This past weekend at Thrillerfest, author Sandra Brown said that eBooks need to come with higher prices. Brown said that eBooks should be priced closer to hardcovers and that she feels guilty when downloading a book for so cheap. “I know how much blood sweat and tears went into that,” she said. “I would pay more if they charged more.” EbookNewser readers disagreed across the board and the Twitter-sphere was abuzz with why this was a bad idea.
Bearmountainbooks pointed out that eBook consumers are a different market than hardcover shoppers and that lower pricing expands audience. “Cheap ebooks open up a whole different market–the library user, the used-book buyer, the retired person with only small amount of money to spend on books. Charging hardbook prices only goes after the existing market. Charging a lower price opens the market to a whole different set of readers.”
Many commentors pointed out the production costs saved in an eBook versus a hardcover. Fawn said, “The high cost of hardcovers isn’t just blood, sweat and writer’s tears; it’s wood pulp and manufacturing and packaging and shipping.”
And Rebekah James pointed out the parallel between eBook pricing and paperbacks. “This would be like saying that there shouldn’t be paperback editions since they are less expensive than hardcovers. Making ebooks less expensive means making them more available.”