View Full Version : Most you will pay for the average ebook?


ficbot
04-05-2010, 11:36 AM
Just curious, in light of the new price-gouging agency model (decade-old paperback $1 cheaper than print! They're all heart) if anyone has bought any books yet under the new pricing and what your thoughts are on how high they can take you for. I have still been adding books to my wishlist (mostly at Kobo since Fictionwise doesn't have anything good anymore) and some books I would have impulse-bought in the past (e.g. books to replace a paper version taking up shelf space in my tiny home) I am wishlisting and not buying. With the exception of maybe 1 author where I really would be willing to pay to have it right away, I just can't see myself paying more than $12 for an ebook---$10 is my limit but Canadian books seem to be $2 higher so I have bumped it a little. But more than that, I'll wishlist it and wait.

So, do you have a ceiling? What is it?

JSWolf
04-05-2010, 11:37 AM
My limit is $10 for an eBook that the paper copy is out in hardcover.

CyGuy
04-05-2010, 11:40 AM
Half the price of the least expensive paper copy of the book.

kceb10
04-05-2010, 11:41 AM
I will not be buying any new releases and if the price on the older books dosnt come down i'll be going back to Pbooks. the whole reason i have been using a ereader was because of the discouted price of books. I have noticed alot of the older books are no longer discounted now also, so if i have to pay 7.99 for an older ebook i'm just going to go and purchase the Pbook and then sell it at a later date to make some of my money back.

DawnFalcon
04-05-2010, 11:42 AM
"It depends".

I've happily paid $15 for eARC's before, but I won't pay more than $6-7 for an ebook version of something which was published over a year ago...

Also, I think you need to make it plain you're talking about novels, I once spent £80 on a reference ebook, and I still use it to this day - it was a great purchase from my POV.

TGS
04-05-2010, 11:50 AM
It depends - I just paid £35 pounds for a second hand copy of a book published 37 years ago, and would have paid that amount for an ebook version if I could have got one. On the other hand, if I'm buying contemporary fiction I'm not willing to pay more than the cheapest paperback price.

JoeD
04-05-2010, 11:54 AM
Voted $5 or less as $10 is too high for most books although I will pay $6-7 for the odd book that I know I'll like. $5 or under though and I'll impulse buy (as my growing "to be read at some point if I ever get the time" pile can attest.)

Just to clarify: When we had $2 to the pound, I'd have paid $10 for books I knew I'd like, but with the exchange rate changes, ~$7 is more inline with my max price (£5)

columbus
04-05-2010, 12:16 PM
I voted not more than $10 - BUT - it should be less, (including tax), than the cheapest print version available at that time.

mr ploppy
04-05-2010, 12:27 PM
Ebooks are just reading copies, they have no collectable or resale value, so the most I would pay is how much a real reading copy would cost. It would vary from book to boook depending how much I wanted it and how easy it would be to buy a real copy. All the ones I have bought so far have been less than £3. At that price I wouldn't bother looking for a free copy to download.

Lemurion
04-05-2010, 01:01 PM
It depends on the book - I'll pay $15 for a Baen e-Arc and for the eBook of a new release hardcover that I've been really looking forward to reading. I've paid more than that for RPG rulebooks in PDF.

Having said that, my general ceiling for most e-novels is about $6-8, the price of a mass market paperback or a little less.

pdurrant
04-05-2010, 01:26 PM
So, do you have a ceiling? What is it?

I don't have a fixed price limit, at least, not one under $20. If it was a book I really wanted, and wanted NOW, I could see myself paying more than $20 for it.

But mostly, I don't. Indeed, mostly I pay well under $5.

My average cost for ebooks read this year so far (52) is just $2.99. And these are mostly big-publisher ebooks, not cheap ones from tiny start-ups. And I did actually buy all but three (two out of copyright and one promotional freebie).

My long-term average for all the ebooks I've bought is well under $4.

Angst
04-05-2010, 01:43 PM
I've paid as high as $16 for an ebook I really wanted that was out in hardcover ($25). Mostly, I won't pay more than $6-7 for something that's out in paperback.

