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Originally, Amazon was really pushing an ebook pricing scheme of $9.99 or less.  Then, along came agency pricing.  There were many discussions here about the desirability/advisability of the $9.99 price point and how that would or would not be affected by agency pricing and what the long term would bring. 

I started doing a periodic review of the prices on Amazon's Paid 100 best seller list.  I counted the books priced at more than $9.99 v. those priced at $9.99 or less.  I did a search for some of the old posts a few minutes ago and didn't find them, but I seem to recall that more expensive books were more than holding their own. 

I just repeated the count, because it was that or do work, and the current list has a whopping 19 books priced at $10 or more.  I don't recall ever seeing a number that low -- of course, I could be wrong and if someone else can find the old posts, I would appreciate seeing the actual numbers. 

So, it looks like long-term (and the entire Kindle history isn't really very long term in corporate terms) Amazon is winning the pricing war.  They indoctrinated me early, and I will only rarely pay more than $9.99 for an ebook; and then, for a reason other than that I just want to read it. 

Any comments?

Elaine
Norman, OK
 

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My pricing strategy for ebooks has always been the same as my pricing strategy for paper books.  I prefer to buy at paperback price or below.  And, for the most part, that's what I do with ebooks.  I generally don't pay more than $7 or $8 for ebooks.  When I do, which is very rare, $9.99 or $12.99 isn't the issue.  I've already decided I'd pay the "hardback" price.  but that doesn't happen very often.

And once agency pricing ended, I expected prices to come down.  Which they have gradually.  And it's not unheard of to see trad published books in the Amazon sales and deals.

Betsy
 

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Well, the publishers are currently being sued by the DOJ for conspiring to raise prices and most of them have settled - the agency pricing is going out the window. It's not really surprising if you're seeing lower prices on the best sellers lists - it's not so much because people are refusing to buy higher priced ebooks but just because Amazon has control over most prices again. However, part of the settlement is that Amazon's total sales for each publisher can't be at a loss (ie, they can't sell the majority of ebooks at a loss to try to drive other ebook retailers out of business). So we probably won't see a completely return to what it was before the agency pricing but we are seeing more reasonable prices now that publishers don't have complete control.
 

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If you self-publish you should probably not go over $10. A big part of the reason books used to cost more is because of distribution cuts and publisher cuts. You're more than likely taking in more per book than authors with major publishers selling their books at $20. The internet just cut out the middle man. Lets pass some of that savings on to the consumers. There are some exceptions though.
 

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I think pricing starts to get askew above  $14.99 for most books; sometimes new hardcover non-fiction might justify a higher price for a while, but I can usually wait the year for the price to come down.  Though in reality the extra few bucks is trivial.

More important is paying a price that will allow the publishers to stay in business and pay its employees well.  (Maybe cut the CEO pay though.  :p )  As things are, I don't think a lot of sub $9.99 prices would cut the mustard for health of the publishing industry long term.  Now maybe the publisher could reduce expenses by moving out of NYC or things like that, but I still know that a quality New book is probably going to cost me at least $9.99.
 

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As a new author, I am fascinated by this topic and similar topics.  It's all a new experience for me.

I was always under the assumption that the "big name authors" would command a ebook price of $12.99+, simply because
of their name, and that people would pay whatever it takes to get that new book in their Kindle.  But pricing it to match
the paperback makes sense, although personally I wouldn't pay that.  For the publisher, it costs a lot less to produce, so
it's a lot more profit for them and I assume the author.
 

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I think it's really hard to draw generalizations. Or rather, there will always be exceptions. AND, every individual is likely to analyze things slightly differently.

For a completely unknown, to me, author, I'm really really unlikely to pay more than $6 or $7. Even for a big name author, if I've not read them before, they're new to me. I'm not going to pay $13 or $14 for the book unless it really REALLY looks like something I want to read. That doesn't happen very often.

And I admit that if they're publishing independently, that limit is likely to be lower, more like $4 or $5. The good news is these are the folks most likely to put their books on sale for short periods (for a couple of bucks or even free) which will definitely encourage me to give 'em a try if I've been on the fence. If I like the book, I have just found a new favorite author! After that, I know what I'm getting and am definitely willing to pay more.

For that reason, I'm glad the agency model is going away. Now, I may find major publisher's titles on sale as well, because Amazon is allowed to do that! Which means I may give titles a try that I would have walked right past at the higher price.

I realize I'm lucky: I pretty much have as much discretionary income to buy books as I want. That doesn't mean I want to waste that money. ;) For folks who are truly limited, it's even better!

There are very few authors that I have been willing to buy at Hardcover prices on release, and then it's usually because I wanted to have the physical book on my shelf.
 

