How much *should* ebooks cost?

As a consumer, many ebooks feel overpriced to me. $9.99 for an ebook? That’s considered cheap–and far below what publishers want to charge. But it seems expensive to me, when there aren’t many costs associated with producting the ebook. The editing and writing have already been done. There’s no cost of printing and paper. The cost (I think) is to convert the text to a digital format. And, of course, marketing. BUT marketing is already being done for the print book (or should be), so I don’t see this as an added cost, or at least, not a huge added cost.

I believe ebooks SHOULD be cheaper. And I believe that if ebooks are cheaper, people will buy more of them–because of convenience, speed, ease of purchasing from your home. I also think that if the price is right, there are many readers who will want to buy both paper and digital editions of ebooks.

This New York Times article discusses the issue, showing both sides–publishers and consumers. I like how the article points out near the end that mass-market paperbacks didn’t destroy the market for hardcovers, as publishers feared, but actually expanded the market. So come on, publishers–your digital costs are less. Lower the price of ebooks so people will buy more.

What do you think? Agree, disagree? Should ebooks be priced less than their paper counterparts? If so, how much less?

About Cheryl Rainfield

I write the books I needed and couldn't find as a teen. I write teen fiction--paranormal fantasy and gritty realistic fiction. I'm the author of SCARS (WestSide Books, 2010) #1 ALA QuickPicks, and Governor General Literary Award Finalist, HUNTED (WestSide Books, Oct 2011), STAINED (Harcourt, 2013), The Last Dragon (HIP Books, Sept 2009), and Walking Both Sides (HIP Books, 2011). I also enjoy drawing, surfing the web, connecting with people I like, doing crafts, and being with my dog.
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2 Responses to How much *should* ebooks cost?

  1. Book Chook says:

    I haven’t read the article, but wonder how much authors are getting from the pie? I would hate to see publishers reduce prices and punish the guy/gal who created the darn thing in the first place!

  2. Cheryl says:

    That’s a good point, Book Chook. Though the costs are still lower for publishers for ebooks…and are they giving authors more? I don’t know.

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