Thursday, October 27, 2011

What's Your Take: Ebook Pricing

This year I bought a Kindle. I didn't buy it because I'm all excited about the ebook revolution; I bought it because, at the time, I was editing fiction for a small publisher, and having an ereader to which I could download PDFs was necessary. I've moved on from that job, but now I'm a script reader for a screenplay competition, and this week I'm reading fifteen scripts—all of which are now sitting on my Kindle, waiting to be read.

I have to say without an ereader, I could not do this job. It's been great for traveling, too. A couple of weeks ago I visited my folks, and instead of having to lug my iMac, as I usually do, I simply downloaded what I needed to my Kindle and I was on my way. It's been great for my fiction reading, too. No more standing in front of my bookcase, trying to decide which book to take. No more bulky backpacks that accidentally smack people in the face on the train whenever I turn an inch. I gotta say this ebook revolution thing has been great for my back and for my safety.

As for ebooks, I've heard a lot of talk about the "problem" of ebook pricing. $9.99, it seems, is too high a price to pay for a novel. Yet ebook sales are increasing all the time, so obviously someone is paying this price. What gives? Why does the ebook price have to equal the mass market price? From my perspective, it seems a couple of dollars more is a small price to pay for the convenience of not having to wait for the book to ship. With nonfiction, I'd buy every book as an ebook (if it were available) since searching through one is SO much easier than in a hard copy.

What's your take? Are ebooks priced too high? 


fairyhedgehog said...

I can't help feeling that part of what I'm paying for a book is the paper and ink and the printing process and getting the book into a store and storing it until it's sold and wages for bookshop workers...

I can't see why an ebook costs more than a paperback; in my view, it should cost less.

And some ebooks are self-published and cheap and some of those are great!

stacy said...

I feel you, Fairy. I guess I'm just impatient and I'm willing to pay the extra $$ for the convenience.