There is a fair amount of conjecture about e-book pricing. Major publishers have their own ideas about how much an e-book should cost, although their sales have plummeted 26% in the past two years. Indie authors have a million blog posts telling them how much they should price their debut titles. The question people are not asking, is how much is the average customer willing to pay for a digital book?
Good e-Reader conducted research over the last two months that asked 553 people how much are they willing to pay for a new e-book. 29.11% of the vote said they would pay $5.99 for one, while 24.95% said they were willing to shell out $1.99. Meanwhile, the amount of users willing to pay $9.99 for an e-book represented 15.91% of the overall vote. 14.1% of the Good e-Reader audience said that they would only pay .99 for an e-book.
When Amazon released the first generation Kindle e-reader in 2007 they trained readers to pay $9.99 for an e-book. This was the de’facto standard for the next six years and then major publishers gained the ability to control the list price and suddenly the digital editions cost 30% more. I am shocked that more people did not vote for the $9.99 price point for an e-book, but instead the vast majority of users said under $5.99 was the most they were willing to pay.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.