Should ebooks be free or at least much cheaper?

Use this forum to talk about ebooks and ebook readers. Whether you have an ebook reader, are considering getting one or never plan on getting one and want to talk about why you think traditional books are better, use this forum for anything to do with ebooks or ereaders.
Post Reply
User avatar
RonakP
Posts: 8
Joined: 26 Feb 2017, 01:02
Bookshelf Size: 0
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-ronakp.html

Should ebooks be free or at least much cheaper?

Post by RonakP »

I think that ebooks should be a lot cheaper than paperback if not free

User avatar
Katy Isodo
Posts: 33
Joined: 23 Aug 2013, 08:15
2017 Reading Goal: 150
Bookshelf Size: 14
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-katy-isodo.html
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by Katy Isodo »

I can agree with cheaper than a paperback because the overall cost of production is cheaper and that savings should get forwarded on to the consumer. That said, I completely disagree with them being free unless it's a sale or promotion as so often happens on Amazon. The reason being is that writing books is an author's job - the way they pay the bills and support their families. Ebooks don't take any less time to write than a physical book and authors should be compensated for their work accordingly. I think it's easy to get into this frame of mind where we want ebooks either super cheap or free because they aren't tangible products we hold in our hands the way a physical book is so somehow they seem less valuable. I find myself much more willing to buy regular books full priced and usually only get ebooks on sale or borrow them from my library.

User avatar
Infidel
Posts: 5
Joined: 26 Feb 2017, 22:41
Bookshelf Size: 22
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-infidel.html
Reading Device: B01BFIAY9C

Post by Infidel »

Free I do not agree with because the author has put time and work into the book - would you work for free? However, it makes sense that it should be heavily discounted as data transfer is far cheaper than shipping a chunk of paper around

User avatar
jakebook77
Posts: 3
Joined: 27 Feb 2017, 00:11
Bookshelf Size: 0
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jakebook77.html

Post by jakebook77 »

I agree with the other 2 posters. Ebooks should not be free because that's a huge part of the book industry these days; it would hurt authors and publishers. Discount would be good however because there aren't costs like production, storage, shipping, etc.

User avatar
ImogenKeeper
Posts: 1
Joined: 27 Feb 2017, 10:49
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by ImogenKeeper »

My concern with having free books, is more that the reader ascribes a value equal to the cost. So if it's free, they think it's probably not that good. If it's $0.99, it's probably not very good. My book is currently $2.99 which is what amazon recommends for my word length in my genre, but I'm seriously considering raising the price to increase the allure of the book. An extra dollar probably won't chase off any readers, and it may make the book appear to have more value.

User avatar
Katy Isodo
Posts: 33
Joined: 23 Aug 2013, 08:15
2017 Reading Goal: 150
Bookshelf Size: 14
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-katy-isodo.html
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by Katy Isodo »

ImogenKeeper wrote:My concern with having free books, is more that the reader ascribes a value equal to the cost. So if it's free, they think it's probably not that good. If it's $0.99, it's probably not very good. My book is currently $2.99 which is what amazon recommends for my word length in my genre, but I'm seriously considering raising the price to increase the allure of the book. An extra dollar probably won't chase off any readers, and it may make the book appear to have more value.
I hadn't thought of this and both agree with the thought but also disagree in some ways. For myself, I don't purchase many ebooks on Amazon anyway but I'm much more likely to take a chance on a 99 cent book from a self-published author than spend $3 or $4 on it, especially if it's a series. I think this is part of why Kindle Unlimited is so popular, for a flat rate readers can try quite a variety of ebooks without as much risk. As far as I understand, authors are compensated better through this program than through regular sales, though I wonder if that's true.

User avatar
LivreAmour217
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 2036
Joined: 02 Oct 2014, 12:42
2018 Reading Goal: 75
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 85
2017 Reading Goal: 60
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 118
Favorite Author: Too many to count
Favorite Book: Ditto
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 294
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-livreamour217.html
Latest Review: Island Games by Caleb J. Boyer

Post by LivreAmour217 »

Asking for the e-books to be free isn't reasonable, in my opinion. How else is the author supposed to make a living? However, I think that e-books should cost less than paperbacks, particularly the ones that are written by less well-known authors.
"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." - Albert Einstein

User avatar
AliceofX
Posts: 349
Joined: 27 Feb 2017, 06:01
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 363
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-aliceofx.html
Latest Review: The Demon of Decay by Alex C. Gates
Reading Device: B00ICPVSYC

Post by AliceofX »

I think I read once that the actual production cost of a paper book is very low and not the major reason of it's high cost, so there's really no logical reason why ebooks should be cheaper. Now, I don't really know how the publishing world works and whether or not that's true, but I guess they're still a business and wouldn't keep prices high without a good reason.

