A few weeks ago I finished reading the first book in JR Ward's Blackdaggar Brotherhood Series, Dark Lover. I really loved the book and fell in love with the characters. In fact, I loved it so much that I went to Amazon and searched for the books in the rest of the series. When I saw the price of her latest book in the series, I just about had a coronary. The publisher is charging $14.99 for Lover Unleashed.
I'll say that again in case you didn't believe me the first time. An e-book for $15.
Does anybody else think that's about $10 too much?
The paperback is only $7.99. So why is the electronic version, which has no paper cost, no printing cost, no ink cost, no art cost, $7 higher? I've been wondering that myself.
I can't find any real logic behind pricing e-books so high. Take Apple for example. You can search their store, find any song you want and download it in seconds for a dollar or two. E-books are essentially the same. You can search Amazon's entire stock of books and download any book you want. Yes, Amazon doesn't set the price for the books; the publishers do. But imagine trying to find a song on the Apple store to find out it's $5 or $6? Or even higher? For a single song? Would that be worth it? Imagine how expensive it would be downloading however many songs at $6 a pop.
Now back to the e-books.
I still can't wrap my brain how publishers can the price of an e-book higher than a paperback. Maybe they want to keep the reader's attention on paperbacks since that's their main business. After all if an e-book, which is much more instant and convenient to buy, were the cheaper than a paperback, how many people would continue to buy them? If someone were considering buying a Kindle or a Nook and saw that e-books were more expensive, they might think twice about that particular purchase. Wouldn't you? I guess from a business standpoint it's makes sense (from the publishers perspective). But people like me, and a lot of others, continue to be outraged by finding an e-book they want to buy priced at $10 or higher.
I suppose in time publishers will start to lower the price of e-books, after the newness of the technology wears off (sort of how CDs and DVD players have gotten a lot cheaper over the years). On a personal note, I tend to search for e-books that are $5 or $6 or cheaper. If I see a book at $7.99, I will think twice before buying it. I want to make sure it's a book i'll go back and re-read again and again. Otherwise, it's not really worth it.
And a note to authors: Bear all this in mind when pricing your book (if you self-publish). Readers are becoming increasingly fed-up with publishers trying to rip off the public with these outrageous prices. Readers want to feel like they're getting their money's worth from these book. If the book turns out not to be that great, they'll delete off their Kindle (or Nook). So basically they paid $8 or higher for what ends being similar to renting a movie. Some readers might even go so far as to write a bad review if they feel like the book is priced way higher than it was worth.
A similar thing happened to Michael Connnelly with his latest release, which is priced at $12.99. A TON of readers gave the book one star specifically because the book is priced way too high. And I bet a lot of those people didn't even buy the book. Their reviews rant to the publisher to stop screwing over readers. One reader even went so far as to encourage Mr. Connelly to go indie with his next book so he can price his books more reasonably.
Those reviews aren't fair to Mr. Connelly because most of them aren't even about the content of the book. And authors have very little say when it comes to the price of their books. I guess those readers felt it was their only way to get through to the publisher.
On a side note, when it comes time for me to read Lover Unleashed, I'll check out a free copy from my library. I love my Kindle and never go anywhere without it. But I'm sorry; I refuse to pay $15 for an e-book, no matter how good the book is.