What price for your eBook?

Steve Bareham makes some excellent pricing points in his article – Ebook pricing considerations – which leaves you wondering who is right when it comes to deciding on the current price of your eBook masterpiece.

In the good old days when you bought a book, it had a price stamped on the back, mostly always the same one on the barcode block. It would only be the chain stores that would mark it down a dollar or two. Amazon and their copiers arrived and took 20-40% off the usual price and even after adding the high delivery cost, it would still hurt your wallet less to order it online rather than add it to your grocery shopping.

Unless you have been hiding on the moon recently, you will know that eBooks are now the in-choice of those in the know. They are delivered straight to your eBook reader without you moving much more than a muscle or two.

Authors have found that they can alter the price of their self published books on a regular basis to try to find the right price point between profit and enormous sales. This appears to have settled at 99cents, which is a tough call after you have spent a year or more preparing your book to find that publishers and agents have shut up their store in favor of keeping their million seller authors alive, leaving authors to the route of self publishing whether you like it or not.

The online providers of the services from where you download your books appear to have contracts that inform the author that the company can change the retail price at any time and the author doesn’t have a say apart from removing the book from the store.

On reflection this isn’t all so much a surprise because if your book was printed (remember that method?) the publisher would decide the price and when to offer the book at a discount to move their last few thousand copies from the storeroom to a bookstore.

Is the price being set by the customer who will only click on a 99 cent book or are the authors reducing book prices to move with fashion while desperate to sell a copy during the recession?

Surely customers are prepared to pay a few dollars more to read more than a year’s work? Are you prepared to pay $5 for a coffee in a thick paper container which is consumed in minutes, yet less than a dollar for a book that could last a lifetime?

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