12 February 2010

Polling on e-book pricing!

As you might have guessed, I'm a little tired of the journalists doing two things: dismissing the foundation of e-publishing built by indie press and the completely baseless fear-mongering about how e-book prices are going to skyrocket, because NY conglomerates have jumped into the game.

I've found that the NY types are often unwilling to accept that indie presses have already done their market testing and found their balance, so I'm going to act like I'm from a NY conglomerate publisher for a moment. I'm going to act like indie press is completely clueless about what the market will tolerate and ask readers to respond to a very simple polling about the issue.

People who read e-books only, please... There is no response of "I don't read e-books," because this is a polling about e-book pricing, which non-readers would have little interest in.

The question is simple. What would you pay for a novel-length (NOT category length...think a 300 or more page mass market book with at least a sale price of $6 on Amazon and a list price of at least $8) fiction e-book? One question.

I have the polling set up to run for more than a month, and the results will be posted in a message from EPIC. You can find the polling at my blog.

Feel free to pass this polling along to as many e-book readers as you choose to. Readers feel that the big boys in the game don't listen to them. That's largely true. So, let's get this polling into the thousands and show them what readers really think.

I think I know what the readers will reply, but it will be an interesting experiment to go directly to the readers.

At the very least, I can debunk what Madeline McIntosh (President of Sales, Operations, and Digital...does anyone else see a bias in that title?...for Random House) said at the American Bookseller Association meeting. She said that publishers "have no real experience at setting retail prices." I fully disagree. To be accurate, NY conglomerate publishers may well have no experience at it, but indie publishers (especially indie/e publishers) do. That's the way our system works.

13 comments:

Patricia Altner said...

I tried the link but it doesn't seem to be working.

BrennaLyons said...

Some people are having problems going in to the main page, but if you go direct through the post you commented on, it seems to work, for some reason.

http://brennalyonsden.blogspot.com/2010/02/polling-on-e-book-pricing.html

Brenna

Sandy said...

I just tried and it didn't work.

Sandy said...

I made it using the link posted in your comment. Thanks.

t'Sade said...

I'll admit, there is one aspect of that question that really determines the cost for me: DRM. I use FBReader on my little Nokia n810. It isn't fancy, or very cute, but it is mine and I like it. But, it also don't do DRM. So, if I can't get it on my toy, I really won't ever buy it (same rule I had with music.)

Lise said...

Brenna, I voted in the poll (which I think is a fascinating starting place to try and get a handle on this quagmire). I don't have an e-reader. That's an upcoming acquisition. For me the issue of Amazon's pricing was a personal problem of the "principle" of the thing. From the industry press that I read, I agreed that it was probably only a matter of time that Amazon would start changing the pricing structure (as they are currently losing money on numerous books they sell). I am sure we would most of us agree that, if publishers got a cruddier deal, the trickle down loser would be the author - not the publisher or Amazon. The current iPad agreement with so many publishers and the Nook's emergence will all add to the Monopoly-esque game that is currently underway. Thanks for this!

Kathy K said...

I voted and I want to thank you. Excellent idea and I applaud you for taking this step. I'm a reader and big fan of ebooks; personally, I prefer to buy direct from the individual epublishers. Not only to support what they do but so that more of my money goes directly to the authors. If I can't find a book through the publisher then I will head off to the conglomerate sellers... but only if all other ~ legal ~ avenues have failed.
It's about time that authors get more for their work.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I threw in my vote. I did find it easier to get to the poll through the link at the top of your blog. I buy books directly from the publisher whenever possible to assure the author of the best royalties.
Sarah McNeal

Dorla Moorehouse said...

I cast my vote. I've only had my Nook for a month and mostly buy short stories (can I just say I LOVE having the opportunity to buy individual stories) rather than full books, so I wonder how my responses might differ from those who buy novel-length e-books on a regular basis.

I agree with t'Sade about the DRM issue. I purposely refused to buy a Kindle because of DRM. I will only purchase PDFs and other nonproprietary/DRM-free formats.

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Anonymous said...

Good idea. I would have included DRM in the question, however, since I haven't met a single publishing company outside of the indie e-romance pubs that sells books the way I want them. In fact, if a book I want in e-format has DRM, I often buy a p-book version and download a *gasp!* pirated, DRM-free ebook version. I'm the only one reading my pbooks, so I've paid the author and am essentially only using one format at a time. Not kosher with the companies, but I really don't care as long as I pay money for the book.

BrennaLyons said...

Good idea. I had already planned DRM as a second one, so I went ahead and added it. Feel free to let people know it's running.

Brenna

t'Sade said...

Thank you. :) DRM is my hot button in general, mainly because I'm lousy at doing things like everyone else (Linux user, rip DVD's for my personal media server, read books on a dinky tablet). Of course, I'm willing to also pony up for that belief which is why the EPUB format version of my novel is going up without DRM. Though, it isn't like anyone is going to steal *that*. :D