Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Frustrated eBook Reader

Frustrations from an eBook reader

Hi everyone –

I'm a generally a happy, optimistic person. It takes a lot to rile me up...

But my friends... I am RILED!

I’ll do my best to keep this little rant short…

I’ve blogged here before about my love for my Kindle and my newfound love of eBooks. I find hands-free, larger font, never-lose-your-place reading to be a gift from the gods.

I have bought about 3 times more books since I got my Kindle. It’s SO easy to go snatch up an author’s entire backlist! Wow! Instead of having to remember the author’s name next time I’m in the bookstore, only to find they don’t carry any of the older backlist books, I can now buy an author’s entire series and have it in my kindle in less than 5 minutes!

We live in amazing times!!!

My Mom owns a Nook. I asked her about the book buying phenomenon and she confirmed that she too, is buying at least 3 times as many books now…

So what is New York Publishing’s problem???

I finally got around to reading Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series. (Love it!) Anyway, each eBook was $7.99 the same cost as the mass market paperback. Annoying since I’m not buying a physical product, but I can stomach it.

Until I got to the most recent release.

River Marked just came out in March of this year from Ace. On Amazon the hardcover goes for $16.00, the paperback for $7.99 and the eBook version…



This is like a slap in the face to faithful eBook readers. We like our digital device. We pay our money and no trees are harmed.

And yet we have to pay more for a digital version than for a printed paperback book that also has to be shipped across the country??? *boggle*

Who does this math?

I refuse to pay it. I refuse! Give me a break New York! I’m not paying $12.99 for an eBook and I won’t be bullied into buying the paperback when I wanted to download to my Kindle.

So I won’t get to see Mercy and Adam get married for now. I’m so annoyed and irritated I might not get the book even after the price finally comes down… Although I like Patricia Briggs and it’s not her fault they jacked up the eBook price so…

How long does traditional publishing think they can do this to readers? More Kindles and Kindle Fires will be under the Christmas trees this year. More people will discover the joy of hands-free reading…

And will traditional publishers still try to strong arm readers into buying a paper book?

What are your thoughts?

*frustrated eBook lover*


  1. This is why I only read "free" (public domain) books, review books, and/or giveaway wins on my eReader. I simply cannot fathom paying for an eBook, especially at a ridiculous price, as you stated. Yeah, sure, if an indie writer has a book only available in eBook format and it's reasonably priced, I might spring for it, but I'm firmly in the camp that over $5 for an eBook is asking too much. Just saying...

  2. Hi Michelle -

    My threshold for eBooks is about 7.99. I'm used to buying digital music and an album is usually around $8 so I can see paying the same for an eBook...

    BUT NOT MORE!!! LOL That makes NO sense to me!!! URGH!!!

    So anyway, I'm glad i'm not the only one... I wish New York would get their heads screwed on straight about eBooks. Yeesh!

    THanks for commenting Michelle!!!

    Lisa :)

  3. Wow, I can't believe they've done that. Sometimes it feels like the big NY publishers are trying to go out of business.

  4. I've purchased a few books on my Kindle, but REFUSE to pay the outrageous prices that are set for many of the ebooks. Why are the NY publishers doing this . . . because they can. Some friends are currently at the NINK conference and I can hardly wait for them to return because last year all the hype was about self-epublishing. Wonder what the big news is this year?

  5. Hi Rosalie!

    Isn't it insane???

    It's like they don't want to have to change their business model and hope that insane pricing will force you to put down your eReader and go back to a paperback...

    Frustrates me! They get money either way, let me choose how I want to read! LOL

    This is definitely part of why NY publishing is struggling...

    Thanks for commenting!

    Lisa :)

  6. Hi Darcy -

    I hope New York gets a clue because there are a TON of fabulous eBooks out there that are priced LESS than paperbacks... I'll still have stuff to read without their books...


    THanks for commenting!

