99 Cent Books
I am having trouble convincing myself why digital books will not cost 99 cents within 5 years. All books, on average. Just as the price of music does not in general change on the length or quality.
Here’s a reason why they’ll be as inexpensive as music. The other day Joe Konrath, a genre writer, and avid selfpublisher of ebooks, said:
Eighteen days ago, I dropped the price of my ebook, The List, from $2.99 to 99 cents on Amazon. I was selling 40 copies a day prior to that.
Currently, The List is #37 in the Top 100 Bestsellers on the Kindle. It’s selling 620 copies a day on Amazon.
Do the math:
2.99 x 40 = 119.60
.99 x 620 = 613.80
I don’t think publishers are ready for how low book prices will go. It seems insane, dangerous, life threatening, but inevitable.
I predict we’ll be there in 5 years, (before the marginal price drops to zero, but that is another story.)
UPDATE: My math is horrible; I originally had the decimal point wrong. Now fixed.
UPDATE 2: Several readers asked what the figures would be if we factored in Amazon’s cut. Readers MCM and EsmeraldaGreene offered calculations. It is a significant reduction of the difference.
Amazon pays out 35% for ebooks priced below $1.99, and 70% for ebooks that are $1.99 and up.
So the math is:
2.99 x 40 = 119.60; x .70 = $83.72
.99 x 620 = 613.80; x .35 = $214.83
Also, as others have noted, $1 is near to the royalty payment that an author will receive on, say, a paperback trade book. So in terms of sales, whether an author sells 1,000 copies themselves directly, or via a traditional publishing house, they will make the same amount of money.
I am not saying this is good news for authors. 99 cents is not. It is good news for READERS.

Eric Sadoyama

Kevin_Kelly


JohnFAllsopp

Eivind

MCM



John Schoettler

Macke

tad604

asrai


J.R. Sedivy

unwesen

J.R. Sedivy

Shane Hoversten

unwesen




BillSeitz

Shane Hoversten

Lpking

BillSeitz



Mike

EsmeraldaGreene

Ernst_gruengast

MCM

Duane Poncy

MCM




MCM


Timaree

Wayne Borean

Brian S Hall

Nick Carr

Kevin_Kelly

Nick Carr

John Schoettler


briancarnell

Lpking

Steve Vig

unwesen




unwesen

Hecktarzuli


Josh

Fheald

lulu_bella

riazm

unwesen

tad604


ET

Michael

Bill W. Williams

Kevin_Kelly


Bill W. Williams

Kirsten Mortensen

briancarnell


davidbrake

unwesen

MCM

ldb


Mike Cooper

Kirsten


Hacksoncode

Shaun White

Sonia Brock

Nick

briancarnell

Mya Lewis


asrai

Josh


Paul Diamond

Richard Nash

Kevin_Kelly


$8357570

liz

Patrick White

Kevin_Kelly

Patrick White



Barry Kort

bowerbird

unwesen

bowerbird

Kevin_Kelly

bowerbird

Kevin_Kelly

bowerbird





wodkehawkinson