The how and what of ebook pricing, as opposed to paper book pricing. In this post, Rich Adin of An American Editor ponders on this topic.
This is an issue that many of us are contemplating these days as we come to terms with the idea of ebooks costing not much more than a couple of dollars, as opposed to paper books, which are always much more expensive.
There is a general feeling that ebooks, particularly those by unknown authors should be sold for no more than about $3, and an almost total confusion about what gives books (paper or ebooks) their monetary value.
So Rich takes on this subject with his normal clear view of what is happening. So an interesting post for anyone involved in book selling or reading.
Read on, the word is with Rich:-
On Books: Value in an eBook World
eBooks have changed the way we think of value in regards to books. For myriad reasons, ebookers think that the price of ebooks should be no more than the price of a mass market paperback, and often less. Price is a reflection of value.
Much of the thinking revolves around a central point: unlike pbooks, ebooks are intangible — just a collection of bits and bytes. Yes, there are other reasons, too, such as the lack of secondary market value, lower production costs, restrictions on usage, and the like, but the reality is that most of the conscious and unconscious reasoning revolves around the matter of intangibility.
When I buy a pbook for $15, I have something solid to hold in my hand. I can put it on a shelf and admire its cover beauty; I can open the book and feel the pages as I turn them. An ebook lacks all of the sensory qualities of a pbook – it is intangible. The sensory experience lies with the reading device itself, not with the ebook.
I am aware that many ebookers pooh-pooh the sensory argument, but it really is not so easily dismissed. Many of the things that ebookers complain are restrictive about ebooks are not restrictive about pbooks because of the sensory experience. More importantly, it is difficult to become enamored with bits and bytes, yet the beauty that a pbook can project addresses the needs of multiple senses.
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