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 has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.