Weekly Whine: Kindle Book Prices

Last week I got half way through One for the Money by Janet Evanovich, which I picked up from the library. The book was suggested to me and I'm absolutely loving it. So, I decided I'd buy the book plus the next couple in the series for the Kindle, but only until I checked out the prices. Now, these books were published ten plus years ago, so there's a mass market format available for sale as well, but the cost of the mass market format is a dollar less than the Kindle version. I'm not paying more for a Kindle version!! Even if it is only a dollar. And since I got the Kindle, I won't buy paper anymore. For me it's a matter of the wasted resources put into producing a paper book and shipping it to my house. Sure I know it costs money to convert a book to kindle and ship it via cyberspace, but the cost to our environment is much less than the cost of recycling the paper, producing the ink, printing a book, and shipping it via ground. Doing my part for the environment is more important to me, but that doesn't mean I'll pay more for a eBook.

Wait a second, did I just contradict myself? Maybe. It's just that I've been reading a lot about the evolving publishing industry and I don't feel sorry for publishers and authors that didn't prepare for the transition. Nor do I buy into the fear factor of eBook pirating based on music pirating. Whole different market. And don't try to tell me that authors are powerless. I live with a lawyer and know better. So until they get their act together, Scribner lost out on the sale of 3+ books, and I'll continue to get the paper books from the library.

Note that most of my opinions on the changing face of publishing come from A Newbie's Guide to Publishing and my dear friend Gaynor Stenson, the new publisher at eBook Undead in the U.K.
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James Garcia Jr said...

Here! Here! I'm raising my last cup of coffee for the day in salute to you in total agreement.

By W. J. Howard said...

Thanks James! If enough of us consumer speak out, maybe they'll listen.

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Anonymous said...

I don't actually understand why ebooks are so expensive. Unfortunately I don't see this changing anytime soon. Large publishers have costs and overheads to consider, but their costs on backlist title will have been covered by the first or second imprint.

Each ebook we produces cost us about £1,500 to £2,000 so for big publishers you can mulitply that by 10 times at least. But that doesn't explain why ebooks are so expensive at all. Ten years time we might find that prices have dropped, but for bestsellers there will always be a premium to pay based on demand.

The bottom line to why I still read paper copy is that for the most part I find the ebook actually more expensive than the paperback.

By W. J. Howard said...

Great info on the cost of producing an eBook, Gaynor. Also interesting, eBook Royalty: Another Way To Protect. I read this post yesterday and it's another reason to have an good agent on your side with the large publishing houses, especially with the changing industry.

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