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Are eBooks a bit over-priced?

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Not mine, obviously!  As a self-published author, I know all about the $2.99 ‘sweet spot’ and how price can really influence your sales.  But as a reader and an eBook customer, I find a lot of the traditionally published eBooks to be a bit on the pricey side.  In fact, many bestselling fiction titles seem to cost the equivalent of the paperback version.

Why is this?  I mean if you’re not paying for a physical book and cutting out the printing and production costs, then where is the money going?  Publishers argue that you are still paying for the cost of the cover design, editing the book and of course, the author’s contribution.  But the thing is, I have all of those costs too.  Yet I still have to keep my prices competitive – and this is in a market where people often expect to be able to download books for free.

Is it Amazon’s fault?  Are they taking too big of a cut?  Again, they’re taking a cut from my earnings too, but that’s the price for distribution.  It would be interesting to find out what the breakdown is and who is getting what.  I’m guessing the author isn’t the one laughing all the way to the bank.

I realise that you have to place value on your product in order for the reader to value it enough to put their hand in their pocket, but I don’t see how charging the equivalent to a physical paperback achieves that.  Is it just me?  Do you expect eBooks to be cheaper than they are?

The Mysterious Bakery On Rue de Paris (7) - Copy $1.89

The Cross of Santiago-Amazon - Copy $2.99

3 thoughts on “Are eBooks a bit over-priced?

  1. Internationally, I don’t expect lower prices. They seem reasonable to me. However, here in Sweden most ebooks are priced well above paperbacks and more like hardcovers, which seems to me both unreasonable and stupid. I would never buy any of them at those prices.

    1. That does seem unreasonable – it’s almost like trying to discourage you from buying eBooks. I simply don’t get the reasoning behind it. And there are such discrepancies – take one random example: today on Amazon, ‘Us’ by David Nicholls is £4.99 for Kindle and the paperback is £3.85! What’s that about?! I hope my eBooks are reasonably priced in Sweden 😉

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