Hamlet53
04-05-2010, 01:49 PM
It depends. Generally after a newly released book has been through its hardcover run, and the market has settled on a paperback price, I would be willing to pay that; the paperback price for the e-book version if it is a title I wanted. This presupposes that I am getting a quality e-book version.

The story changes for older releases. Right now I wish I could find an e-book version of Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes. If it was out there, in quality EPUB format, I would be willing to even pay a little bit more than the current price for a new paperback; $6.00 at Amazon.

dsvick
04-05-2010, 01:52 PM
It depends on the book. For most books I'm willing to wait to read so would generally prefer to not pay anymore than the current paperback price for them. For some however, like the latest David Weber, I'd pay more, thank goodness for Webscriptions!!

GA Russell
04-05-2010, 01:56 PM
$7.99. So I voted for $10.

Kali Yuga
04-05-2010, 01:59 PM
I don't think it makes much sense to categorically set a ceiling on what you're willing to pay.

E.g. I tend not to buy text-only books (paper or electronic) that are more than $10. However I also occasionally purchase monographs, which can range from $10 to $50. Also, if a textbook that could work fine electronically is $40 and the paper version is $80, chances are I'll take the ebook.

On a separate note, in a few years it won't make much sense to peg ebook prices to paper prices. That attitude is pretty much a part of the transitional period.

Lirael
04-05-2010, 02:40 PM
For any book, I'm absolutely *not* willing to pay any more than a paper copy would cost me - it doesn't make any sense to me that I should. For novels, that means my price ceiling is usually around $10. For me, in an ideal world, the ebook would cost less than the pbook, but I'm willing to pay up to the paper price, and no higher.

For textbooks, I'll only buy the e-version if it's significantly cheaper than the paper version, because my previous experience with e-textbooks has been that they're a bit cumbersome to use - but I'm willing to put up with it for a price cut. Case in point, for one of my courses this semester, we had the option of a $100 pbook or a $35 ebook. I went with the ebook.

Jellby
04-05-2010, 02:43 PM
I don't think it makes much sense to categorically set a ceiling on what you're willing to pay.

I agree, especially considering that ebooks are not restricted by physical size as paper books are. One could imagine a single ebook with the "complete writings of Isaac Asimov", or an annotated multilingual edition of put-your-long-book-title-here, that would be worth much more than, say, a 100-page (as per typical pape book pages) short story.

... and that's without even going into fiction/reference/art distinctions.

delphidb96
04-05-2010, 03:07 PM
Just curious, in light of the new price-gouging agency model (decade-old paperback $1 cheaper than print! They're all heart) if anyone has bought any books yet under the new pricing and what your thoughts are on how high they can take you for. I have still been adding books to my wishlist (mostly at Kobo since Fictionwise doesn't have anything good anymore) and some books I would have impulse-bought in the past (e.g. books to replace a paper version taking up shelf space in my tiny home) I am wishlisting and not buying. With the exception of maybe 1 author where I really would be willing to pay to have it right away, I just can't see myself paying more than $12 for an ebook---$10 is my limit but Canadian books seem to be $2 higher so I have bumped it a little. But more than that, I'll wishlist it and wait.

So, do you have a ceiling? What is it?

I can understand the need for a $12 limit to handle Canadian pricing, but I find it interesting that 67.5% choose $10 or less. And even though the 'bump' to $12 'only' adds 2.5%, that still shows 7 out of 10 people would consider the current higher-price policies of the 'big five' publishers to be way out of line. Of course, the average upper-management type at these mega-publishing-houses cannot read, cannot think beyond his/her next feeding and cannot imagine a world where customers are even *close* to being right. So we'll have to either cave in or do what comes naturally. (In the latter, that means swarming to the darknet to assuage our addiction.) :D

So be it. Dinosaurs sometimes need to be hunted to extinction as they're too stupid to simply give up and die on schedule. :D

Derek

Elfwreck
04-05-2010, 03:24 PM
I picked $10, but that's probably not entirely accurate.

I'd pay more than that for gaming ebooks, which I'd use as reference works. (And I'd wind up printing a copy because all ebook software lacks crucial features of pbooks for reference work, including the very simple "here, you compare these two charts on two different pages" aspect.)