    Lisa :)

  7. Hi Lisa,

    I'm with you, my limit is around 8 for a eBook. However if I can find it cheaper all the more power to me and the rest of us. I love reading the books and I have the kindle app for iPod touch, as you know, so to have books readily available and not lugging around a whole bookshelf of paperbacks is highly advantageous. Is it not? So, I too have my limits and will wait it out, or maybe buy the paperback if I deem it shelf worthy.

    That's my Dose for today.

  8. That's exactly what I suspect is happening...but guess what NY publishers? eBooks are here to stay! With or without you.
    I still haven't read the new Sookie book because of the massive price hike. I refuse to. Like Lisa, I have my cap and that's around $8 depending on the book. $5 for a full length ebook is more than acceptable when you can pick up a paperback for around the same price. Oh well. Better for us with the ebook to print publishers :) because we get to sell more books. Their loss = our gain.

  9. I bought that one, Lisa, and it hurt but I'm so hooked on the series I couldn't pass it up. Maybe now that Kindle allows library lending you can borrow it? I don't mind paying the same price for an ebook that I'd pay for paper but it stinks to pay more.

  10. Lisa,
    I couldn't agree more! I still find myself paying $7.99 for my old favorites but for some, I have stopped buying. I'm finding more and more ebooks from the free to the $2.99 range to keep me reading. It is not the author's fault but with more eReaders, as you say, the publishers need to wake up and smell the digital era. Thanks for writing this piece, Suzie

  11. Oh Lisa, you can't miss the wedding!!!!!! O_o

    Most of the books on my Kindle are Amazon freebies or review books received from authors *waves to JoAnne* The few I've actually bought were $5 or under. I don't pay full price for print, why would I for digital?

    The eBook pricing system makes no sense to me at all.

  12. I won't pay that much for an ebook either. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way. There's no excuse for ebooks to be that expensive. There's no paper, no printing, no shipping, no storage, no employees to handle those tasks. And I doubt much of the extra money goes to the authors.

    Publishers are putting the squeeze on libraries too. A library can only lend an ebook 26 times before it must repurchase the book. Publishers claim that 26 lendings of a paper book is all a library makes before it must replace that book. I bet libraries have loads of books they lend to more than 26 people, many of them out-of-print books they cannot replace too.

    Don't publishers realize all this gouging is going to work against them?

  13. Thanks for all the great insight everyone!!!

    I wish we could figure out how to get NY Publishers to listen! LOL

    I mean do they think we're stupid? A paperback book costs more to make and ship than an eBook. What planet are they on to think it's okay to punish their customers for choosing to read digitally??? Urgh!!!

    That said... I'd love to see Mercy and Adam get married! *sigh*

    But I refuse to be pushed around by the publisher... And I will NOT pay more than a paperback price for a digital book.

    Nope nope nope!


  14. Eleri -

    That's exactly it! I don't mind paying the mass market paperback price for an eBook, but to be forced to pay MORE?

    No way! It does hurt. It's like they don't want my digital business and if I insist on buying the eBook I'll have to pay $5 more!!!

    Nope. I can't do it...

    Bullies suck...


  15. Hi Bea -

    So the wedding is good??? *pout*

    But I'm holding firm... I won't be punished because I'd rather read it on my kindle...

    Mean publishers...



  16. Hi J. -

    I hope my libraries start digital lending soon! If the publishers would lower the price of digital books, I'm sure libraries wouldn't mind replacing the license after 26 lendings.

    But libraries shouldn't have to pay a higher price because it's a digital book. That makes no sense...


  17. I completely agree with you Lisa. I don't get why they try to charge $12+ for an ELECTRONIC copy of a book. I'm not paying that. I'm not! I remember when the last Sookie Stackhouse came out and I was all excited about it... until I saw the price. I waited til I could borrow it from a friend. Don't they realize they're almost encouraging pirating by hiking the prices up so high? Some readers can download a pirated book as fast as buy one from Amazon or B&N. I mean, $5-7 for an ebook, sure, but when it goes higher, people start looking for alternatives. :( It's really sad and frustrating!

