Are eBooks Getting More Expensive?

eBook pricing ebbs and flows like the tide and we hear a lot of different pricing ideas from the publishers, authors and readers that we speak to. Some people think that $.99 is the right price to get a reader to try an unknown author and others think that such a low price point makes the book seem unworthy of a reader’s attention. The big publishers succumbed to Amazon’s $9.99 price point, but then adopted the agency model and set their own prices.

So what do prices look like today? According to a story in The Wall Street Journal, eBook prices are up. The WSJ reports: “The price gap between the print and e-versions of some top sellers has now narrowed to within a few dollars—and in some cases, e-books are more expensive than their printed equivalents.” Still as the article goes on to report, the overall price of eBooks has dropped by 11% since 2009.

Digital Book World gets into the numbers and points out that the average price of Kindle bestseller was $8.21 on Christmas 2010, with 17 of the top 100 on the list priced at $2.99 or less. DBW goes on: “Since then, average price has decreased appreciably. As of December 14, 2011, the average price of a book on the same list was $7.08, a 14% decrease, and 35 of the 100 books on the list were priced $2.99 or lower. At the same time, the average price of an Amazon print best-seller is currently $15.08 and there are no books on that list priced at $2.99 or below. To be sure, the number of books on the Kindle best-seller list priced at $10 or higher has increased since last Christmas from 22 to 32, meaning that more higher-priced books are being sold on the device.”

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