But for novels and mainstream nonfic, my price caps out at about the same as mmpb's. While I might pay more for collections or reference works, I picked an answer based on the majority of my buying habits. (Most of the time, I won't pay more than $5, but I've got no problem with $6 at Baen, and have bought a few at $7 from FW, although I'm not likely to do so in the future--too much free content I'm just as happy to read.)

TallMomof2
04-05-2010, 05:07 PM
Pretty much $5.00. Sometimes I'll go up to $10.00 but most of my purchases are under $5.00. Anything more expensive goes onto a wish list where I wait for the price to drop to what I consider reasonable.

Ea
04-05-2010, 05:09 PM
It depends to a large degree on how much I want the book, plus the e-book price vs. p-book price - i.e. how much is it worth to own an e-copy and is the p-book version much cheaper?

But for genre fiction and other quick reads, books that I probably will only read once, I guess my limit is about 7-8 USD, max 10. But it doesn't mean I wouldn't buy it if it was a bit more expensive... Between taxes and shipping, e-books are most often the cheapest option for me - a mainstream paperback, ordered from England, would typically cost me the equivalent of 15-20 USD.

A 5 USD book is at the price level where rarely stop to consider whether I should buy it or not, as that price it pretty close to 'dirt cheap'.

bevdeforges
04-05-2010, 05:24 PM
Actually, my price point is about $15, so I had to go with $16.

My main reason for going to an ebook reader is to be able to get English language fiction here in France. So basically, I'm looking at not paying more than the paperback edition would cost me if I were making my usual runs back to the US to buy books. Up to now, I've been buying books between trips from Amazon in the UK - and despite the discounted paperback prices, you have to figure in shipping costs.

There is a 5% maximum discount on books here in France, which I am told specifically does NOT apply to ebooks, however no one seems to have told FNAC, which is about the only source over here for ebooks. They seem to be charging about the same for French titles as the paper editions.

causticmuse
04-05-2010, 05:50 PM
Generally, I try to finagle coupons and sales to get the price of a fiction ebook I want to $5 or less. I am patient enough to wait for new releases to drop down to paperback prices before I bite. I'm willing to pay up to $10-$15 for non-fiction that I will refer to repeatedly, but again, I will wait for sales and coupons or Fictionwise's 100% Micropay rebates on those if I can to bring the price down below $10.

I prefer to pay no more than I would for a used paperback copy of the same book including shipping.

Sydney's Mom
04-05-2010, 06:24 PM
Since I prefer ebooks to even pbooks, I will just use the library. I need to put holds on most books, but I have such a TBR list, I don't mind waiting a couple weeks. I will simply start Under the Dome. I wanted that book, but it was windowed. I got it off the darknet, and then bought it legitimately when it was finally released. And I still haven't started it. So I think I will just calm down, and wait for the library.

dmaul1114
04-05-2010, 06:29 PM
$10 is my threshold for the average novel/non-fiction book.

At $10 and under I have no problem paying that for something I'll only read once, and having the convenience of not having a physical copy to get rid of, or hassling with the library.

FizzyWater
04-05-2010, 10:07 PM
Generally 25% - 30% less than the print price (assuming it's not an overpriced indi-pub trade paperback) is my 'stopping place'. I've paid more and not minded - occasionally - and I've paid more and grumbled, but caved - once or twice.

I want to pay pretty much the same price I'd pay if I bought the book at Target or Wal-mart or if it was on sale at B&N. While I like to think they should be a little less than that - because I can't share or resell them - I'd rather get them timely and pay the same as the print book, than to wait months and months before being able to read the book digitally.

mrkarl
04-05-2010, 11:27 PM
14 dollars is my limit for a book that's part of a series that I've been waiting for and only immediatly when it becomes available.....but, I've been in the print industry a long time and I know that a lot of work and money is being saved by selling it electronicaly so for the average story the amount I'll pay for it will get less as time goes by so I'd maybe pay a couple of dollars for something thats been around for 20 or 30 years

cubeball
04-06-2010, 02:01 AM
I will say US$10 for a new release inclusive of tax if any. As for books tat are a year old or more not more than US$7. But then again i will pay abit more if it's a book i really want,some really old books tat i would keep and read over. I just stop buying tis few days coz of the price increase and just add books i wanted to my wishlist. If this trend persist, i will most likely turn to the 'ahem net' :(

Dellaster
04-06-2010, 08:56 AM
Depends. The price of the ebook must be equal or less than the cheapest paper version. That's my only absolute. My preference is what Baen does with Webscription.net: about $6, multiformat & no DRM, for any novel they carry even if it's still only available in hardcover on the paper side.

