Kindle Prices, heading skyward again

Matticus Primal

Journeyed there and back again
#41
I will be interested to read your experiences. When I looked into it, Print-on-Demand through Amazon was only available if you locked into Amazon as your sole outlet (I haven't checked lately, that may not be true any more). My co-author and I discussed this at length and decided that Amazon was a branch of the Evil Empire, and we also released through Smashwords, preventing us from using CreateSpace. Next time we have a business meeting, that decision will probably be re-assessed.
Well, after a little research, I found it's basically Amazon taking Create Space's print on demand and moving it in house. And yeah, you have to be KDP exclusive to use it. Still pretty cool function though.
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
#42
There's a discussion on Reddit about this topic as well. Quite an interesting read really. Mark Lawrence also chipped in with a insightful contribution. You can read it here.
And there was a thread on Fantasy Faction last year (where I nicked my example from) and there's another one on SFFChrons at the moment, started with another example of a recently released book (in fact, still pre-orders at the moment) with a very high kindle price - $14.88

Also taken from that thread:

Stephen King End of Watch Hard: $21.00 Paperback: $8.99 Kindle: $14.00

Sue Grafton X Hard: $17.99 Paperback: $8.49 Kindle: $9.99

J. D. Robb Echoes in Death Hard: $27.99 Paperback: $10.39 Kindle: $14.99

Brandon Sanderson Mistborn Hard: $27.47 Paperback: $8.11 Kindle: $8.99

Its certainly an ongoing concern with examples of high prices and people complaining not too hard to find. I don't know whether those examples are a fair representation of the whole, but it doesn't matter, because I know I'm not spending money with the price gougers and I'm not too fussed what percentage of the market they make up. And maybe that's unfair, as maybe high kindle prices create a living wage for authors, but then that's an argument I'll listen a lot more if I thought my ebook money was supporting the authors more than the publishers.
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#43
I don't know how much it costs to make an individual Kindle and I guess you need to figure in the costs it takes to design them. But they are also getting a near guarantee that we will buy a the greater majority of our reading material from them. So right off the bat, with my Paperwhite (and of course there are more expensive types) they got $119 from me plus $40 for the cover so an automatic $159. (I initially bought a $10 cover which wasn't bad at all but there cover is definitely nicer and was worth it for me. Oh, also free advertising. But to be honest, I would rather look at the ads than at the face of one of 10 authors who died before I was born.

That being said my Kindle has paid for itself multiple times over in money saved (comfort too). So I DO love it! Yes, it is maddening when I see the price of a paper book cheaper than an ebook. Highway robbery. But overall, I've benefited greatly. Amazon is brilliant...the bloody... !!!
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#44
I don't tend to read new releases, I normally wait until a series is complete before starting it. For this reason the prices of kindle books doesn't bother me in the slightest. By the time, say, a trilogy is complete, I can normally buy the lot for £10- £12, sometimes less, which is great value! I've reached the stage now that I'm fairly certain I won't read a physical book again .. with the help of sites like eReaderIQ, I have access to hundreds of kindle books which I purchased at very low prices!

So no, I've not noticed this trend..
 

Theophania

Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune
#45
Regarding tradpub ebook pricing, when the Kindle store first opened, Amazon was selling mostly at $9.99 (on Amazon US, I think - or it may have been $7.99, but definitely lower than the current average). The situation was that the publisher would set a price, but Amazon didn't have to keep to that price - but if Amazon discounted the book, the 'discount' came out of Amazon's share, so the publisher (and the author) still got the same amount of money.

Then the publishers decided they didn't want to do it that way, so they forced Amazon to agree to the 'agency' model of pricing, where Amazon had to sell ebooks at the price the publisher set. And the publishers promptly bumped up the prices.

Data Guy did a report on Big Five ebook pricing in May 2016, which shows that prices have clearly gone up since the early days. Although the good news for us is that prices are starting to come down again. Interestingly for anyone who might have been contemplating writing a book and going with the Big Five, they tend to price their newbie authors higher than their established authors - and, according to Data Guy, this has the predictable effect on newbie author sales: people move away from newbie tradpub authors because they're just too expensive to take a chance on, and either buy an established author's work, or an indie book - that is, anything else. Or maybe they don't buy anything - but they're certainly not buying newbie tradpub authors.

(And as for what tradpub does for authors... from what I hear, their marketing efforts on behalf of most authors who aren't famous already are decidedly lacklustre. And they are now, more and more, wanting newbie authors who already have a platform - and thus, readers lined up. I do think, though, that in twenty years' time, 'tradpub' is going to consist mostly of marketing departments, because that is still the area that it's most difficult for authors to do for themselves - and as the indie sector grows, if tradpub is to survive at all, they must figure out a way to provide a service to authors that is worth what they're currently charging.)
 
#46
What's crazier is when digital things cost more in one country than when you downliad it in another.

Digital games for xbox/playstation/Nintendo consoles cost more to buy in Australia than they do in the USA...

Postage is a bitch!
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#47
What's crazier is when digital things cost more in one country than when you downliad it in another.

