Publishers say that pricing ebooks significantly lower than the paper versions will damage their business. I say that the benefits of selling ebooks (no shipping fees, no storage fees, no problems with bookstores returning unsold books, plus an unlimited supply!) dampens the blow of producing one, and that selling ebooks cheaper than the paper versions will both encourage more people to start reading ebooks and generate a lot of business (well, if advertised properly) and even publicity. I’ve talked about free ebooks before, and I do think that low-priced ebooks are the next step up for publishers who want to build an ebook empire.
Now it’s your turn: How much would you pay for an ebook? More importantly, why would you pay that much? What’s an ebook worth to you? Is convenience more important than price?
For myself, I’ve only gotten free ebooks so far and it’s kept me pretty happy. I wouldn’t mind paying a small nominal fee, however. Orbit is selling some ebooks for $1, for instance, and I’m thinking about getting a few. The low price plus guaranteed compatibility with my ebook reader (they’re selling through a lot of different store, including the Stanza/Fictionwise store) means I’ll be more lenient on the DRM issue than I would if I was spending $5-10 on an ebook. For that price I’d rather get the paper book, yknow?
What do you think?