Like others I have bought Baen eARC ebooks for $15. The thing about those is that the paper book doesn't exist yet and won't for at least several months at the time the eARC is released. For example, I bought one eARC at the beginning of February that's still listed for hardcover preorder at Amazon for $16.32. That's value for your extra bucks.

Other higher-than-$10 exceptions include technical books, like those on computer programming language. It's case by case when it comes to non-fiction.

Sweetpea
04-06-2010, 10:20 AM
Depends. The price of the ebook must be equal or less than the cheapest paper version. That's my only absolute.

This. When I see the pbook version is cheaper, I won't buy the ebook version (and most often, simply buy another book...)

emonti8384
04-06-2010, 05:15 PM
95% of the books that I buy are (paperback) below $10, so that's what I expect to pay for ebooks. One of the greatest advantages to having an ereader was that it was supposed to "pay for itself" in the long run since ebooks are a tiny bit cheaper than pbooks. For a new title I'll pay up to $20. I religiously follow about 20 authors, so if new book of theirs came out I'd have no problem paying that price. When the ebook is more expensive than the pbook on a regular basis? That's not cool, and stop being so greedy.

Billjr13
04-06-2010, 09:02 PM
I feel $10 is about right for a new ebook. I used to buy some hard back books new with my member's discount and it brought the price to around $12-$15 and that was my upper limit. Most of the time I would wait for it to hit the bargain table just before the paperback was released and buy it for around $6. Cost and storage space were two of th major reasons I wanted to switch to ebooks, and in no way in my mind should they cost more than a printed edition.

Boston
04-06-2010, 09:09 PM
I feel $10 is right.

Although I may have been conditioned by the $9.99 pricing but also because that is the discounted/sale price for most trade paperbacks and what I paid before e-books. Part of the reason I justified buying an ebook reader was because books wouldn't cost me more (I had long held off buying an ebook reader earlier because of prices I saw in the Sony bookstore).

I also have this rule of thumb that even if its below $10, the ebook must also be at least $1.00 cheaper than the current sale price of buying it new in paper. Because I can't pass it on (which I do with my paper books).

Sadly, I am buying a lot more paper lately :(

riemann42
04-06-2010, 09:18 PM
I am amazed at the number of people who say $10. If I want the book, I'll buy it. To me an eBook is worth more than a pBook.

I think that placing a "I won't pay more than X price" on a book is a great way to kill the eBook market. If a publisher can make more selling a hard back than an eBook, they'll just delay the release of the eBook.

Boston
04-06-2010, 09:41 PM
I think that placing a "I won't pay more than X price" on a book is a great way to kill the eBook market. If a publisher can make more selling a hard back than an eBook, they'll just delay the release of the eBook.

But I don't generally buy hardback books either. I am a book junkie, I typically read 8-12 books a month and buy even more. So price is not irrelevant or I couldn't afford to read.

Do I have exceptions? Occasionally, but very rarely is there a "must read now" where I can't wait.

And if the ebook doesn't fall within my price limit, I will buy used so the publishers get the message.

I could pay more if I were more selective in what I buy, but I'm not that well behaved :p

riemann42
04-06-2010, 10:01 PM
But I don't generally buy hardback books either. I am a book junkie, I typically read 8-12 books a month and buy even more. So price is not irrelevant or I couldn't afford to read.

Do I have exceptions? Occasionally, but very rarely is there a "must read now" where I can't wait.

And if the ebook doesn't fall within my price limit, I will buy used so the publishers get the message.

I could pay more if I were more selective in what I buy, but I'm not that well behaved :p

So how about a system that sold an eBook for $20 on release day and eased it down to $5 over five years (like what they said the agency model would do).

