As more and more holiday shoppers scramble to finish up their holiday shopping, publishers and book retailers have taken notice and are offering considerable discounts on their titles. While it might be hard to envision having your mom “unwrap” an ebook for Christmas, more and more consumers are turning to the portability associated with long distance gift giving and turning to virtual shopping; and according to a number of social media posts about ebook purchasing, holiday gift givers are quite likely to purchase an ebook for themselves to read while traveling or while visiting relatives.
A post by Jeremy Greenfield for Digital Book World actually highlighted some of the top-name bestselling books that are currently offered for around the cost of a typical high-end coffee concoction. Greenfield goes on to indicate that traditionally published ebooks are experiencing and all-time low for average cost:
“As a result, the average price of a best-selling ebook this week is $5.27, a new all-time low. The previous low was in early September: $5.41.”
One point he makes in his post is that we are becoming dangerously close to severely undervaluing ebooks in the minds of consumers. While this may certainly be just another holiday discount, if consumers don’t associate ebooks with gift giving, they may not make the connection that these prices are holiday incentives. Instead, consumers can come to expect that an ebook will cost only a couple of dollars, regardless of the quality or the name behind the writing.
Thea Atkinson, author of numerous titles including One Insular Tahiti and the Witches of Etlantium series, said, “A few times, I’ve shifted Water Witch down to .99 to see if I could get more eyes at Barnes and Noble, Apple, and Amazon. At Barnes and Noble it seems to matter a small bit, but Amazon almost seems to decrease compared to when it’s at 2.99…sometimes I think the higher price gets it more visibility, not that folks are willing to pay more or look for a higher price, but equating price with quality.”