over $10. With most titles selling for nearly as much as the hardcover. Think about that. Why buy an eBook for $14.99 when you can buy the hardcover for $15.30. Those are the kinds of things happening with most major releases.

Now eBook sales are way down. They’ve been fairly stagnant in recent years, but stagnant is obviously better than a drop. I still think publishers are stealing your money when they make you pay $14.99 for what amounts to a tiny file on an eReader. With what I know about the production costs and royalty rates for authors today, I’ll never be convinced that a Kindle eBook is worth $14.99. Heck, it’s hard to convince me that a hardcover is even worth that.

Do you think the publishers are shooting themselves in the foot by continuing to price their eBooks as high as they are? I think these executives have some time frame in mind that they’re willing to go through. And if the sales continue to fall, then I’m certain that lower prices will make their way back into the Kindle store.

On this day in 2014 I published Here They Come.


14 thoughts on “Tsk Tsk Tsk

  1. I think they do it on purpose to encourage buying the print book. To be honest, I think so far the eBook industry was pricing everything way too low. I mean, how long does it take a writer to write a book? What about the cover art; interior illustrations (I write kid lit so that’s usually necessary); the interior layout, ebook formatting, etc? I agree since there is no paper they should be considerably lower than the hardcover or paperback, but still not too low. $0.99 for an entire book that possibly took the writer a year to write and edit is kind of insulting. Also, remember, the cost includes the money spent in advertising and marketing your book. And that considerably raises the price.


  2. Maybe it is because I prefer physical books, but I think an ebook should not exceed $10. There of course can be exceptions, such as if the book has a lot of substantial content, but I feel one incentive in choosing an ebook over a physical book is that they are usually cheaper.


  3. Why would I ever buy an ebook that costs more than a physical one? Aside from less space, the ONLY other reason I’d read an ebook is because they’re supposed to be cheaper. At least by a couple bucks.


  4. I agree that eBooks are ridiculously priced!
    I think we should pay a fair price but what formula do they use to calculate that price considering there is no physical book? Yes, we should compensate the author for their time and effort, then there’s the publishing, purchase of ISBNs, advertising, art work, etc.
    I am leaning more and more toward Indie authors because their books are so much cheaper than those who go through a publishing house.
    I was just on Amazon checking a book by an Indie author I follow and her book was $4.19. The Girl In the Spider’s Web (continuation of Stieg Larson’s Millennium Series. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, etc.) is $15.99 on Kindle! Ridiculous!
    I manage my way around paying outrageous prices usually by utilizing my memberships in sites which have free books and are completely legal :). I don’t always get the newest book this way but I have discovered several new to me authors


    • They are ridiculously priced. I’m not leaning more toward self published books, I’m leaving toward buying high quality used books from now on. Much better priced. And I can usually find books in great condition if I really want to.


  5. I also find that editing and grammatical mistakes are still more prevalent in ebooks. And there is very little involved in the design. At least, on my (probably outdated) first gen Nook, sometimes the text formatting is wonky, with large spaces between paragraphs, etc. And there’s little to no artwork. Maybe a cover image…but it never feels like as much work goes into an ebook and of course there’s no cost to make more prints, so they should be significantly cheaper than physical books.


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