Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ebook Pricing

It seems everyone has an opinion about the high price of the Kindle itself but there's not a lot of discussion about ebook prices. Perhaps once you choke down $400 for the device just about any book price seems OK.

I came across this insightful post about pricing on the Digitalist blog. The simple fact is that most consumers are likely to balk at an ebook price that's the same or very close to the price of the same book in print. Publishers and authors certainly want to protect the value of their intellectual property but consumers will immediately point out that the cost of goods has essentially disappeared with an ebook.

What to do? If you're a publisher you need to think about what other features and services you can add to that ebook. Perhaps Amazon will serve as a vendor for add-on services for the Kindle down the road. If not, maybe the publishers or some other enterprising organization will be there to fill the void.

As Sara Lloyd notes in that Digitalist post:

I think there’s a very real risk that publishers price themselves out of the market altogether, allowing new, tech-savvy companies to move into the content delivery space, develop a pricing model that appeals to consumers, develop direct relationships with authors on the one hand and consumers on the other, and wipe the floor with all the traditional players.
Sounds an awful lot like The Innovator's Dilemma to me...


edwardbruce said...

ebooks cost a fortune here in Australia. We pay at least twice as much as in America from what I've seen.

Unknown said...

Use Gutenberg Project ( for pre-1923 works and you don't have to worry about the price of eBooks.

I've bought exactly 1 eBook from Amazon, a Harlan Ellison edition, but everything else I've converted from Gutenberg for free (I don't load the files using wireless)

edwardbruce said...

I'm a big fan of Gutenberg. It's just nice to read something modern every once in a while!