  18. Ugh don't even get me started on the pirates! LOL

    But you're totally right!!! By trying to charge more for a digital copy than for a physical book, they're not really "forcing" us into buying the physical book, they're pushing us away to find new favorite authors with publishers that embrace ePublishing.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who refuses to pay over a paperback price for an eBook. It's nuts that they expect us to!

    And it double sucks because in the end it's the author who loses out so that's really not fair...


  19. I refused to buy hardcovers when the NY authors I liked "hit it big" and their fourth book in a series was suddenly in hardcover...and I refuse to buy ebooks for more than about $5 each.

    Not that I have any problem paying for ebooks as long as I know it comes from a reputable publisher (epub or NY pub)--I believe that as much work goes into writing/editing/packaging/marketing ebooks as print books and if I'm satisfied at the end it doesn't matter what medium I use to read it.

    I have more issues spending my money on self-pubb'd books to be honest, because I can never guarantee that the quality is the same.

    So, in a roundabout way, I'm saying that I think there should be a global standard of price. Perhaps based on word length?

  20. Oooooh this makes me furious!!! I love my Kindle, and one of the main reasons I love my Kindle IS BECAUSE E-BOOKS ARE CHEAPER!!!! Well, if this is going to start being the norm, I'll go back to not reading as much as I like to. I had to stop buying as many paper books because they are too expensive. Here in Canada for your average romance novel, it's around $9.99--%13.99.
    I was on cloud nine when I got my Kindle because of the lower price of e-books....

  21. I agree completely, but I do see a troubling trend in the opposite direction. On one hand, I firmly think ebooks should never be more than the paperback. Less, and in some cases, equal is okay.

    I get equally furious, however, when people expect ebooks to not cost anything. True, there is no paper, no ink, no shipping. **But it is still the product of a lot of work, sweat and tears on the part of the author (not to mention the editors, publisher, etc).**

    I'm in the 1$ per 10,000 words camp, where a novel (70,000+ words) tops out at $7. A 50,000 words novella, $5. a 10,000 short, .99 cents. (If you price the novel at .99, how do you price the novella you release afterward??)

    Erm, vent done. :) Great post, Lisa!

  22. OH I like the idea of a median price point based on word count...

    Digital music is typically .99 per song or 8.99 per album... So I feel okay spending up to $8 on an eBook because I know it did cost money for the author, editing, cover art, etc.

    But you should never have to pay MORE for the digital version just because the publisher would rather have you buy the paperbacks they have stacked in their warehouse...

    I think 2.99 is alright for a shorter work, novella or something, but 5 - 7 ish for a novel seems fair...

    Again, I am fine with buying my book, but I feel like I'm being punished for wanting a digital copy when they expect me to pay more than the paperback price.

    not cool...

    Thanks for all the great discussion everyone! You rock!!!


  23. I completely agree with you as well. I think prices like that for something that isn't even a physical item is insane. The only e-book that I've payed more than $5-7 for is the latest Diana Gabaldon book. It was $12.99 for the e-book and I did buy it, but the paperback was like $18 or something. AND her books are typically like 1,400 pages. That's how I justified it anyway. LOL

    I refuse to pay more for an e-book than a paperback. It's ridiculous that they would even expect that. They are cutting their own throats. You would think they would embrace the concept because it has to be increasing their profit margin so what's their problem?

    Good post. :)

  24. $12.99 is ridiculous for an e-book. It would be bad enough if there had been a mistake and the price was for the paperback instead. Personally I think all books are way too expensive given how little of the money actually reaches the author.

    Publishers need to rethink the prices they are selling books at or all the dire predictions of the publishing business going down the gurgley will come true because no one will be able to afford to buy a book any more.

