SOAP BOX ALERT! Pricing of books.

Okay today I’m going to step up on my soap box and rant a little. If you don’t want to read a rant, then you should probably skip this blog. What am I going to rant about? The price of e-books from the big publishers and others just really torques me off.

Here is what set me off. I’m currently reading several series of well known authors. As a Kindle lover, I prefer to read these books on my Kindle. Yes, I’ve converted from an ‘I love print books’ to an ‘I really like reading on my Kindle’. But it always bothers me the price that is being charged for the digital reading material.

For example, I started reading from Craig Johnson, the Walt Longmire Mystery Series. The cost of his e-books is $11.99 or more. The paperback, let me repeat that, the PAPERBACK version of the same books retail at $11.20 or more. $11.20! Less then the Kindle version!

Another example. I love Christopher Moore’s books. Love them. I have never laughed harder while reading a book. Seriously, read his stuff, you’ll be wetting your pants. However, I no longer buy them because the Kindle version is $9.99 and up. The print version is $10.19 and up. That’s only a 21 cent difference! Really. Really publisher?!

I haven’t read this one but I decided to find a best seller to see how they were priced. Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James. The e-book version sells for $9.99. The print version is $9.57. Forty cents LESS then the Kindle version.

So you are probably wondering why I’m so incensed. I’ll tell you. The publishers are ripping off readers. Okay maybe ripping off is the wrong term. Fleecing would be a better term. Heres the reason.

The cost of print books is pretty high. The average small printer’s cost on a paper version (a 6×9 trade paperback book) is around $5.50. That what it costs to print an average book. The bigger publishers probably get a much better price than that. They still have to pay the author royalties, the distributor (middle man), then there is the percent off that the book seller’s take. Therefore for the medium to small printer in order to even break even the print books have to, HAVE to be priced at $12.99 and up. Again the bigger publishers can cut this price down a bit, but even for them there are still costs associated with the actual printing of a book.

Now the outrage and a secret the big publishers don’t want you to know. The price of a digital e-book is minimal. After converting the manuscript file to digital, using the same cover for the book (already paid for because of the print version), and uploading it to the Amazon website, the cost is substantially less. And there is no overhead! No printing, no shipping, no warehousing the books, no paying for book space at book stores (Yes, that does happen, people!), no middle man (besides Amazon, B&N, etc.)! Yet they are charging as much if not more for the e-book, in this case Kindle version, of the book. They are fleecing the e-book readers of money. Knowingly, even doing it with glee. The publishers are raking it in. In huge piles.

I was outraged when I started in this publishing venture. Why make the reader pay MORE to read it on an e-reader? Why? Because they can, that’s why! When Jason and I started our publishing business, Seventh Wave Books, LLC, we decided to keep the price as low as possible on both fronts. Yes, our print books are priced at $12.99 or more. They have to be for us to be able to pay our authors and still make a small, and I do mean small, profit (we’re talking around $1.00 for us, not the authors). And we pledge to keep our e-books at $4.99 or less. We still make a small profit on them and pay authors well (I do mean good). Yet, we are still keeping the price of books at a reasonable cost. That is the promise we make to you the reader. Give us a try.

In the meantime, I will not buy a Kindle book that is over $4.99. It just doesn’t happen for me. I refuse. I keep a close eye on my favorite authors and when a book is put on sale, $4.99 or less), I buy it. But until then… no way. I’ll keep my extra money, thank you.

Okay, so now that I ranted, I’m stepping down off my soap box. Thank you for listening. Stay tuned.

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