Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Tell Me Something Tuesday
Welcome to Tell Me Something Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Cambria Hebert. She asks (and answers) a question, and we also answer. Remember, if you take part, to go to this week's main page here and post to Mr. Linky.
This week's question: Tell Me Something:
What do you think Ebooks should be priced at? How much is too much and what is fair?
Well, as anyone who knows me knows, I'm an extremely opinionated person. When eBooks first came out, they were competing only against pBooks, which at the time were running over $20 for hardcovers, and, in many cases, close to $10 for paperbacks. $9.99 for an eBook seemed eminently reasonable. Then I learned more about how eBooks were produced, and my perception shifted. Think about it - eBooks have a very low production cost - there is no printing, no storage, no shipping and handling, no transport - the only cost put into them is by the authors, who have spent the time writing them, and (hopefully) put in the cost to get them edited, and formatted, and a good cover set up. For the sellers and publishers, they are pure profit, so there is no reason to jack the prices up the way they do with physical books! While there are cases where I would buy a higher priced eBook (if I had the money), such as it being a book I absolutely am dying to read by an author I adore, for the most part I think an average eBook, of novel length, should not be more than $4.99. For an unproved writer, no more than $2.99. And if the eBook is not at least 120 pages long, then no more than 99 cents.
This has been an ongoing issue all over the web with authors lately, and there is currently a backlash going on about the free eBooks being offered on Amazon, and the Amazon KDP program. I know of a number of authors who have declared that they will no longer offer their eBooks free, for any purpose whatsoever, nor will they remain in the KDP program. Many are raising their prices. Their thoughts are "If a person will spend $6 on a coffee, why not on my book?" While I completely understand, and I certainly agree that authors need to be charging an appropriate amount of money for their books, at the same time, a lot more people think their daily java is vital to their ability to function than that an eBook is equally important. Then, of course, there are those like me - disabled, unable to get the SSA to pay me disability benefits, trying to live off my husband's fast-food salary with rising medical costs... I know there are those who are worse off, even.
As to the length affecting the price - yes, I know authors spend just as much time writing a novella or short story, and just as much effort into polishing it and putting it out there, but honestly, if I'm grabbing something that will take me less than 2 hours to read, I'm really just not going to spend more than a buck for it. Sorry! If you want to charge more, than write a novel instead of a novella, or combine multiple novellas into a single omnibus or something. At least now you can usually count on eBook sellers to show you the page count; it used to be you could end up spending $2.99 or so for an eBook and not realize it was only 19 pages long! So, sorry, but I think it's better to keep those shorts and shorter novellas at the 99 cent price point, and full-length eBooks from $1.99 to $4.99, depending on the length of the book, the location in a series, and how well-known you are.
And that's my opinion on that!
Coming up next week (I always forget to add this: I’m going to ask a about a touchy subject… bear with me:
What do you think of the whole Indie vs. Traditional Publishing? Do you as a reader (and blogger!) look at the publisher name before you choose to buy or read a book?