Thursday, February 3, 2011

e-Books: What Would You Pay?

I took a short, informal poll on twitter this morning regarding the cost of e-books, and the responses I got were interesting. You see, I was looking to buy a book (666 Park Avenue by Gabriella Pierce) when I realized that the Kindle e-book was a dollar and a half more expensive than the paperback. While part of the reason to have gotten a Kindle was to slow the build-up of books around my already helplessly overcrowded little house, I have a problem paying more for an e-book than for a paperback. There's nothing physical to drive up the cost, so a physical book should always be more expensive, in my opinion, than an e-book which is formated and transmitted electronically. I understand that a great deal of work went into producing the book, and I wouldn't have had a problem if they were the same price, or if the e-book was only slightly cheaper. I just don't want to pay more for pixels than for paperbacks.

So what did my twitter pals say?

Well, the responses were mixed.

While some said they would never pay more for an e-book than for paperbacks, others said they didn't count cost in the benefits/drawbacks of the e-reader. I even got one response that said it's situational and depended upon how much she needed the book. The more urgently she needed the book, the more likely she would be to pay more for an e-book.  One pal, who I've known for quite some time, had no opinion but to agree that the book I was looking at sounded amazing and that he would have to read it!

So what about you? Would you pay more for an e-book than for a paperback? Does cost factor into your decision to buy an e-book? Do you think e-books are the devil's spawn sent as the harbinger of the destruction of all of book-kind? Drop me a comment and let me know what you think, I'm really interested, especially since my little twitter poll yielded such mixed results.

Image via TNW


  1. Thanks for visiting my blog...yes, I enjoyed Soulless very much. I intend tor ead the rest in the series It was different and very entertaining.

  2. Glad to know you enjoyed it. I'm only about 20% done with it, but I'm really enjoying it so far as well. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I, too, have been surprised at how quickly the Kindle version of books have become so expensive. When I began with Kindle the books typically were priced at 7.99 or 9.99, but now they are commonly $14.99. Amazon responds to my inquiry by stating that authors and publishers dictate the price, not Amazon. So I have to balance the convenience of having the five or six books that I may be reading at any one time along for the ride when I am waiting for someone, or camping, etc.

    I will undoubtedly continue to use Kindle, but I will probably still buy a good hard cover from time to time. I love the smell of a book and Kindle will never replace that.

  4. Thank you for the thoughtful reply Doug. I agree with you that it's a touch balance trying to decide whether to get it on Kindle for convenience or the physical book because it's cheaper. I've noticed that Amazon's been putting the little "price is set by the publisher" disclaimer on all of their Kindle books lately, probably trying to curb inquiry, but I think it's not unreasonable to harass them a little bit about the cost of e-books. :)

    Like you, I'll undoubtedly use the Kindle, unless the cost of the book is just exorbitant. Thanks again for dropping by!

  5. I am always a tad behind on the technology bit.. but it seems to me the e book should be cheaper

  6. I think the ebook should be cheaper--but look at the total cost: If they are both the same price, and you have to pay postage on the paperback, the ebook is cheaper.