Ebook news

News: I’m very excited to announce that the digital versions (ebooks) of my backlist novels will now cost $5.99. That represents a 25% discount from their former price of $7.99. Digital version (ebooks) of brand new novels will now cost $6.99. That represents a $13% discount from their former price of $7.99.
.
.
Disclaimer: No, I’m not trying to force anyone to buy ebooks. I don’t read them myself because writing on a computer for hours every day means that I associate technology with work, so I avoid it when I’m trying to relax :). However, because digital books have less rights versus print books (readers can’t resell ebooks, lending is very restricted, retailer discounting is currently forbidden under Agency princing, and so on) I support lower prices for ebooks in comparison to their print counterparts.
.
.
.
Really long backstory behind this news: (skip if you’re not interested in the inner workings of the publishing business)
.
.
This reduction is the result of long process. After Agency pricing was implemented back in April 2010, I had repeatedly requested that my ebook prices be lowered and that request was repeatedly denied. For those of you who aren’t aware, traditionally-published authors do not set the price of their own books. It is the publisher who determines a book’s print format, such as mass market paperback, hard cover, or trade paperback, and the publisher who sets the price for the ebook edition. Since the ebook boom is relatively new to the publishing world (ebooks accounted for less than 1% of my total sales in 2007, for example) there have been some growing pains as publishers – and authors – adjusted to this new market.
.
First, let’s dispell a myth. Ebooks are not “free” to produce. They require the same amount of time to write if you’re the author and the same amount of editing, copyediting, and proof-reading if you’re the publisher. Also, because retailers have different formatting requirements, one ebook file does not fit all (I know this from self-publishing). So different templates have to be formatted, each with their own coding rules, and then sent to the various different ebook retailers. All that takes time and effort, and we haven’t even started on cover art, promotion, and other expenses that don’t go away just because a book is digital versus print. However, as mentioned above, readers do have less rights with ebooks. Ebooks also don’t incur shipping costs, warehousing costs, pulping costs of unsold or returned merchandise, and other print-specific charges. This also leads me to believe that they should cost less than print books*. Even for those who don’t agree, in many cases, data shows that lower-priced ebooks sell better than their higher-priced counterparts. Whether that’s from readers who also believe ebooks should cost less for the above reasons, or competition from the influx of cheaply priced self-published new ebooks, or competition from the increasing amount of reduced-price ebooks from authors who are digitilizing their older backlist, or competition from other publishers lowering prices, or all the above, the results still seem to be the same across most studies. So, since I want my titles to be competitive in this booming digital market, I wanted the prices dropped for practical reasons, too.
.
Why the delay from my publisher on lowering the price, then? Well, because what a publisher does for one author may be brought up by another author, so from their perspective, my request was about more than me and my books. They also had a financial reason for holding off. Even at the same price as my mass market paperbacks, my ebooks sold very well, so there was a bit of a “If it’s not broken, why fix it?” mentality. Down-pricing my ebooks represents a gamble to my publisher. If they don’t sell enough copies to make up for the price reduction, then my publisher loses money compared to what they were making before. I take this risk as well since if my publisher makes less money, I make less money, too. However, I feel that this is not only the right thing to do, but also the best for long-term solvency. I don’t see the digital market going away any time soon. Instead, I see it increasing, perhaps not as rapidly, but even with steady growth it will tip the scales in favor of print purchases for many mass market authors.
.
I have to thank my publisher, Avon Books. They could’ve kept my ebooks the same price as my mass market paperbacks no matter how long, or how often, I requested otherwise. Bear that in mind before you think that an author with higher ebook prices = an author who hasn’t tried to get them lowered. Remember that it took me a year before my publisher dropped mine, and I know authors who’ve tried longer than that without any results from their respective publishers. So please, no one take this post as “If Jeaniene can get her ebook prices lowered, then Author X can, too!” It’s not that simple.
.
So, in summary, if you’re happy that my ebook prices are now lower, great! For many reasons, I’m happy, too :).
.
.
*Not everyone will agree and there are valid reasons behind those arguments, too. I’m giving my opinion, but that doesn’t make me “right” and dissenting opinions “wrong.”
.
** Apologies for the dots separating the paragraphs. WordPress is messing with formatting again.

