Monday, February 21, 2011

Question: How Much is Too Much?

How much do you, should you charge for an e-book?  When I go online to see what others are asking I am surprised by the range being asked.  Some of the prices seem a bit outrageous to me.  $14.99 for an e-book feels a bit over the top to me, even if you're a well established, seasoned writer.  You are getting the story, true, and the author's hard work, talent and time should be compensated, but there is no actual "product" of paper, print, cover, etc. 

I've sort of held with the idea that if you are self-publishing your work as an e-book and are not paying the publisher their huge cut, or giving 10% to an agent than you ought to keep the cost of your book low enough so that readers can get the most for their money as well as their e-readers.

As a reader I find I balk at paying too much for an e-book.  Somewhere inside me I've set the limit at $5.99.  More than that and I either check out the price of the print book or hit the library.  Seem strange to hear from a writer?  Maybe.

But, while I want to be compensated for my work, it is not the motivation behind my being a writer.  I write because I love writing.  I love to tell stories, to make up characters and situations and put them down for others to read.  And that .... that is what motivates me.  I want others to read, to enjoy, to gain something from my writing.

So there's my question?  How much do you think is a fair price for an e-book?  As a reader, and as a writer?


  1. I've spent some time studying the pricing on e-books as I'm planning on jumping into the market soon. What I've read is that the high priced books tend to be published by the big six houses and they set the prices. I've also seen a couple of authors who over-priced their own self-pubbed books and when asked about it, say they are worth it.

    It appears right now that the acceptable (by readers at least) price is $2.99 for a novel, between $.99 and $1.99 for a short story collection depending on the length, and a novella is $.99.

    Just my two cents based on my research.


  2. I think your research is spot on Fiona! As a reader those are the prices I feel comfortable with in purchasing an e-book. The publishing houses are off base, I think, but then they are in it for the money. But I think they are doing their authors a disservice when they price them too high.