Thursday, October 8, 2009

E-book Pricing

The Bookseller considers an e-book pricing survey conducted by the Frankfurt Book Fair (FBF). Not surprisingly, the survey shows that “[a]n overwhelming majority of publishers believe that e-books should be less expensive than the printed version,” but that’s where the agreement ends. The responses ranged from “10 per cent cheaper than the printed book” all the way down to “[a] standard price as with Amazon ($9.99),” and the various price points garnered almost equal support. The FBF concluded that the industry remains "completely divided about appropriate e-book pricing."

Here are the survey's results:

The price for an e-book should be:
  • More expensive than the printed book - 4%
  • As expensive as the printed book - 15%
  • 10 percent cheaper than the printed book - 11%
  • 20 percent cheaper - 17%
  • 30 percent cheaper - 14%
  • More than 30 percent cheaper - 16%
  • A standard price as with Amazon ($9.99) - 15%
  • Other price model - 6%
I'm not sure where I fall on this issue. Personally, I love the convenience of e-books, particularly for books I plan to read once and never look at again. I may even be willing to pay the same price for an e-book as a printed book under certain circumstances. When I purchase a book to add to my permanent library, though, I'll always pay for the printed book, regardless of the price differential. So, for me, the decision to buy an e-book versus a printed book turns on what I plan to do with the book rather than any price break I might get for buying the e-book version.


Chad Sayban said...

For me, the ebook would have to be significantly cheaper than a real book because the savings has to make up the difference in the cost of the reader itself and with an ebook, I don't actually own the book as I do with a real book. So I can't donate it to my library, give it to a friend or sell it. I'm still a very long way from parting with my real books. ebooks are just on the same to me.

Zibilee said...

I don't think that an ebook should be significantly less expensive than a real book, but when you consider the investment on the hardware that makes it possible to read the ebook, I thin a slightly lower price is justified.