Comments

  1. Debi Murray says

    Good for you! I have long thought the same thing.about ebook prices. And good for Avon, too. Glad they were willing to take a chance…maybe if this all works out, other authors will get the same consideration. Looking forward to the Avon party at RT! See you there for sure.

    • bonnie says

      Thats cool but i hope yhis never replaces holding a actual book in your hands .. i love that..as well ebooks from time to time.is ok but not the same.

  2. Barbara says

    Great news! I’ll be interested to learn your sales trendings over the next year or two. Due to vision problems I am now mainly purchasing audiobooks, but I do buy some ebooks. Also the libraries are starting to offer epub and kindle ebooks through their websites. Facts about costs are besides the point-publishers will never convince most folks that ebooks are not less expensive. In fact, I am sad to say, whwn I look for book reviews on Amazon I often see a one star or two star rating, with a review that says only “they shouldn’t charge this much for an ebook” with no mention of the actual book contents.

  3. Mandi says

    I personally love to hold the actual paper form of a book while reading. But I have a space problem. I’ve run out of room for all my books and so this brings me to have to make a decision. Either get rid of the books I own or buy the electronic version of them. I refuse to part with my books. They are almost like family. hehehe So, I just buy the e-book instead. I appreciate lower pricing. Thank you for making this happen.

  4. says

    I think that is great. I love my kindle, and I agree that ebooks is here to stay. I have heard a lot of complaints about the cost of ebooks. To me I don’t care if i want to read the author, but it will effect if you want to try out a new author. Discounted prices will help with newer authors who sell their ebooks for 99 or 299. Thanks Jeaniene for thinking about us fans.

  5. Katy Taber says

    I gotta say, I own your books in hard copy and audio (which I adore the narrator btw)and I will now buy the ebooks.

    I wanted to thank you also for all of the various publishing info you give. It’s really useful and frequently better than the info I’m tossed in classes for my writing degree.

    Thank You!
    Katy

  6. DJ H says

    I have to say that I own all of your books with the exception of two anthologies. One is because I will not buy hardcover books and the other is because I wasn’t really interested in werewolfs. Then I bought all of your books in ebook and there I did buy the two anthologies. I do believe due to no shipping or warehousing costs the ebooks should be a little less than paperback so I’m glad they’re bringing the prices down.

    And you can be sure that when Once Burned comes out I will be buying both paper and ebook versions of it.

  7. Angela says

    I’ll be honest I have most of your books in paperback and in digital that way when I travel (and i travel a lot) i have them all on my computer, kindle, iPad, and iPhone. I’m so glad they are now cheaper!! Thanks jeaniene!!

  8. Heather R says

    Thank you so much!  I just got a kindle for Christmas and was dreading having to buy all your books at the usual price. I got the first one when you had it on sale, I kept hoping some of the others might go on sale before I needed them.  I usually get my books at the library, but soon I will have to pay nearly $200 annually to go there. I don’t have the space for books so the kindle was my best option.
    I was planning on getting Once Burned from the Library – but because of the price drop I just preordered it for my kindle.
    I agree that ebooks are not competitively priced in comparison to hard copy. Especially paperbacks, you can get them during buy-one-get-one-free sales or use a coupon at many retailers. It is very rare to get an Ebook discounted.
    Can’t wait for Once Burned – thanks again!

  9. Sharon says

    Thanks for the info on ebooks. I agree with your thoughts that ebooks should be cheaper! Unfortunately, I am the fan that has to have my favorite books in paper form and ebook format and audio too! LOL I like having ebooks because of the portability when I am traveling, but still love the feel of that book in my hand. thanks for your talented writing and keeping the cost down for the ebooks!

