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Old 02-04-2009, 04:34 PM   #1
jasonb57
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Fair price for ebook?

Hi there,

I'm a book publisher who has a growing library of ebooks. We generally price our books at 4.99 (about 33% of the print version price). Is this considered a 'fair' price?

I don't want to undersell myself, but I certainly don't want to price myself out of the market.

Jason S.
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Old 02-04-2009, 05:03 PM   #2
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$4.99 is a fair to good price for eBooks. Many publishers charge more. If you publish without DRM too, even better.

Which publisher?



Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonb57 View Post
Hi there,

I'm a book publisher who has a growing library of ebooks. We generally price our books at 4.99 (about 33% of the print version price). Is this considered a 'fair' price?

I don't want to undersell myself, but I certainly don't want to price myself out of the market.

Jason S.
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Old 02-04-2009, 05:04 PM   #3
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Apex Publishing.
http://www.apexbookcompany.com

We distribute through Fictionwise, and I *think* most, if not all of our books have DRM? But I could be wrong.
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Old 02-04-2009, 05:38 PM   #4
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I'm usually happy with 5-10% off mass market and trade prices, closer to 50% off hardcover though. 4.99 seems pretty low priced to me, maybe you could price a few like that to hook people in? Maybe a monthly sale or something. I don't usually read the genres you publish, but for $4.99 I would definitely try it.

But I also want you to make a decent profit
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Old 02-04-2009, 07:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonb57 View Post
Apex Publishing.
http://www.apexbookcompany.com

We distribute through Fictionwise, and I *think* most, if not all of our books have DRM? But I could be wrong.
Apex at Fictionwise shows 9 books, all Multiformat. That means they don't have DRM, and they're downloadable in 13 different formats.
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Old 02-04-2009, 07:56 PM   #6
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I purchased every available Apex book at Fictionwise a few weeks ago, and they were all multiformat/non-drm. Good stuff, too.
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:09 PM   #7
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one of the biggest complaints about ebooks from customers is they are priced too high (often the same price as hardcovers, which is pretty ridiculous). it's refreshing for once to find a publisher who is pricing on the low side.

as to your question, i think your prices are very good, especially if your authors or your publishing house are relatively unknown. i believe that baen books usually prices their drm-free ebooks around 5 or 6$ and everyone seems to agree that is reasonable. yours are a bit lower than that, but in the same neighborhood. i think the advantage of having lower prices is that people are willing to take a chance on a book they are not sure they will like if it's not too expensive, so you could get a lot of impulse buys. so your best plan is to try to keep prices low to sell as many as possible (i know : this is totally unexpected, right ? never occurred to you at all before ? ).

a lot of people have said the biggest danger facing authors is obscurity. have you tried promotions like the first two chapters of a book (or even a whole book from time to time, like the first of a series) to download for free on your website, so people can try it and see if they like it ? you could also post about it here for instance in the "deals and promos" forum. you could even try putting the promo on feedbooks.com : be sure to mention explicitly in the book description if it's only the first two chapters, and make sure the website where people could get the whole book is mentioned in the description and again inside the ebook, at the beginning and at the end. both mobileread and feedbooks get a lot of traffic and you might get some new readers that way, and it's free. if you have a new sample every month (hyped in your newsletter) you could get a lot of repeat customers as well as new ones.

another way to spread the word is to include samples of other books from your catalogue at the end of all your books ; the first two chapters of the next book by that author, or a similar book that might appeal to the same readers. that's free too but could easily get more people interested in your books. maybe you do this already ; i don't read much of the genres you publish so i don't know your company, but i thought i'd mention it just in case.

anyway, nice to see a publisher who seems to understand how ebooks *should* be. i wish there were more like you. thanks for posting.
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
anyway, nice to see a publisher who seems to understand how ebooks *should* be. i wish there were more like you. thanks for posting.
I agree with this sentiment entirely, first off

As to your prices, they seem to me to be somewhat on the lower end of what ebook publishers usually put their prices at. That's not neccessarily a bad thing. I know I haven't read any of the genre you publish, but for 4.99 I'm thinking I'm going to pick up some titles off fictionwise this week to give them a whirl. In which case I suppose you have to get a balance, the price as it is will of course attract people like me, but I also wouldn't want to see you getting too little profit out of it.