Digital games for xbox/playstation/Nintendo consoles cost more to buy in Australia than they do in the USA...

Postage is a bitch!
That's nothing. What do you think about the fact that it's more expensive to buy a certain brand of Bulgarian chocolate from a Bulgarian supermarket, than it is to buy the same chocolate from a Netherland supermarket, which is half a continent away and has steeper taxes?

But enough off-topic.

I like what Brandon Sanderson is doing lately - you buy his hardcover or paperback novels( the shorter ones he publishes through small presss publishers) and you get to receive the e-book version also, should you write to him about it.
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#49
Utter Insanity!!
That must be an aberration?? At that price then it must've been super high even before the price hikes of books. No way it went up hundreds of dollars.
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#50
I'm surprised that nobody has pointed out that textbook prices have been inflated by considerations other than the costs of producing the books themselves. For example, a new copy of the physics classic GRAVITATION by Misner, Thorne, and Wheeler, costs about $2000 (two thousand dollars).

https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0716703440/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new
You can't use third party seller prices as a reference. Lots of things can happen there. One of the most common is people who don't actually have a copy in their inventory but don't want to de-list, for whatever reason. Amazon frowns upon the practice but doesn't catch it always. So you'll also see $900 Ghirardelli chocolate bars and such.

I am beyond surprised to see any copies of this for under $50:

https://www.amazon.com/Principles-S...387907629/ref=mt_hardcover?_encoding=UTF8&me=

Usually it goes for $400 or so. I was lucky to get it at $200 a few years back. They really need to do a reprint of that one.
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#51
You can't use third party seller prices as a reference. Lots of things can happen there. One of the most common is people who don't actually have a copy in their inventory but don't want to de-list, for whatever reason. Amazon frowns upon the practice but doesn't catch it always. So you'll also see $900 Ghirardelli chocolate bars and such.

I am beyond surprised to see any copies of this for under $50:

https://www.amazon.com/Principles-S...387907629/ref=mt_hardcover?_encoding=UTF8&me=

Usually it goes for $400 or so. I was lucky to get it at $200 a few years back. They really need to do a reprint of that one.

Physics? Why did I think you worked at a law firm? My short term memory is shot. I guess my long term is going now too. :(
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#52
Physics? Why did I think you worked at a law firm? My short term memory is shot. I guess my long term is going now too. :(
I work at a patent law firm. I have a PhD in biochemistry. My graduate research involved a fair amount of nucleic acid biophysics.
 

David Sims

Warded demons with Arlen
#53
Aren't those copies of GRAVITATION going for $150-300 or so used? I think that the price of the book, if bought new, is considerably higher.
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#54
I work at a patent law firm. I have a PhD in biochemistry. My graduate research involved a fair amount of nucleic acid biophysics.
Kudos. Smart cookie. But no news flash. Dr. Sneaky ? Professor Burrito? Doesn't sound right...:D But I can't talk because neither does Juris Dr. Tater. :eek::hilarious:

IIRC patent law lawyers were tbe only ones needing special skills (most with engineering degrees, good knowledge of physics)? Pass an extra test, and allowed to advertise as specialists? Anyhow no other lawyers need that stuff. So really sharp (even by JD standards). Regardless your services must be invaluable to them.

What in the world is in that book?
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
#55
Professor Burrito and Dr Sneaky would be great DJ names.

edit: I don't think the prices for out of print books should be held up as an example of the reality of the cost of academic books, but at the same time, anyone who's passed through university knows exactly what it is like.
 

Bierschneeman

Journeyed there and back again
#57
I know I can find first edition copies of every harry potter book for a dollar, (free if I go to the local recycling center, hundreds of books get recycled every week, you can always find HP, Twilight, and any other hot, highly advertised best seller ( you have to wonder when they make sooo many first editions of an unknown author))

But it's availability doesn't stop me from finding people selling any first edition harry potter book for thousands of dollars, on ebay HPB , Amazon, or any other place.

I think sometimes it's not just place holder prices, but unscrupulous people looking to drive up prices, or make a good buck off ill-informed people.
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#58
The amounts are generally negligible, but out of curiosity, can anyone explain why sometimes an Amazon ebook for, say, $2.99 is taxed 18 cents (6% sales tax is the amount where I live) while other books at that price are not taxed at all??
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#59
The amounts are generally negligible, but out of curiosity, can anyone explain why sometimes an Amazon ebook for, say, $2.99 is taxed 18 cents (6% sales tax is the amount where I live) while other books at that price are not taxed at all??
Are you talking about other items at that price in physical copies or other digital items?

Many third party seller items (which would include some used paperbacks and such in that price range) do not get sales tax collected on them. But if it is a digital item, then I don't have any idea what's going on.
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#60
Are you talking about other items at that price in physical copies or other digital items?

Many third party seller items (which would include some used paperbacks and such in that price range) do not get sales tax collected on them. But if it is a digital item, then I don't have any idea what's going on.

I've only bought books directly from Amazon for my Kindle for several years. I recently bought several and many were $2.99 each. I still have the receipts on my phone. Some charged .18 in tax for those books and some none at all. Just wondered...