  25. Most authors are with you on this, I promise! Unfortunately we have no control over book prices other than our self-published books.
    I hope the NY publishers come to understand the e-book market better. I've suspected we're missing out on many sales due to high e-book prices on our NY books, and the comments here confirm it. Please do take a moment to write to the publishers to let them know your thoughts-it's only when readers make their views known that NY publishers have a real understanding of the situation. If they have to wait for their market research to come back, it could take years.
    The good news is that Amazon sometimes will price-slash a book for a period of time, so it's worth it to keep checking your wish list books. Right now all of my NY books on Kindle are less than the paperback versions, with some as low as $7.69. Still not great, I know, but I've often seen even better sale prices.
    Must check my Nook books and see how they're pricing them.

  26. Some vendor's ebook pricing is so irrational its insane.
    If the big NY Publishing houses want to implode, so be it.
    Another problem is, I've seen several of my ebooks for sale on third party vendor sites priced at $14.99 for a 120 page novella. Needless to say those sales are scant. Its a foolish business model thats disrespectful to customers and authors, and it won't last.
    XXOO Kat

  27. Lisa, have you spoken to the author? I'd send a fan letter and say ummm no. When I first pubbed I was told by several people that printing is such small part of the cost. I didnt drink the koolaid then and I don't now...when I do know better what the costs are. Printing is very expensive. Period. If she knows her fans are just saying no, she may pressure her publisher. And how many will go to a pirate site because they're mad enough to say if you're going to try to steal from me I'll steal from you? Putting a price tag like that, nearly double the paperback price, on an ebook is an insult to the readers.

  28. With you 100%. The NY Pubs are making more money, as they have less cost involved in production with eBooks so its senseless to have the price so high. Glad you said something. I'm sure many have been thinking something for awhile!

    Great job!

  29. Hi Eden -

    Thanks so much for chiming in here!

    I know the authors have no control over the eBook pricing and I hate that the crazy pricing is hurting the authors! So wrong...

    I would be happy to write the publishers if I had a contact to send it. We could probably get a few people to write if there was a place to send our input.

    Thanks so much for commenting!


  30. Hi Kate -

    I don't think the authors get any say in the eBook pricing, but it couldn't hurt to let her know.

    In the end it really sucks for the author! They're missing out on eBook sales because their publisher doesn't undestand the marketplace...

    But I'm glad it's not just me who feel bullied when they price eBooks higher than the paperback!

    Thanks for all the comments and conversation! You rock!


    Lisa :)

  31. I have had similar frustrations. I don't know why we're essentially paying printing costs when we're not buying a print product, but a digital one. Most of the smaller e-pubs have much better pricing (at least in my experience), but you're right, it's the authors who really miss out on e-book sales.

  32. I don't like what's happened with ebook pricing ...but we can all thank Apple and the NY Publishers for the mess we are in. I refuse to pay over $10 for an ebook...I'll pay that much because I would pay that much for a hardcover but I really resent it. There are several lawsuits against the publishers about the "agency" price model they are forcing both Amazon and Barnes and Noble to use for is a good article on what's taking place now

  33. Patty is very well aware of reader frustration with eBook pricing and shares in it. Her husband Mike talks about it on their blog and forum. I would contact the publisher directly as they are ones actually responsible for the pricing.

  34. Frustrating! Living in New Zealand I have problems with geographical restrictions too, although I think this is improving. I'm afraid I go off to my local library if I come up against high prices or geo restrictions. The publisher & author lose a sale.

  35. Thanks for the link Maria!!!

    I hope someone can knock some sense into the publishers, but now that ePubs are making the new NYT eBook list, maybe New York will start to notice?

    It's shocking to me to set up a business model to force your customers to buy what you want instead of what they want... Urgh!

    Thanks for the input!


  36. Hi Bea!

    I figured Patty has no control over eBook pricing... It sucks that her publisher is doing this to her readers.

    It's not the author's fault, but I just can't see spending more than the cost of a paperback to get my eBook. Sadly I'll read something else on my kindle instead...


