USA Today Best of 2012

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

There's definitely a threshold

My friend and I had a lengthy text-versation yesterday about ebook prices. She wants to buy the new Jennifer Weiner ebook, but doesn't want to pay the going price. And I don't blame her. The going price is $12.99. We both agreed that for a new book by a bestselling author, $9.99 feels like the most we're willing to pay.

And ya know, I realize I've made comparisons between the music industry and the publishing industry before, but I'm going to do it again. I pay between $0.89 and $1.29 per song for music--whether it's old or new, whether it's by Bon Jovi, or Lady Gaga, or David Archuletta or Weird Al. It's a song. (and the $0.89 only come from Amazon, btw). A digital audio file. Well, guess what? I don't care if it's a book by a new author and it's her first release, or it's by Stephen King or Jenn Weiner or who. It's a book. A digital text file.

My person opinion is, if the authors and their agents aren't earning enough from ebooks that they have to be priced as high as trade paperbacks, well... their publishers are obviously taking too high a cut. (and we know they are--we're bombarded with articles on the web about the small royalty percentage the big pubs pay on ebooks, compared to what smaller pubs pay. But who's letting them get by with this, signing those contracts?) Bestselling authors can certainly choose whatever publisher they damn well please, and get their books contracted/marketed/sold. Hell. Once they have a following, they can self-pub if they want, and hire their own editors/marketers. They're the ones in this equation with the power to change the pricing. (and they just might be the first ones to feel the squeeze, if other readers feel as squeamish about paying so much for a book)

Just sayin'.
So, what's your threshold? Is there a price you feel is too high?

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy! (but not sexy enough to pay more than $9.99 for)


Sutton Fox said...

There's a disparity between buying an ebook which cost more than a paperback version. I've only done it once. For La Nora.

I've noticed some paperbacks are $9.99 now, so I guess that would be it. $12.99?? No way. I'd go to the library and just check out the hardback version.

I wish 'em good luck with that model.

Amanda said...

You should link to this post on your twitter. It'd be interesting to hear (see?) if there are responses from any "bestselling" authors. I still haven't bought that book...but I did buy several others (one twice, d'oh!).