Buying a book when it hits the price you want seems like a better way to send a message to publishers than buying a used book. At least that way you are supporting the Author, and letting the publisher know exactly what price you are willing to pay for the content.

Boston
04-06-2010, 10:44 PM
So how about a system that sold an eBook for $20 on release day and eased it down to $5 over five years (like what they said the agency model would do).

Buying a book when it hits the price you want seems like a better way to send a message to publishers than buying a used book. At least that way you are supporting the Author, and letting the publisher know exactly what price you are willing to pay for the content.

As I stated, my threshold is that the ebook at least $1.00 cheaper than what I can get the trade paperback (because that is what I used to pay). Because the cost of an ebook is slightly less to produce and I can't share it. It's principle for me.

I just looked at my wishlist...most books in trade format are only cents more than the ebook. In 2 cases, the ebooks is more than the trade paperback :smack: Most books still only in hardback are now $14-$15 in e-book. One was priced at $9.99 and even though it wasn't at the top of my reading list, I just bought it for positive reinforcement that I liked the pricing.

Like your earlier post, my fear is that the ebook market will go away. If paper sales go up, that is what the publshers want. If you don't buy from the publisher at all, then maybe they will realize they are impacting overall sales by doing this...not just the ebook sales. You and I have different ways of sending the same message based on our buying criteria, that's all.

I'm don't want to hurt the authors either but I would like to see they need to send a message to the publishers as well.

Boston
04-06-2010, 10:52 PM
I should also mentioned that I just bought an ebook when it dropped to $9.99. The publisher delayed the ebook release and then it originally priced it at $13. They dropped the e-book price when it announced the tradebook release date. As the ebook was still available 2 months before the announced release date of the trade version, I bought it.

It's all about personal price tolerance which is different for all of us (as the poll and posts show).

BearMountainBooks
04-06-2010, 10:59 PM
Just curious, in light of the new price-gouging agency model (decade-old paperback $1 cheaper than print! They're all heart) if anyone has bought any books yet under the new pricing and what your thoughts are on how high they can take you for. I have still been adding books to my wishlist (mostly at Kobo since Fictionwise doesn't have anything good anymore) and some books I would have impulse-bought in the past (e.g. books to replace a paper version taking up shelf space in my tiny home) I am wishlisting and not buying. With the exception of maybe 1 author where I really would be willing to pay to have it right away, I just can't see myself paying more than $12 for an ebook---$10 is my limit but Canadian books seem to be $2 higher so I have bumped it a little. But more than that, I'll wishlist it and wait.

So, do you have a ceiling? What is it?

I still pretty much buy books by the "lowest price gets me." If the used copy is too high, I try interlibrary loan. For ebooks, I haven't paid over 5 dollars yet. BUT I have passed up at least two books that I really, really wanted...they were in the 7 dollar range. That instant gratification is hard to turn away...and someday it will get me. But most of the time I can find a lower price. Seven isn't out of the question, I just haven't bought an ebook yet at that price.

ImogenRose
04-06-2010, 11:04 PM
$10 unless it's something I really, really want.

Laura81
04-07-2010, 10:21 AM
I said $10 but I think a ebook should cost less than a paperback copy of the same book. So I would not pay more for an ebook than I would a paperback. I would expect the ebook to be at least a few dollars less since it must cost them less to produce an ebook than it would a paperback.

Rumpelteazer
04-07-2010, 01:20 PM
For me it depends what book it is. For fiction I don't like to pay more than 10 US dollars, Euros or Pound Sterling for it depending on where I buy the ebook (I'm lazy and don't want to check exchange rates every time I buy a book). I might make an exeption for something I really really want but that hasn't happened yet.

For non-fiction I'm willing to pay more because those tend to be more expensive as pbook also. I haven't really set a maximum for these books I only buy a book when I think it's worth paying the set price for it.

Ea
04-07-2010, 04:10 PM
For me it depends what book it is. For fiction I don't like to pay more than 10 US dollars, Euros or Pound Sterling for it depending on where I buy the ebook (I'm lazy and don't want to check exchange rates every time I buy a book). I might make an exeption for something I really really want but that hasn't happened yet.
Off-topic.... You can use Google to check exchange rates very easily. Just type, for example, '9.99 USD in EUR' (or in GBP - Pound Sterling).