  37. Hi Shelley!

    I didn't know there were international restrictions on eBooks! *boggle* Wow!

    So are you saying that my book, Night Walker, is on but you can't buy and download it in New Zealand? Is it the formatting or?

    I'm very curious... LOL

    Thanks for joining in the conversation!


  38. The only reason I thought perhaps contacting the author or any author in a similar situation is to give them ammunition. If they have 5,000 emails, they or their agent can make a case. And if 100 of their best authors do this, who knows, maybe they'll listen...or not!

  39. Michelle, you think ebooks should be free? What about my time writing it, the effort my editors and I do to make it the best book we can?

    I think the big New York publishers are only hurting themselves by charging at much for an ebook as a paperback, but as an author who's trying to live off her book sales I can't fathom having to give them away. I love writing and probably wouldn't stop doing it, but I would see no reason to go through the added expense of paying to put it in ebook form.

    And the notion that ebooks are dirt cheap to make therefore should come at little or now charge isn't correct. Ebooks don't cut down trees, but they do use toxic material to make them, and since they're all made offshore, the attention to pollution is potentially non existent. Then the ebook does use electricity to charge, no a lot, but it does. Another thing, all these electronics need lithium, an extremely rare metal that has to be mined. We all know what mining does to the environment.

    There's even more cost in disposing of them. Already there's a glut of used PCs being tossed on already strained garbage dumps. How many fans of ebook readers will go out every year to buy the newest? It's already happening with cell phones.

    My daughter herself has had something like a dozen phones since her first one years ago. She's already planning on getting the next iPhone when it comes out. She's only part of a legion of electronic users around the world.

    Bottom line, ebooks are not as green as they are made out to be. Don't get me wrong, I have a Kindle and love it.

    We're in a flux right now. NY publishers will have to find a way to fit in or they're going to fail. But there also has to be an understanding that authors need to be paid, or they're going to stop writing. Would you work for free?

  40. Hi Kate -

    That's true! maybe writing to the author would help? But I wouldn't want to make them feel badly about something they can't control...

    If only the publishers had a customer service hotline! LOL

    Lisa :)

  41. You're so right, they must be so very frustrated. Especially because some of the mail they're getting is probably less than nice.

  42. They charge half od what the hardcover is, then never change even the eBook price when the book goes paperback. There are many good eBooks out there, many good stories out there that are not charged these prices.

  43. What Eden Bradley said. I really appreciate this conversation and feel for the price hikes that affect all readers, including me :) But authors have absolutely no control over the prices of their books, unfortunately. You can write to RT Book Reviews which might inspire them to write an article about it, each publisher has a website where they have contact emails. Readers have the opportunity to change the marketing of ebooks far more than any author, regardless of their popularity. In the meantime-we'll have to have more contests :)

  44. Hi PA -

    I definitely don't think eBooks should be free! Between the time the writer takes and the editor and the cover designer, etc. everyone needs to make a living...

    But a digital eBook shouldn't cost more than the paperback... At least not in my opinion! LOL

    Lisa :)

  45. Great idea RG!!! Maybe contacting RT might get someone to write an article?

    I'll investigate with Ace's website... Maybe I can find someone to listen?

    Thanks for all the input everyone!


  46. There's no reason for a publisher to charge more than the price of a paper edition for an ebook because an ebook has limited functionality compared to a paper edition. In most cases, you can't freely trade or sell an ebook because it has DRM protection on it. Since there is no market for secondhand ebooks there is no resale value. So it does not have the same value as a paper edition and should be sold for less, not, as in the example above, more money. Some publishers seem to see their own digital editions as the competition to their print editions and price them accordingly. As long as they do so, they will slow down adoption of ebooks and ebook readers, hurting their own business. Doesn't seem very smart to me.

    I refuse to buy ebooks priced the same or more than the print edition. I urge everyone else to do the same.

