Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Book Musings: When is an ebook too expensive?

I was surfing around Goodreads the other day and found an Asian-inspired YA novel that I really want to read. I went to download it onto my Nook . . . and saw the list price was $13.99. And when I saw the price, I decided not to buy it. It just seemed too expensive to me.

I'll be the first to admit I have a tendency to be tight-fisted. I will buy any ebook under $5 without a second thought. I don't stress if the book ends up in my DNF pile since I got the book at a good price. Plus, it's usually indie authors who sell books for under $5, and I like to support indies. I am a bit more selective of titles between $6 - $10. At this price, I generally only buy books that come highly recommended from book bloggers. And, as you can see, once an ebook goes over $10, I don't buy it at all.

So I am wondering what the rest of you think? Have you ever decided not to purchase an ebook because you felt it was too expensive? What do you think is a reasonable price for an ebook? Do you look for books that fall within a certain price range? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

13 comments:

  1. I dont think you're being tight fisted at all! No way would I pay anything over $10 for an ebook. In fact, I'll go so far as to say there's no way I'll pay anything more than $5 for an ebook. Sorry, but why would I pay more than that for something that will cost me only $3 more for a paperback copy? I love supporting indies as well and it's usually the traditionally published books which are majorly expensive. I guess it all come down to perceived value. As much as I love my kindle I don't think .mobi files are value. They are ust convenient and in a lot of cases there isn't a choice to buy a book in any other format.

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  2. I generally don't buy ebooks over $5. It bothers me to pay more than that for something that I can't even hold (I don't consider holding my kindle as holding the book),
    And $13 for an ebook is ridiculous.

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  3. I have passed on several ebooks that I was interested in due to what I felt was overly high pricing. I agree with the other commentors that selling an ebook at the same price of a paperback (or hardback in some cases!) is a bit ridiculous.

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  4. It depends on the book. I have bought a Stephen King ebook for $14.99, I think. But I enjoy Stephen King, and I didn't want to buy the hardback, which was a little more expensive. 800+ page books are perfect for Kindle, after all, so I bought it. Now if I didn't know the author, then I probably wouldn't purchase it. Of course, if I have a gift card, then I'm more likely to buy more expensive ebooks. With my own money, I sometimes don't even spend $0.99 for a book unless I know the author or have read a sample.

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  5. I'm the same way! In fact, I won't buy an ebook over $5 unless it's nonfiction, since nonfiction usually runs a bit more expensive than fiction. I'm way more stingy than you, lol. I will pay more for a book in print because the book cost money to manufacture.

    Actually, I find a lot of used print books for around $5, sometimes less, in pretty decent condition, so paying more than that for an ebook that's always in the same condition and can be replicated an infinite number of times is just silly.

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  6. That's insane! Let's face it. That's just basically $14. For an e-book? Why would I pay that much when I could get a paperback for that price? I'm with you. I won't buy an e-book if it's past $5. If an e-book is over $5 and I really want it, I would consider looking at the paperback price, and if it's not that much of a difference, than I usually tend to get the paperback version. Interesting topic. I wonder how many sales that author actually had for that e-book price.

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    @ Livin' Life Through Books

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  7. Indie ebook or not I don't think ebooks should be expensive. It makes me crazy when they're just as expensive as an actual physical book!

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  8. Under 5$ for me too. And even the most popular published book I rarely pay more than 7-8$ because at that price I rather pay the same and get a print copy...

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  9. I've skipped a book because it was over ten dollars. I've gone out and bought the paperback for the same price as the e-book. It just seems ridiculous when its the same price.

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  10. For me anything over 5 dollars in ebook format is too high. But I live on a budget. I've actually seen a few ebooks and I am seriously hoping they were mis-marked but they were being offered for 99 dollars or even more. I had a good laugh at one for 999 dollars. And went wow that must be some book! That aside for me with computers being what they are and Amazon being known to have issues before with losing your book shelf, I don't want a book that I paid more than 5 dollars for going missing and being impossible to replace. I'm an odd one and will re-read a book later on to see if I like it better or hate it. Paperbacks I can see spending up to 10 dollars on but even then I have to be VERY selective. Indie ebooks should be priced accordingly. But once you have a book in print format I think you can go with the standard and stick to around 5 dollars. But that's just my opinion.

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  11. I can't really add anything to what's already been said, but yeah, most of the ebooks on my shelf were under 5$ I have bought two for over ten, a literary theory book on Magical Realism and the The Story Sisters ( I loaned my hardcover of that out and never got it back...DON'T YOU HATE THAT!) ...those are the only two, though:)

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  12. Under $5 seems right to me, too. Anything beyond that and I think I'd prefer to get the physical copy, assuming it's available. Weird of me, huh? :-)
    Mina's Resurrection Blogfest!

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  13. Living outside of the US, every ebook on Amazon is $2 more than the set price, which kinda sucks. So I am one of those who will buy from Smashwords if a book is published there too! $13.99 is definitely too much for an ebook (in my opinion ;) ). Anything around or over $10, then I start looking at the paperback instead...

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