I wish you all the best of luck
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:35 PM   #9
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Apex's I Remember the Future by Michael A. Burstein is a great short story collection. If you are a Fictionwise Club member the price is only $4.24.
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonb57 View Post
Apex Publishing.
http://www.apexbookcompany.com

We distribute through Fictionwise, and I *think* most, if not all of our books have DRM? But I could be wrong.
Oh yes - I bought your Michael A. Burstein collection recently. Your books are all without DRM (Fictionwise Multiformat).

I'm not fond of Horror stories, so I passed on your Apex Digests. Umm... the pricing of Digest #9 seems a bit odd - $5.99 when the others are all $3.99.

Nice to see you here on Mobileread.
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Old 02-05-2009, 10:47 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Fledchen View Post
I purchased every available Apex book at Fictionwise a few weeks ago, and they were all multiformat/non-drm. Good stuff, too.
Awesome, it is nice to have this confirmed.

Glad you liked the books, as well.
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Old 02-05-2009, 10:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post

a lot of people have said the biggest danger facing authors is obscurity. have you tried promotions like the first two chapters of a book (or even a whole book from time to time, like the first of a series) to download for free on your website, so people can try it and see if they like it ? you could also post about it here for instance in the "deals and promos" forum. you could even try putting the promo on feedbooks.com : be sure to mention explicitly in the book description if it's only the first two chapters, and make sure the website where people could get the whole book is mentioned in the description and again inside the ebook, at the beginning and at the end. both mobileread and feedbooks get a lot of traffic and you might get some new readers that way, and it's free. if you have a new sample every month (hyped in your newsletter) you could get a lot of repeat customers as well as new ones.


anyway, nice to see a publisher who seems to understand how ebooks *should* be. i wish there were more like you. thanks for posting.
Lots of great info in your post. Thank you. Especially about Feedbooks.com. That's a new one to me.
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Old 02-05-2009, 10:51 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
Oh yes - I bought your Michael A. Burstein collection recently. Your books are all without DRM (Fictionwise Multiformat).

I'm not fond of Horror stories, so I passed on your Apex Digests. Umm... the pricing of Digest #9 seems a bit odd - $5.99 when the others are all $3.99.

Nice to see you here on Mobileread.
Yeah, the $5.99 was back before I realized that was a bit overpriced. I've since grown more wise.

Thanks for having me on Mobileread.
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:55 AM   #14
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I think the $4.99 price is good for a full-length book (~80K). Most of your books on Fictionwise come close to that. One is significantly longer, one significantly shorter. The 150K book could fairly go for $7.99 or $8.99. The 25K book shouldn't be more than around $2.50 or $2.99. IMO.

I think one of the benefits of eBooks is it's easier to make judgments about the book length in comparison to others. It can be appalling to realize the $14 Trade Paperback you bought was shorter than the average category romance, but the was "hidden" in the larger book format and creative use of book white-space.
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Old 02-06-2009, 02:14 AM   #15
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I think the $4.99 price is good for a full-length book (~80K). Most of your books on Fictionwise come close to that. One is significantly longer, one significantly shorter. The 150K book could fairly go for $7.99 or $8.99. The 25K book shouldn't be more than around $2.50 or $2.99. IMO.

I think one of the benefits of eBooks is it's easier to make judgments about the book length in comparison to others. It can be appalling to realize the $14 Trade Paperback you bought was shorter than the average category romance, but the was "hidden" in the larger book format and creative use of book white-space.
I wouldnt trust that either, Unless you are using TXT files. a single image in an ebook could be larger that the book itself.

but ive never equated length with price. if a book is more than 100 pages, and if its good i wouldnt mind paying the same for that as a book which is 1000 pages long.
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