  47. Wow, you've really hit a nerve. I got riled up too at the thought of $12.99 for an ebook. The NY pubs are trying to cash in on the ebook phenom and are going about it the wrong way. They're going to scare off readers. I won't pay more than $8 for an ebook and it has to be something I really want to pay that much. I started reading a mystery/chicklit series that I really like. I got the first book free on Kindle, the second for $1.99. All the others are priced about $10.00, for the ebooks. I refused to pay that much. It would have been $30 for the next three in the series. I found used print copies online and ordered the rest in the series. Cost much less than the ebook versions. I know the author doesn't get royalties on the used copies, and I feel bad about that, but I have to consider my pocketbook.

  48. Hi Janet!!

    That is an excellent point about resale value, etc.

    When you buy an eBook you're basically buying your own personal entertainment. It doesn't have any value once you've finished it. It should cost less than print for sure...

    And even though I'm curious to read about Adam and Mercy's wedding, I'm not paying more for the eBook version. I wish NY Publishing would wake up. eBooks aren't going away. Embrace it and gain the sales. Right noww they're chasing people away to ePubs. We're not going to buy the paperback, we're going to put a different book in our eReaders.

    Thanks for the great insight Janet!


  49. Hi Cara!

    I hate that the publishers crazy pricing keeps authors from making money, by chasing away the readers... Urgh!!!

    But I can't blame you for ordering used paperbacks. $10 for an eBook is too much...


  50. Hi, Lisa! That's a ridiculous price. Almost as ridiculous as "free." People who think e-books have no value have probably never tried writing a book.

  51. Guys, it's not just the "biggies"--I've seen small press digital publishers ask as much for their e-books as the majors pubs. Including some of the newer boutique presses. One of my HUGE beefs (and I'll use Briggs for my example) is the digital price never goes down. So you find an author you LOVE LOVE LOVE, and go hunting for the back list. Only to find while the used paperback (heck, used hardcover) books have gone down in price and some can be found a library sales for a buck a bag, that digital issue is STILL full price. Where's the logic in that???

  52. I'll play devil's advocate here and probably get creamed for it's the logic for the NY publisher. They actually (gasp) pay decent advances to their authors, which they might or might not recoup. They have full editorial staffs, including content editors, copy editors, proofreaders, and typesetters. They actually pay for custom artwork for covers instead of running some stock photo through a couple of photoshop filters. They have in-house art departments that don't just slap the words on a page but come up with custom fonts and designed chapter openings. All of that stuff costs money. Ebooks are outselling mass market? Sure, but those ebook sales figures count the freebie and 99-cent books with the same weight as the NY-edited releases. I download tons of freebies for my Kindle, many of which I don't read. But those count as ebook "sales." I know all the work--on my part and my publisher's--that has gone into the production of my upcoming release, and I hate to think that people will refuse to read it because they can't get it for 99 cents. Okay, standing out here, ready to be shot now.

  53. aw man...guess I'll miss the wedding too because I don't agree with the pricing either..

  54. I think you're right about the digital copy going on sale... They lower paperback prices to make room in the warehouse, but the eBook cost stays the same...

    Although lots of ePubs are starting to lower the cost of the first book in a series so people can try it out at a lower price... I like that plan! Then if the rest of the series is reasonable I'll get the rest of the books if I like the first one...

    And Cori, I'm happy to pay for eBooks... My issue is that I don't think they should cost more than the print version. :)

    Thanks for all the great input everyone!!!

    Lisa :)

  55. Hi Suzanne!

    I hope you don't get shot down! LOL I think everyone has behaved really respectifully... :)

    And you're right they do put all of that out there and I have no problem paying for the eBook at all...

    My issue is that a digital copy shouldn't cost more than a print version.

    By making the digital cost more in an attempt to force me to buy a print copy is what makes me annoyed with the big publishers.

    That's my beef.

    I'm even fine with paying the same cost I would pay for the paperback, but don't try to charge me more just because I would rather read it on my kindle... :)

    I think your viewpoint is totally valid though! And I don't think publishers should charge .99 BUT pricing higher than a print book is really sticking it to eReader customers in my opinion.

