Saturday, April 20, 2013

What is a Fair Price for an Ebook?

This discussion is still going round and round in a variety of places online.  I joined the discussion on LinkedIn and then went to Kindleboards and found the same.  I am curious as to what YOU think.  Are there too many free ebooks available?  Do free books make you think less of them?

I found quite a few people who insist seeing a book for free turns them off.  They think this can't possibly be any good because if it was the writer would be charging a fair price.

So what is a fair price? What is too much for an ebook by an author you've never read before?  What is too little?

I am asking this as I am ready to pull my hair out because I am about ready to launch a new book, the first in a series.  I was going to make it free.  There are some writers who insist putting the first in a series for free is a sound idea and readers will return to buy the rest of the books later.

But others say it's a bad idea.  The readers who will take a free book will not return because they are just wanting free stuff. 

Should I put my new book for free for a short time?

Should I charge 2.99 like I usually do while giving away a few copies?


Please tell me what you think, especially if you are an avid reader.  What is the most you will pay for a book?  And do you like free books or look down your nose at them?


Guinevere & Libertad Tomas said...

i have read in some forums that offering a book for free is a surefire way to devalue your e-book. It's different when you offer it for free for a limited time but to just give it away, I think some readers think it's not worth much.

I think a fair price is between 1.99 and 3.99. That's what i usually pay for e-books. I do download free books here and there but i always get to the ones i paid for first, as dumb as that sounds.

I think it's good to offer it for free once it's been out there for a while, just to see if you can get some more downloads.

But one tip of advice i read is to give your first book away for free while charging about 1.99 and 3.99 for your second. If they liked your first, they'll definitely buy your second. But of course you have to have both books out to do this.

OzzieDreama said...

I think offer it free for limited time ... eg first 5000 downloads or the first 24 hours something like that. I have downloaded heaps of free books. But I have bought plenty too. Eg Suzy Turner, I downloaded her 2 free books but I bought the rest also. Having said that, I spent $4.99 ea on a 3 part series. A reasonable price I thought, only to find the editing was atrocious. So many spell check errors that I complained to the company selling the books. I got a token email saying they would follow up with me and nothing more. This is the company that sells the eReader I bought (not Kindle). What you pay for a book does not depict quality. Readers always read the blurb, I LOVE free books but I dont download those that dont interest me, and if I enjoy it, I go back for more. Digital editions are usually cheaper than paper, thats makes reading more affordable anyways

K. C. Blake said...

I agree that digital is cheaper than paper. I personally buy most of my books as ebooks now, but if I love a book like Need by Carrie Jones, I will shell out the extra cash for paper.

The problem with having it for free for a limited time is that Amazon does not offer free as an option. I have to make it free everywhere else and then report the lower price with the links to them, sometime you have to have friends help, before they will change it. And I don't even know if you can get them to start charging after they've finally made it free.

I will probably just do a giveaways and let people have a coupon for a free copy or email it to them.

THANK YOU both for commenting. I appreciate it.

Guinevere & Libertad Tomas said...

I was lead to believe that you were able to offer your book for free for a limited time on amazon.

A self published author friend of mine just offered her book for free this past coming weekend for two days.

But perhaps this is only if you sell exclusively through amazon.

I think the giveaways and coupons would be a better idea. Because if you make it free and can't change it, if you hoped to make any profit off them, you'd get hit hard.

But if your goal was to introduce yourself to as many readers as possible by offering your first book free, that's another way of looking at it.

I'd say price between 1.99 and 4.99 at the highest. 2.99 is on average what i'd pay.If i loved the book, i'd invest in the next best thing, the paperback or hardcover.And the author would definitely have me as a fan for books to come.

K. C. Blake said...

Yes, you do have to go with Amazon exclusively if you want to put your book for free a few days once in a while. I tried it once and didn't think it was worth not having it available on Nook and at Apple (my biggest sellers).

Thank you for your comment. I think I will probably go with 2.99

Stephanie B said...

I honestly think that paying anymore than $5 for ANY ebook is too much. I mean, it's not like I'm paying for all the paper, ink, etc. So it shouldn't be $10 whether it's been traditionally published or not.

I'm one of those people who are willing to take a chance on a free book but I'm also wary at the same time. I do think that $2.99 is a very reasonable price. I don't think you should just set Bait out for free, especially since you have other books out there too.

The people who are most likely to read it, are the ones who will be willing to buy it. At least, that's my opinion.

K. C. Blake said...

Thank you, Stephanie. Totally agree about prices of ebooks not being over five dollars because there is no paper or anything involved. I have noticed some ebooks by famous writers being priced as high as their physical books. Ridiculous. In that case, if I really want to read it, I buy the print copy. At least I'll have something on my shelf then where I can see it.