I see a lot of posts about the prices of e-books and whether a reader would buy a book because of the length versus price, or the price overall. I’d like to add my two cents worth in here. This is my own personal philosophy. If I like an author’s work, I’ll buy their books, within reason. My budget might not stretch to $20 …but who knows. If I want it bad enough, and I think it’s worth it, I might.
Authors put so much work into writing a book. It’s a hard job to do, because there’s only you and the characters and story in your head. It’s late nights, weekends, holidays and I find writing is a 24/7 job, especially with the time differences between UK and US and other parts of the world. So, I’m available Every-Waking-Minute. I don’t slow down. That’s my choice, I know that. I’m sure a lot of authors out there do the same though.
My point in all this is e-book prices rise, fall, are offered free but the author still toils away putting it all together and giving heart and soul to the process of bringing out a book. To me, a price between $Free and $15 isn’t a lot to pay if you love the author’s work. Yes, I understand some books are shorter so should be sold for less, there’s an argument I suppose for length being related to price. But when you look at some of the royalties authors are earning to bring you their wonderful stories, I don’t really begrudge them charging a higher price.
And a word of warning- get that sample downloaded on your e-reader before you buy a book from an author you haven’t read before, so you can see if you’re getting value for your buck. I know right away from reading that whether I want to read further.
Please don’t judge a book by its cost either. If it’s 0.99, or 1.25, it doesn’t mean it’s crap. It generally means it’s the author trying to attract people to their work because whether we like it or not, pricing is a big thing for readers. If it’s $8.00, that doesn’t mean it’s better than anyone else’s. Do your homework first- get that sample downloaded. It’s a case of Buyer Beware.
Look at what you can get for $2 – $15 nowadays and tell me that weeks, months and years of sweat, blood and toil don’t equate to this $ range to be a realistic figure for an author to produce their work for you, the readers.
A cup of coffee (source US News)
A cafe mocha is the most expensive caffeine beverage in the country, which costs an average of $3.94. An average cup of coffee costs $2.70, but a drink of cafe americano – which is espresso and water – is even less expensive with an average price of $2.62.
A box of chocolates (source RussellStover)
A fluffy toy (source toys r us)
A movie ticket (source THR)
2015- THR reports the average US movie ticket price is now $8.61, which is 3.36% more than the average for this quarter last year, and quite a lot more than the $8.12 average for the first quarter of 2015.
A beer (source CNBC)
2015- Beantown is home to Boston Beer Company, maker of Sam Adams, and the average price of a beer here is $3.72, averaging a store price of $1.46 with a bar price of $5.98. Beer in Chicago much cheaper than New York’s, averaging $3.56.
Fresh Flowers (source NYDailyNews) – Bunch of carnations
So, while we all have our budgets to live with, and need to be patient to buy some books when our budget runs out, or wait for competitions or special offers, please spare a thought to that author working their guts out to bring you that story. A book you can keep forever and which also makes you experience emotions, plus making you a part of one amazing community which in itself gives a reader a lot more than just a book.
We all love our readers dearly and appreciate every sale we make. This isn’t us saying we need to charge more for our work or worse, our readers are a bunch of Scrooges!! Hell no. This is us saying please bear the above in mind when we put a new release up for sale and see where we’re coming from when we set the price.
SOME MORE FACTS ABOUT E-BOOK PRICING TO READ AT YOUR LEISURE
According to an article in The Guardian, in the UK the average price paid for an e-book increased 7% to £4.15 in 2016, while the price of a hard copy increased 3% to £7.42. At the time I’m writing this, that equates to $5.50 and $9.83 respectively.
I’ve attached a useful link to a presentation done by leading data site AuthorEarnings. It’s a detailed bit of work done in 2016 and makes interesting reading.
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