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E-book pricing

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Margaret
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Favourite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
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Post by Margaret » Fri June 24th, 2011, 5:51 am

My eyebrows went up a bit when one of the commenters compared the price of a book ("luxury goods") to the price of her $850 Louis Vuitton bag. The typical author would probably be thrilled to make enough from writing to be able to afford to throw money around like that. I've never really considered books to be luxury goods. To me, they're necessities!
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

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Miss Moppet
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Post by Miss Moppet » Fri July 1st, 2011, 7:18 pm

Interesting post from Madame Guillotine on publishing her first novel via Kindle. Apparently it's British readers who expect ebooks to be the cheapest.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Sat July 2nd, 2011, 12:36 pm

I saw that post, and the pricing and selling comments were interesting, but I won't touch an unknown if the price is too high unless I hear a lot of good feedback, and I'm not talking gushy reviews on Amazon from a bunch of one-review-wonders. I'm talking feedback from places like HFO, Goodreads or Paperbackswap. My idea of the price is too high is pretty much $2.99 and over unless I get good feedback, so clearly I'm not the usual model of upcharging to get people to buy.

The toughest road to hoe is still the promotional one - authors who jump in on any and every thread end up alienating potential purchasers. Gawd, the HF boards at Amazon are a virtual ghost town and I doubt there's any chance of bringing it back to life. There's always the get noticed on the blog route, but then again you have to be professional. Lol, I recently got an email and the *publisher agent* missed something in the mail merge since the blog name mentioned wasn't mine. Plus despite being signed off as being from a publisher agent, the email was a gmail generic one, googling the phone # didn't produce any hits, nor did a search on the publishing house's name.
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laktor
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Post by laktor » Sun November 6th, 2011, 5:46 am

One of the biggest advantages of e-books that people have mentioned is the much lower price as compared to the hardcover edition. But I just looked at amazon's price for the new Stephen King novel 11-22-63. The hardcover is marked down to $18.40 from the original $35, while the Kindle edition is $23.09. If you have to pay more for an e-book than the printed book, that's one of the major advantages of e-readers gone out the window. I was seriously thinking of getting an e-reader, but I don't think I will now.

SGM
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Post by SGM » Sun November 6th, 2011, 9:25 am

[quote=""laktor""]One of the biggest advantages of e-books that people have mentioned is the much lower price as compared to the hardcover edition. But I just looked at amazon's price for the new Stephen King novel 11-22-63. The hardcover is marked down to $18.40 from the original $35, while the Kindle edition is $23.09. If you have to pay more for an e-book than the printed book, that's one of the major advantages of e-readers gone out the window. I was seriously thinking of getting an e-reader, but I don't think I will now.[/quote]

I have always assumed that the lower pricing for e-books wouldn't last and that it was a ploy to get as many people as possible used to using e-readers (and buying the reader) and once that had happened, the prices for e-books would then be more or less the same as for "real books".

Amazon UK prices for most "known" authors are much the same for paperbacks and Kindle editions. In some cases the Kindle versions are more than I would pay for many books when they are first released but that I suppose is because the paperback is not available and I just have to wait for the Kindle price to drop, just as I would have to wait for the paperback edition. There are not that many novels I will buy at the hardback prices.

Of course, one of the pluses to ebooks is getting cheaper books from an author's backlist which were no longer in print. In some cases, you can buy those cheaper in the secondhand market and in some cases they are very much more expensive than new ones that are in print (for obvious reasons).

I did note that when the Lymond Chronicles first became available on Kindle they were priced at £16.99 and there was no way I was going to pay that because I could buy them secondhand for about £1.99. Now that was either a mistake on Amazon's website to begin with or common sense has eventually shone through because they are now £6.99 on Kindle but I had by that time bought them all second hand.

However, when it came to actually reading the Niccolo books which by that time I had already bought second hand, I borrowed them as ebooks from the library rather than lug round the rather large hardbacks I had obtained.

As far as new books are concerned, unless it is really special, I won't buy real books and will wait for the Kindle or library ebook version simply for reasons of space but I will also wait for the Kindle paperback price -- as with C W Gortner's Tudor Secret.
Currently reading - Emergence of a Nation State by Alan Smith

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Mythica
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Post by Mythica » Sun November 6th, 2011, 9:54 am

[quote=""laktor""]One of the biggest advantages of e-books that people have mentioned is the much lower price as compared to the hardcover edition. But I just looked at amazon's price for the new Stephen King novel 11-22-63. The hardcover is marked down to $18.40 from the original $35, while the Kindle edition is $23.09. If you have to pay more for an e-book than the printed book, that's one of the major advantages of e-readers gone out the window. I was seriously thinking of getting an e-reader, but I don't think I will now.[/quote]

For US customers, the Kindle addition is $16.99 (the enhanced addition with audio/video is $18.99) and in my experience, Kindle prices usually get reduced with the release of the paperback later on. Pricing does vary depending on what country you're in but you might find the Kindle price more affordable when the paperback gets released.

Regardless, there are a few ebook novels which are around $19+ but in my experience, they are the exception to the rule. It's frustrating when one of those few is a book you really want but you can't really use it as an example of all or even most of ebook pricing. Pricing from "the big six" publishers are naturally going to be higher than those from independent publishing but for novels, they are usually around $9.99 to $12.99. New releases from big name authors are sometimes higher but like I say, they often come down with the paperback release later on.
Last edited by Mythica on Sun November 6th, 2011, 9:59 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Vanessa
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Post by Vanessa » Sun November 6th, 2011, 11:53 am

I won't buy an ebook if it's more than the paperback and definitely not if it's more than the hardback. I don't mind paying about £5 or £6 for an ebook, but after that I might as well have the real thing!
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laktor
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Post by laktor » Sun November 6th, 2011, 5:42 pm

But what I was hoping for if and when I bought an e-reader, was to be able to purchase a brand new book from one of my favourite authors (which I love to get my hands on immediately) at a lower e-book price rather than have to pay $35 for the hardback. I hate waiting a year or two for a paperback version, and nowadays a large size paperback usually comes out first. Sometimes, a standard paperback never seems to be published!

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Mythica
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Post by Mythica » Sun November 6th, 2011, 8:17 pm

[quote=""laktor""]But what I was hoping for if and when I bought an e-reader, was to be able to purchase a brand new book from one of my favourite authors (which I love to get my hands on immediately) at a lower e-book price rather than have to pay $35 for the hardback. I hate waiting a year or two for a paperback version, and nowadays a large size paperback usually comes out first. Sometimes, a standard paperback never seems to be published![/quote]

But the hardcover isn't $35, you said yourself it's $18.40. Even so, this is only one case and it seems strange to me you would buy or not buy an ereader over one solitary book.

laktor
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Post by laktor » Sun November 6th, 2011, 9:28 pm

[quote=""Mythica""]But the hardcover isn't $35, you said yourself it's $18.40. Even so, this is only one case and it seems strange to me you would buy or not buy an ereader over one solitary book.[/quote]

There's quite a few cases like this that I've found. And if I want this particular book, I would be paying $5 more for the e-book than the hardcover.

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