    THanks for commenting and sharing Suzanne!!!


  56. I won't purchase a book that costs the same in print as it does for my Kindle.

  57. Wow. I'm Mike, Patty Briggs' husband, and a friend of ours just sent me a link to this discussion. I'm not sure I can say anything that won't just add gasoline to the flames, but I'll try.

    First, if you want to understand something of the realities of ebook pricing, you can check the archive at, where I wrote a fairly long post back in May that you might find intersting.

    Second, I just wanted to point out that Patty's publisher always prices her ebooks as low or lower than cheapest CURRENTLY AVAILABLE paper version.

    The ebook is priced at about half the suggested retail of the hardcover, which actually doesn't seem too abusive. When the paperback comes out, the price will fall to paperback prices (though sometimes there's an inexplicable delay of a week to a month).

    Right now, River Marked is available as a hardcover for a suggested retail of $26.95 (ouch). The ebook is $12.99. The paperback won't be available until Jan 31, 2010. At that time, you can expect to see the ebook price drop as well. The publisher isn't actually charging readers MORE for the ebook than the paper copy.

    I don't know what an ebook is worth, the market is still working that out. It's a different product, with different properties, and all sorts of strategies are being tested on the poor readers (myself included). Here's hoping it gets sorted out soon so we can all be on same side again -- I hate the adversarial relationship being produced between authors, readers and publishers. :-(

  58. EEP! Mike again. Sorry, the paperback of River Marked will be available Jan 31, 2012! How embarrassing.

  59. That's unbelievable for an ebook to be that high. I did see an ebook for fourteen dollars, but I can't remember who's it was. I said no thanks. I won't pay more than seven dollars for a ebook.

  60. Hi Mike -

    Thanks SO much for adding to the conversation!!!

    I hope you understand I'm not blaming the authors at all!!!

    And the way the book is being sold on Amazon, when you click on the kindle book it shows the pricing for hardback and paperback... It doesn't mention the paperback edition isn't available yet...

    Sooooo I'm so glad you pointed out that the paperback isn't out yet, and I REALLY hope that they do drop the eBook price when the paperback comes out...

    I do love Patty's series and I really do want to read about Adam and Mercy's wedding!!! :)

    Thanks again for stepping up and posting!!! We're definitely not pointing fingers at the authors...

    The sucky part is, it's the authors who lose out on sales in the end! :-/ So not fair!

    I really appreciate all you're doing for readers!

    Lisa :)

  61. Lisa:
    Thank you for being so understanding. :-) Amazon was using ebooks as loss-leaders to sell Kindles, which was one of the things that triggered the whole agency pricing mess. They're still miffed at publishers, and do everything they can to get readers peeved at publishers and authors. So, of course they don't give you any indication that the paperback isn't yet released. . . .

    They also do things like sell popular hardbacks as loss leaders, discounted below the wholesale price to make the hardcover less than the ebook. I expect that sort of behavior to escalate now that Amazon is becoming a publisher as well. Divide and conquer!

    So, thank you again for being so supportive of authors. Almost every author is also a reader (Patty often three or four books a day -- she's incredibly fast!), so these issues affect all of us. Happy reading.

  62. Hi Mike -

    YOW!!! Patty is a SUPER fast reader!!! LOL

    Another reason I love eBooks is I no longer have to store my embarassingly large stock of books...

    Thanks again for stopping by!!!

    And happy reading to you too!

    Lisa :)

  63. I started reading the comments, but there are, like, a million of them and I am lazy. ;-D

    Maybe I'm in the minority here - or maybe because I live in NYC where everything is more expensive anyway - but I see the jacked-up prices for new releases as a sort of "convenience charge."

