05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

E-Book Prices

by Madelle Morgan

I've stopped buying new releases of several of my favorite authors because the digital version is MORE expensive than the paperback.

I read novels almost exclusively on my Kindle and Kobo Glo because:

a) I read in bed at night, and lamp light would bother my husband, and

b) I can read the large e-reader fonts without my glasses.

Why oh why have some publishers ratcheted up e-book prices? A college student learns in Economics 101 that when the price goes up, demand for that product goes down. A September 2015 Wall Street Journal article reports that e-book sales at three big publishers dropped after prices skyrocketed.

Self-Published Books are Less Expensive

Source: May 2015 Report

But there's another factor that affects the price of an e-book for non-U.S. readers like me...

Exchange Rates

Canadian, Australian and New Zealand currencies use the dollar, making comparisons to American dollar (USD) prices easy.

On November 4, 2015 the exchange rates were as follows:

$1 USD = $1.36 CAD (Canadian)
$1 USD = $1.40 AUD (Australian)
$1 USD = $1.52 NZD (New Zealand)

If prices were directly converted, a $10 USD e-book would cost $13.60 in Canada, $14.00 in Australia, and $15.20 in New Zealand, respectively. It's not that simple, however. U.S. publishers round up prices to $13.99, $14.99 and $15.99, or even tack on an extra dollar or two to cover variable exchange rates. 

Needless to say, the increase in e-book prices in American dollars is magnified outside the U.S. due to unfavorable exchange rates. In fact, Canadian prices are downright painful.

Publishers who've jacked up their e-book prices CLEARLY don't care about sales in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

And the result is...

Readers are Buying Affordable Self-Published Books

Many self-published books do not have ISBNs, so sales can't be traced as easily as those of traditionally-published books. Author Earnings reports that, by their calculations, as many self-published e-books are being sold as Big Five publisher e-books!

Source:  October 2015 Report
Author Earnings analysed e-book sales in its October 2015 report, stating: "We've watched the share of the US consumer ebook market held by independent authors and Amazon-imprint authors grow quarter after quarter, while the share of the market held by traditionally published ebooks shrank." 

Have Raised Prices Affected Your Purchases?

Have your buying decisions changed because of higher e-book prices? Are you buying hardcover and paperbacks instead of e-books? Are you switching to lower cost e-books? Have you stopped pre-ordering certain new releases because of the price? Are you deferring purchases until the price drops or the e-books go on sale? 

Are you mad as hell? 

I'd love to read your comments.

In the spirit of keeping e-book prices affordable to as many readers worldwide as possible...

Diamond Hunter Price Drop

“A murder with a smart female character, diamonds, and a super hot RCMP officer – what more could you ask for in a story? Diamond Lust has it all and it works. I thoroughly enjoyed learning a little about the diamond mining in Canada as well as the intricacies of how diamonds are processed and the security around them. Added to this, a super hunky man and a woman trying to ignore her hormones and you have a great read.”  — Tanja, Joyfully Reviewed (based on the original title)

This romantic suspense about a daring geologist and her cop bodyguard trapped at a remote diamond mine is now $0.99 USD permanently, with a comparably low price in countries around the world, depending on the exchange rate. Check for retailers.


Diana McCollum said...

I never buy e books priced over $3 or $4 dollars. If I'm going to spend $7 or $8 dollars I'll buy a print book every time. Good luck on sales! interesting blog post. I enjoyed your book.

Judith Ashley said...

I'm way behind in buying any new books, print or digital but I have whittled my TBR pile down to a point where I'm making my 'to buy' list. I also will buy the paperback book if the digital copy is too high. However, I was told that the Big 5 want us to buy paper (and not support Amazon, Kobo, Nook, Apple, etc.) so every time we make the decision to buy paper, they've won.

Something to consider...

Or something to factor in as we try out new indie authors.