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April 28th, 2007

1:35 AM

Ebook pricing

I posted a little about this on Bam's blog but I may as well do it here where I can yak more without annoying innocent bystanders. Just what is it with the pricing of Ellora's Cave, Amber Quill Press, and Loose Id? Everything about Amber Quill Press seems overpriced - $6.00 for an "extended novella" comes to mind - while Ellora's Cave and Loose Id are now charging $7.99 for their longer works. Phaze seems to be slowing inching its way up the priceline too, although not at the abrupt rate that these three are doing. Thankfully, Samhain Publishing seems still committed to selling novellas at $2.50 to $3.50 while their longest works go for $5.50 to $6.50. 

Is there a rationale behind the creeping-up prices? Server costs? Staff salaries? Because, on one hand I am hearing people complaing that ebooks still aren't selling as well as one would like, and then here we have publishers placing Nora Roberts/John Grisham cover prices on shorter ebooks by somebody nobody has heard before. I have bought only one $7.99 book from Ellora's Cave and while I enjoy it, I don't think it is worth $7.99. I've passed on some recommended reads from Loose Id because they cost $7.99. 


Perhaps I can understand Ellora's Cave doing this since they have a large fanbase that will probably buy their books even if these books are priced higher than average, but does Amber Quill Press have that kind of market share or are they shooting themselves in the foot trying to count the golden eggs even before anyone can confirm that the golden goose exists? 

6 comment(s).

Posted by Tilly Greene:

I don't mind paying $7.99 for a longer novel, as long as I know the author's work and have enjoyed it. Goodness knows I've been burned more on the paperback side lately than the ebook when it comes to my purchases.
April 28th, 2007 @ 2:42 AM

Posted by Rinda Elliott:

I keep hoping someone will show up here with answers. I don't mind paying for a good author myself, but because the prices are so high, I've cut back a lot. Especially on the short ones. Means I probably miss a lot of good, new authors. :-(
May 1st, 2007 @ 10:18 AM

Posted by Kammi:

One thing I do notice, however, is that Amber Quill always has sales, unlike other e-pubs. Each month at least half of their titles are 25% off, and they also offer bundles of themed stories which are always 25% off. They also have 40% off bundles. I see they also have a reward program where a customer always gets a free book for every ten they buy, so whenever I make a purchase there, the average cost per book is much less than other publishers. I hear many pubs are jacking up their prices because of places like Fictionwise who are always undercutting them, and the more people buy from FW and sites like them (who give only 50% or 40% of the profit back to the company) the less authors receive.
May 2nd, 2007 @ 3:48 PM

Posted by JoEllen:

AQP must have a large customer base since they've been around since 2001 or 2002. One of my crit buddies writes for them and says they've been running in the black since they opened their doors and have never missed a royalty period unlike her other pub. According to her, they've had record sales this past year. And yes, I can also confirm they have monthly sales on their books since I buy from them a lot and almost everytime I buy from them I get prices lower than fictionwise because of their 25 off deals which is cheaper then fictionwise. I think I've earned more than 10 free books over the past few years so it's an even better deal than most pubs who never discount prices on stuff. Probably the fact that they round off their book prices ($6 as opposed to $5.99) makes them seem psychologically pricier but most of the year those $6 prices are really $4.50 or lower because of the discount prices they offer. I just watch for the sales which are always shown on their website and shopp til I drop. LOL
May 2nd, 2007 @ 11:36 PM

Posted by Suzanne:

I buy from Amber Quill all the time! You just have to look for sales and bundles, and even the regular prices are not too high if its a favorite author of mine. They put out consistent quality and I LOVE earning free books!! I also appreciate (even though I am not personally an author) that they treat theirs right. You see so many blogs where writers complain of not being paid or treated badly in some other way and you never see that about Amber Quill.
May 3rd, 2007 @ 11:28 AM

Posted by Anonymous:

I agree. Holy smoke, they're expensive! It pays to be choose wisely concerning e-books. I have noticed EC e-books to be pricier than some others and won't buy as much because of it. I have bought a $7.99 EC e-book. Yes, it was well written, but worth that much? No! I haven't done it since and don't plan to in the future. Keep the prices reasonable, please!
June 4th, 2007 @ 12:56 PM