    Sort of like how last week my husband and sister-in-law started craving this specific beer, but it was late and they really didn't want to travel farther than our corner deli to get it. The price there was about $2-3 more than what they would pay at, say, Whole Foods or other large chain store, but they paid it because they had to have THIS beer RIGHT NOW. Convenience charge.

    That's sort of how I feel about print books, too. Sure, I can wait for the cheaper (and easier to read and carry in a pedestrian city) paperback version, but if I want to read THIS book RIGHT NOW then I fork over the extra $$$ for the hardcover.

    And so that's sort of crossed over into ebooks for me, too. Sure I can wait it out, or ask a friend with a Nook to "loan" me a copy for two weeks (assuming I have a friend with Nook who already bought this particular book and is willing to loan it to me RIGHT NOW), but if I want to read THIS book RIGHT NOW, then I'll pay the extra $5. That's still cheaper and way more convenient than buying it in hardcover.

    Since I know I'm in the minority here I'll just go and hide under a table now.


  64. I'm shocked, but not completely surprised. They will charge whatever the market will bear. The only answer: don't buy or wait for a sale.

  65. Hi Meredith -

    No need to hide! LOL Everyone's been really civil and grown-up here! :)

    Maybe since the publishers are in New York they feel the same way? But for the rest of the country, it doesn't feel like a convenience charge. It feels like we're being smacked around because we want a digital copy... :)

    Your input is something to think about! THanks so much for taking the time to share it!

    Lisa :)

  66. Hi James -

    I'm waiting for now. I just can't allow myself to pay more than a paperback price for a digital product...

    Thanks for commenting!


  67. Here's a few links from Nathan Bransford who talked about e-book pricing in regards to NY publishers. They explain things pretty well, I think.

    Honestly, the only ebooks I get are inexpensive digital only ones or free ebooks. I'd rather wait for mass market paperbacks.

  68. You should really look at the links. Especially the last one. It talks about what Mike was saying with how Amazon does things (loss lender with their hardcover books, etc) with math figures shown.

  69. Thanks for all the info Sarah!!! :)

    I really appreciate all the great conversation we had here...

    Lisa :)

  70. I'm late as usual, but I so feel you on this issue. I've absolutely put so many books on a refusal to buy list for the outrageous prices for an e book.
    I live in the interior of Alaska about 28 miles north of Fairbanks.
    Unbelievably every business, and I don't care what your selling treats Alaska like a foreign country. It cost the same price to ship to Alaska as it does everywhere else in United States and Canada. No extra fees through mailing USPS.
    But we get binged by overcharges on shipping you can't believe. I stopped buying anything on Ebay and boycotted them now for 5 years. I've had a complete sound system shipped here free of charge on shipping from Amazon, but buy anything from another seller on Amazon is a whole different story. They either overcharge on shipping, or refuse to ship to Alaska. It's all about the greed period.
    So I'll stick to my e books, and buy from a local bookstore on clearance.

    Great post Lisa!

    Thank you!

  71. " Give me a break New York! I’m not paying $12.99 for an eBook and I won’t be bullied into buying the paperback when I wanted to download to my Kindle.

    Um, nobody is making or forcing you to do anything. How can a publisher "force" you to buy a book of any kind? Also, it almost sounds like someone, somewhere has promised you some kind of either free or cheap ebooks to read on a $200 Kindle. Maybe Amazon made promised cheap ebook content but they are trying to sell DEVICES: KINDLES.

    So they will promise potential customers the moon to get people to buy those expensive readers. But content was never theirs to promise on the cheap. Publishers and authors run the content for those devices, not Amazon, and they'll go out of business selling that cheap, and professional authors are not interested in dirt cheap. It's just not worth the time to write for.

    For example, do you really expect Stephenie Meyer & her publisher to split $4? Seriously. Her hardback for Breaking Dawn went for $40 in some places. That's the kind of money she's used to seeing for her work. But for $4 I don't think you're going to get anything from too many pros. She's rich from print so she'll probably just retire early before working for pennies on ebooks. But anyway, I just used Meyer as only one example.