User avatar
Katy Isodo
Posts: 33
Joined: 23 Aug 2013, 08:15
2017 Reading Goal: 150
Bookshelf Size: 14
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-katy-isodo.html
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by Katy Isodo »

AliceofX wrote:I think I read once that the actual production cost of a paper book is very low and not the major reason of it's high cost, so there's really no logical reason why ebooks should be cheaper. Now, I don't really know how the publishing world works and whether or not that's true, but I guess they're still a business and wouldn't keep prices high without a good reason.
While the production cost of physical books may not be as high as many think, even at a low cost - this is an ongoing expense. Every single book produced has a production cost which takes away from the profit. On top of this cost is the added cost of warehouse storage and room on shelves in storage facilities for online stores like Amazon or shelf space for brick and mortar establishments. Even if the initial production cost for an ebook is similar there isn't the ongoing cost of production of each and every title. Digital storage of ebooks is relatively minimal. Now subtract the cost of moving these books from production facilities to stores or warehouses and an ebook is substantially cheaper in the long run or at least should be.
I also disagree with the idea that stores wouldn't price items high just to get the most profit. I'm not saying paying the same price for an ebook as a physical book is wrong, just not something I would do personally. If I'm paying the same amount for both I'm more inclined to go with a tangible object I can hold in my hands and have on my physical bookshelf.

User avatar
Joela111
Posts: 1
Joined: 28 Feb 2017, 11:58
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by Joela111 »

In my opinion i don't think ebooks should even be discounted.
I mean with nearly everything else you would actually pay a premium for convenience. A lot of people will happily pay an extra 10 dollars to get food delivered so they don't have to leave the house, but then think that because its not a physical copy that they shouldn't have to pay any extra.
All things considered i would happily pay a few dollars more to receive a book instantly without having to wait for shipping.

User avatar
AliceofX
Posts: 349
Joined: 27 Feb 2017, 06:01
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 363
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-aliceofx.html
Latest Review: The Demon of Decay by Alex C. Gates
Reading Device: B00ICPVSYC

Post by AliceofX »

Katy Isodo wrote:I also disagree with the idea that stores wouldn't price items high just to get the most profit.
That only works if you have a monopoly. When there's plenty of competition there's only so far that a business can raise it's prices before it starts getting eaten by the competition.

User avatar
Katy Isodo
Posts: 33
Joined: 23 Aug 2013, 08:15
2017 Reading Goal: 150
Bookshelf Size: 14
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-katy-isodo.html
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by Katy Isodo »

AliceofX wrote:
Katy Isodo wrote:I also disagree with the idea that stores wouldn't price items high just to get the most profit.
That only works if you have a monopoly. When there's plenty of competition there's only so far that a business can raise it's prices before it starts getting eaten by the competition.
I think that's true to a certain extent and while I wouldn't classify Amazon as a monopoly I do think it's dominated the market in terms of ebooks. While stores are in direct competition with each other in terms of pricing that doesn't negate the fact that some items get priced higher just because they can be, books included.

User avatar
lindsycummins
Posts: 20
Joined: 24 Jan 2017, 03:51
2017 Reading Goal: 25
Currently Reading: The Message?
Bookshelf Size: 2

Post by lindsycummins »

LivreAmour217 wrote:Asking for the e-books to be free isn't reasonable, in my opinion. How else is the author supposed to make a living? However, I think that e-books should cost less than paperbacks, particularly the ones that are written by less well-known authors.
Yes totally. E-books being free is unreasonable, but i should should be sold in a lesser price. :)

User avatar
MythicDrmR
Posts: 27
Joined: 01 Mar 2017, 14:23
2017 Reading Goal: 60
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 35
Currently Reading: Empire of Night
Bookshelf Size: 28
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-mythicdrmr.html

Post by MythicDrmR »

I agree with the sentiment that ebooks should be a bit cheaper than hand-held books, owing to the elimination of paper costs and ink alone. I do not agree that e-books should be free, after all there is an investment by both the author and the seller of digital media. Book authors, whether the book is paper-based or part of digital media, create characters, research for accuracy of place, time, or locale and plot the story. The rough draft is often read by others, edited, evaluated, reworked, revamped, and polished which represents a great deal of time and effort. Sellers should receive some compensation for offering digital media and facilitating the downloads. A discount is certainly appropriate for digital over paper, but author's deserve to be paid for their work.

User avatar
CatInTheHat
Bookshelves Moderator
Posts: 2884
Joined: 31 May 2016, 11:53
2019 Reading Goal: 75
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 32
Favorite Book: Cry the Beloved Country
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 498
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-catinthehat.html
Latest Review: Davidson’s Inlet by John Brown
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU
Publishing Contest Votes: 0

Post by CatInTheHat »

Authors deserve to be paid for their work. Prices are set based on the value of that particular author's writing. Established writer's will garner higher prices. Why shouldn't they?
Life without a good book is something the CatInTheHat cannot imagine.

Post Reply

Return to “E-Books and E-Readers”