SplogSplog
04-07-2010, 05:01 PM
$0 is my price point. I have 700 e-books on my machine, and every single one of them was free. I don't see the need to pay for books when there are so many great classics out there free of charge.

Rumpelteazer
04-07-2010, 05:06 PM
Off-topic.... You can use Google to check exchange rates very easily. Just type, for example, '9.99 USD in EUR' (or in GBP - Pound Sterling).

Thanks for the tip, much easier than the usual site I use!

To add; although my maximum is 10Ä/$/£ the most I've paid for a fiction book was about £7. My wishlist is very long so I can always find something else to read if an ebook I want is too expensive for my taste.

Rich_D
04-07-2010, 10:49 PM
I was reading another post (davers’ post re: no cover) and it occurred to me, owning an eReader won’t change my purchasing habits at all, nor will the new pricing structures.

If I really like an author and can’t wait for his newest release (and this is rare, only about 4 authors fit this bill) I will purchase it in hard cover, typically on the day it is released. Otherwise I am reading from the library and browsing the paperback table or half priced bookstore.

Basically, I feel I am paying for the content, not the format. That’s not really going to change. When one of my favorites releases a new book, I will buy the eBook as soon as it’s released. The rest of the time, I’ll browse the discounted eBooks and use the library.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to spend $9.99, but if I feel the content is worth $15, I’ll spend $15 otherwise I’ll wait until it is $4.

dmaul1114
04-07-2010, 11:30 PM
Basically, I feel I am paying for the content, not the format. Thatís not really going to change.


I agree with that approach/philosophy. Especially for books since I've so seldomly re-read a book. So I'm really just paying for the experience of reading the book once. And with e-books I get the convenience of not hassling with a library, or having a physical copy to waste space or hassle with selling, donating or giving away after reading.

I'm fine paying the same prices as the cheapest print version for that reason. Same experience, and a lot more convenient.

But I understand others have different takes, as I'm not that way with music, movies or video games.

Music I'll listen to for decades, movies I keep around are rewatch periodically, so I like having a physical copy around so I know I have permanent access (as long as I don't lose or damage my copy). Video games I don't replay, but they're pricey so I prefer physical copies so I can sell or trade them when done to recoup some of the expense.

Rich_D
04-08-2010, 12:17 AM
I agree with that approach/philosophy. Especially for books since I've so seldomly re-read a book. So I'm really just paying for the experience of reading the book once.


Ah. I'll read books over and over, to me a good story is always new!

But I can understand other people's complaint, especially when a couple of the devices were advertised as having new releases for $10.

opitzs
04-08-2010, 04:18 AM
I voted for 12 or less, but it has to be less than the printed version, because the publisher not only saves on printing, but I get only a license to read a book, not a book in itself.
So I want to pay less.

langshipley
04-08-2010, 06:10 AM
It would depend on the book and the author for me. I like reading with eBooks and like that I can go back to the soft copy and re-read on various devices. I've paid as high as $20 for an eBook if it was a new release of an author I really, really, really like.

astra
04-14-2010, 05:24 AM
My limit is $10 for an eBook that the paper copy is out in hardcover.

Ditto.

When a paper back is out, then no more than $6.

It depends - I just paid £35 pounds for a second hand copy of a book published 37 years ago, and would have paid that amount for an ebook version if I could have got one. On the other hand, if I'm buying contemporary fiction I'm not willing to pay more than the cheapest paperback price.

I too, bought The Gathering Storm (Wheel of Time) (Leather Bound) for £100 in November 2009. However, it is a special edition.

Anders
04-14-2010, 05:54 AM
Nothing.

I bought the reader for web-content and public domain books. When I buy books, I still go for paper version.

My position might change if bookshops disappear the same way record shops did. I sincerly hope they won't. I still like books. And bookshelves look good in my room. Besides I own books that have been in the family for a few generations. And I doubt my ebooks will last even until next generation.

The disappearing of paperbooks would make it too easy for "1984"-like re-editing of the past. ;)