There are lots of blogs about book publishing in the doldrums, the death of books and the rise and rise of ebooks. There is no doubt that the industry has been slow to meet these challenges. What is surprising is that while big publishers are able to get their books on Amazon and sell at heavily discounted prices the smaller ones are struggling to do the same. The tight budgets that we are all facing makes it harder to sell books.

What is the realistic price of a paperback novel by a debut novelist? I would say not more than a tenner. The ebook should be even more competitive. I’ve seen fantastic writers like prize winner Catherine Czerkawska even offering her ebooks free for a limited period online. This is the way to take on the big publishers and make sure newer writers make some headway in this fiercely competitive world. More novels and writers will be able to get their work to more readers in this way. Both books and ebooks should be well produced and priced to suit the pockets of readers in these difficult times.

What do you think?

5 thoughts on “Price

  1. JO

    I think there needs to be some sort of compromise. Yes, a first novel under £10 is reasonable – it's arrogant to sell it for more. But the low price of many ebooks – with the excuse that they cost 'almost nothing' to produce – devalues the writer's time and effort. He or she may have slaved for years, sweated over every word. But to give it away, as if all that effort isn't real work but some sort of charity, leaves the writer with only the reviews for comfort. And reviews don't pay the bills.


  2. Leela Soma

    Thank you for the comment Jo. I agree with both your points re 'arrogance' of a costly first novel and ebook pricing. But a free ebook for a short period of time like a day or weekend is a great way to get new readers and hope they will buy your next books. On the positive side I have family scattered all over the world, and an ebook is easily accessible especially if it is reasonably priced. Also for physical books, as some people do, charging £4 for postage to Europe or £7 to USA is ridiculous amount for a new author's book to be accessed by readers.This debate will go on and on, I'm sure.


  3. Gerda Casier

    Maybe it would be a good idea to offer the first 2-3 chapters for free as a teaser. For I tend to agree with Jo here. The writer should get some form of 'reward' for his/her work. When everything is free of charge, appreciation seems to fall …


  4. Leela Soma

    First few chapters as a teaser sounds a good idea Gerda.Some publishers of physical books do bring out hard copies of the first few chapters and hand it around. I think because the net is such a 'huge' place, to reach people a 'free' offer for a day or two may be one way of reaching new readers.



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