  10. says

    I adore your books and happily paid the $7.99 price tag. However, I do believe that a $5.99 price tag will expand your already wide audience and benefit Avon in the long run. Ebooks are not going anywhere and need to be well priced to compete with the self-pub market and authors with author controlled backlist pricing. It’s a smart move that will hopefully achieve the trifecta – benefits for you, your readers and your publisher. Best of luck!

  11. Vampyre says

    Yay, for lower prices. I hope all companies will follow suit. Some them chare up to $145.00 for a bok and that’s just too much for a digital book.

    V^^^^V

    • Vampyre says

      I could go on an on about Game of Thrones. I think it is one of the best ever adaptations ever made. The acting and the cast is very good as is the production value.

      Tyrion Lannister and Arya Stark. Both are small and cunning. :)

  12. says

    I was really excited to hear about the lower rate. Your books have been reasonably priced compared to some, but this is even better. A few of the other urban fantasy author’s ebooks cost more than $10 which is where I cut off my willingness to buy no matter how good they are. I figure I can always buy them used later. It’s sad that authors have no control over what price the publishers set, but I understand you all do your best to try and change it. I’d probably buy your books for myself no matter what (I have them in paperback and ebook) but the lower price makes me more willing to gift them to friends who haven’t discovered you yet. That would be the bigger bonus for me.

  13. twiser says

    I totally agree with that! Thank you for fighting for it! But I already own all your books and ebooks :( lol but future buys will be nice and I’m hoping you set a presidence!
    Any up dates on the book your working on?

  14. Chris says

    Any chance of getting your international publishers to follow suit?
    Still getting prices of $7-$14 for Australians :-(

  15. Melanie says

    I would be happy about this if I hadn’t just bought ALL of your books for my Kindle LAST WEEK! However, I am glad you are taking the stand for lower e-book prices. I refuse to pay $9.99 for an e-book when most of the time I can get the paperback for less.

  16. Dominique says

    My mom went through alot with her ebooks she’s self published and the company she went through gave her a headache on pricing they made some books really under price and others over priced getting any ebook at 5.99 is a steal i think your 7.99 price was just fine but some others i seen online have been angry about ebook pricing the highest ive spent on a ebook was 10.99 for a new release and it wasnt a big deal to me maybe cause i spend 25 and up on audible books and you always seem to have decent pricing on them as well i also just grabbed bite for christmas onsale for 8.90 on audible alot of series dont even offer thier books to be onsale weather this is you or blackstone i just want to thank you for that and the story was amazing i listen to almost all of it in one night it wasnt what i was expecting for a short story i had also finished devil to pay a few weeks earlier so im all deviled out now but i realized i had a bit more insite on it by reading it and first drop of crimson i hope that was vague enough that i didnt spoil it for anyone thanks again Jeaniene

    P.S. Can we get a Ian book before Cat & Bones 9 i will help if need be lol

  17. Joni Davis says

    Thank you Jeaniene, I have a list of about 12 or 13 authors that I keep on notify. If they put out a new book, I know about it and buy it. I was really angry about the ebook pricing situation.

    I wasn’t sure who’s door to lay it on and not sure I really cared about where the raised pricing was coming from, just that I was really pissed off about it. Angry enough that I decided to stop reading any of the series that participated in it.

    I considered it a little bit of nasty trick in that I was lured into the series with a $7.99 price and now that I was hooked, they jacked the price to $12 or $14. It was painful to check-out and stop buying the next juicy book but so is passing up a cupcake (and I love cupcakes). I could do it if I was disciplined and I have.

    Just like 8track tapes, Beta Video and Cassette tapes, publishers will have to come kicking and screaming into the digital era. No one is going to walk backwards. I’m just not going to finance their temper tantrum…

    Thanks again for going to bat for your readers!

    Best,
    Joni

Trackbacks

  1. […] Jeaniene Frost announces that her ebooks will now be sold for $5.99.  She also talks a little bit about the process of getting ebook prices changed.  It’s not as easy as one may think. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>