Ebook Pricing- How much is too much for an ebook?

March 28, 2014 Uncategorized 5


This is a topic that I have discussed with quite a few of my blogger friends on facebook, especially when a really interesting book comes out but the price tag is above a certain number. What that number is depends on the person. For some it’s $5, for others it’s that ever popular $2.99 price tag. Which to me is just right. I admit I am one of those people who will rarely spend over $5 on an ebook. A paperback is a completely different story.

I have no idea what goes into factoring a price on an ebook. None of my books have come that far. But there has to be a line. I know indie authors probably struggle with this more so than the big publishing houses. They don’t seem to hesitate putting a $10 price on an ebook.

But here’s the thing, if you put that high of a price on an ebook I will judge the book by the price. And this only happens with ebooks. I never pick up a paperback and think to myself, man this book had better be worth this $10. Why? Because I am buying the paperback outright. It’s mine, I can hold it in my hands. I can even cut myself on the pages. The book, well it’s not as tangible. If you’re book is good, but just as good as a book I just read that was only .99cents, yeah my cheap ass is going to think, “was it really worth all that money?”

Why? Because like most readers I’m on a budget. And yes I, like most bloggers I know, buy my books. I know a lot of people in my personal life think that because I am a blogger I get the books from the authors for free. That’s simply not the case, at least not for me.

So what I want to know from you, is how much is too much? And do you judge a book by it’s price tag?

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I'm a mother, and I love reading. What else is there to know?

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  • tracy

    Thanks for (re)opening a discussion on this topic. I love to read and I am (admittedly) cheap. Often it is hard to judge the length or quality (editing, formatting, proofreading) of an ebook and sometimes a $.99 book feels like an overpayment. Also, the practice of dropping an ebook price after an initial period of time to drive up sales is frustrating. In fact, I have stopped buying most books on release day, as so many go on “sale” relatively soon thereafter. I admire self-published authors and I know their road is not easy and I owe them many hours of real enjoyment and entertainment.

    • Lori Parker

      Yes! I have been burnt by the price drop to blow up sales trick too!!!

  • Lindsay Galloway

    I’m one of those cheap asses on a budget. I prefer to pay under $2 for an ebook, but I’ll stretch to the $2.99 limit. Any more than that and I shrug it off and pick up the next book on my ginormous to-read pile. Or, better yet, I check to see if my local library has it.
    I can’t say that I judge a book on its price (since I downright refuse to pay exorbitant prices), but I can imagine that I would. If I overpay for a paperback, and it’s the worst book ever, I can at least sell it to a used book store and recoup the cost, or donate it to charity. Nothing can be done to redeem an overpriced ebook letdown.
    I agree about tangible books as well. I would love to be able to buy all of my books outright, and line my walls with shelves… but I just don’t have the space/money to buy the 150+ books I read every year.
    Ebooks are a perfect solution to my money woes, and I absolutely love to support hard-working authors. Just please don’t break my bank!

  • Tina Hammond

    $3.99 is about the most I’ll pay for an eBook. I’ll pay up to $12 for a large paperback, but that’s because, if I don’t like it, I can trade it at the local Used book store. With an eBook, I’m stuck with it until I delete it off my Kindle. I can’t trade it away. Yes, I have made exceptions and paid more- usually because I won a giftcard and I’m splurging on a book I wouldn’t pay full price for, otherwise. As an author myself (Indie, of course), I struggle to even post my books for 2.99- but, I pay premium price for an excellent editor (approx $1000-12000 to edit my 75k words), and I hope to recoup my price to pay for the next editing job.

    • Lori Parker

      Thanks for you insight as an author. It just seems like the prices for trad published books keeps going up. While indies keep staying affordable. Which is fine by me, because there are a lot of great indies out there.