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i agree that you cannot generalize, and I can think of exceptions, but I think this is mostly accurate.

As a reader, I would probably pay a lot to get the next Game of Thrones Book (because I am an addict) but be much more reluctant to pay a lot for a less tested author's work. An exception might be some specialized book that obviously took a lot of effort and research.

Troy Jackson said:
As a new author, I am fascinated by this topic and similar topics. It's all a new experience for me.

I was always under the assumption that the "big name authors" would command a ebook price of $12.99+, simply because
of their name, and that people would pay whatever it takes to get that new book in their Kindle. But pricing it to match
the paperback makes sense, although personally I wouldn't pay that. For the publisher, it costs a lot less to produce, so
it's a lot more profit for them and I assume the author.
 

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On general principles I won't pay more than $9.99 for a Kindle book.I've had my eye on a title for nine months now. The author just released the paperback and the Kindle price dropped so I finally bought it. It was only $12.99 before. I could've spent three more dollars and bought it last spring. LOL

via me, my Droid, & Tapatalk :)
 

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I know for me, and probably for a lot of people, my book spending habits haven't changed post-Kindle.

I always bought paperbacks in thrift stores and library sales. Maybe two or three times a year I would buy a paperback at full price. That usually happened when I had to hang around a pharmacy to pick up a prescription and I needed something to read. That doesn't happen anymore because I have my phone to read on, although for very favorite authors that have been kindleized, I will spend full PB price. The exception is Susan Howatch's books which I have paid up to $11.99 for. That's the equivalent of once every few years buying an actual hardback.

If I was the kind of person who had to have the hardback as soon as it came out, I wouldn't mind spending $15 for a kindle book. Since I was never that person, I don't spend more than $2.99 per book and on rare occasion $3.99.

I've always shopped the bargain bins and the clearance sales.
 

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MLKatz said:
i agree that you cannot generalize, and I can think of exceptions, but I think this is mostly accurate.

As a reader, I would probably pay a lot to get the next Game of Thrones Book (because I am an addict) but be much more reluctant to pay a lot for a less tested author's work. An exception might be some specialized book that obviously took a lot of effort and research.
The last Song of Ice and Fire book I paid more than $10 for and it is the ONLY Kindle book I've ever paid that much for. I'm sure I'll do the same for the next one. I bought more than 100 novels last year for my kindle and most were between $5 and $8.

As far the number of novels on the best seller list below $10, that has a lot to do with publishers settling with the DoJ on the price-fixing conspiracy charges and being forced to renegotiate contracts, I suspect. :)
 

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I really enjoy my Kindle and being able to read during meals without the book randomly turning pages at inopportune moments. I enjoy holding a regular book at times though. I also enjoy the pleasure of looking at regular books and enjoying absolute ownership. Therefore, with rare exception, the limit for a Kindle purchase is the price of a used paperback at my favorite used book store.

Boyd Morrison I'll buy at full price when it comes out. Maybe one or two others, Vince Flynn, but most will have to be a KDD or I'll buy a print book used. It's just not worth a premium price to lose ownership rights to what legitimately and rightfully is mine. Yes, I know I'm making the choice but that's why I mostly choose free with the bulk of the relatively few paid selections being less than $2 and the total cost of my 12xx "books" being maybe $400
 

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If I can get it cheaper on paperback or from a used book site or store, then I won't buy it on Kindle.

I have only purchased a handful of books at a price over $4.99.  The vast majority of the books I have on my Kindles are free ones through PixelOfInk.  There are some great books on there sometimes.  And if I think something looks like it might be good, I get it. It was free.  If it's terrible, I just delete it.  They have some reduced-price offerings, too.  Sometimes I will go weeks without finding one I like, then there will be a run where I want every one that day.  I get the Facebook link to their offerings once or twice a day.  Works for me!
 

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JRTomlin said:
The last Song of Ice and Fire book I paid more than $10 for and it is the ONLY Kindle book I've ever paid that much for. I'm sure I'll do the same for the next one. I bought more than 100 novels last year for my kindle and most were between $5 and $8.

As far the number of novels on the best seller list below $10, that has a lot to do with publishers settling with the DoJ on the price-fixing conspiracy charges and being forced to renegotiate contracts, I suspect. :)
I also paid over $10 for the last Song of Ice & Fire novel. And am willing for the future titles. I've already waited so long that I just can't wait for the price to drop!

I also paid over $10 for 'The Mists of Avalon'. This has been out for decades and shouldn't be priced this high. But, my book club was reading it, and I didn't want to carry my doorstop copy around.
 
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