Editor's Note: The Importance of Idea Sharing in Times of Change
One e-book issue that I'm anxious—both from a business and a consumer perspective—to address in a future issue is the often-debated issue of pricing. No matter how many arguments I've heard, and agreed with, on the importance of increasing e-book pricing and not undervaluing content, I'm afraid as a consumer that I've fallen victim to the "$9.99 and under" mentality. I associate e-books with that particular price tag, and I tend to cringe a little when I see e-books priced higher than that.
When I became an e-reader owner about a year ago, I was committed to building my e-book collection—after all, isn't that the whole point of owning one? I do not own an Amazon Kindle (which set the "$9.99 and under" bar) and now frequently find that the books I would like to purchase from my e-reader's e-book store are priced several dollars higher than $9.99.
Recently, I was reminded of a book that was released a few years back that I've always wanted to read. It is priced at more than $16(!) in my e-book store. Researching my options, I discovered that I can buy a new print copy from a third party on Amazon.com for a little over $5 (which includes shipping). I'm torn: Do I utilize this not-inexpensive device that I've grown to love reading on? Or do I save 11 bucks (nothing to sneeze at when, like so many others, I'm trying to keep expenses down) by purchasing a bargain-basement print copy?
More importantly, I did my price-comparison shopping a week ago and still haven't purchased the book in any format because, at the time when I was ready to click "buy," I couldn't decide between the two formats, and moved on to something else. I know from speaking to other e-reader owners that I'm not the only one who is a bit baffled by e-book pricing, and I would hate to see this pricing conundrum cost a publisher a book sale, and a reader the experience of reading a new book. Moreover, will some consumers shy away from e-readers and e-books if they feel the prices of e-books are generally too high?