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The Cost of E-books

What’s the cost of e-books? It’s an interesting question that I have always wondered. I found this account of the cost of books, and it makes sense to me. I think this is about what I expect.

It is somewhat confirmed by this section on CoolerBooks: What aren’t ebooks cheaper? However Coolerbooks, which is selling another eReader (in color) called the Cool-er Reader, isn’t giving a huge discount. Wicked Prey, the new John Sandford novel, sells for $22.36 from Cooler books (in ebook form). If you had their e-reader, you’d get 25% off, or it would cost $16.77. That’s the cost from Amazon for the hardcover.

The Kindle edition is $9.99.

I know Amazon takes a loss on some books, but if they can offer the hardcover for $16, can’t Coolerbooks to better? After all, it’s without the paper cost, which isn’t much, call it $3, but that adds up. It seems to me that perhaps Coolerbooks, who says they’ll never sell at a loss, isn’t necessarily disclosing what level of profit they want.

By my reckoning, the publisher's cost of the book is about $10. So Amazon is at cost, but I'd think that other retailers could sell books in the $12-15 range and make a profit. If not, then perhaps they're not doing  a good job.

I was annoyed recently with Amazon offering a book I wanted to buy, brand new from an author, for $14. I wrote them and they responded saying the publisher sets the price. I wrote the author, and got a response back saying Amazon was playing games. Of course the publisher sets the price. At $29.99!!

This was a best selling author, fairly successful, and I heard that he has no input into the price of the book. Based on some reading I've been doing of author blogs, this seems right, but it also seems that no one wants to really talk about it. I think they are concerned about their relationships with publishers, and perhaps they are happy with the arrangement.

I don't know if I'll ever get anything published, but I am tempted to just find a good editor and go it alone. I might not make any money, but I would like to have the control to charge what I think are fair prices.

The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


Posted by Phil Factor on 18 June 2009

Well, of course, the new edition of 'Confessions of an IT Manager' is free to SSC subscribers. I should, at the same time mention the other excellent books that are free on this wonderful site, such as The Art of XSD by Jacob Sebastian; Mastering SQL Server Profiler by Brad McGehee; SQL Server Execution Plans by Grant Fritchey; SQL Server Crib Sheet Compendium by Amirthalingam Prasanna, Grant Fritchey, Me, Robert Sheldon, Robyn Page; Brad's Sure Guide to SQL Server 2008 by Brad McGehee, How to become an Exceptional DBA by Brad McGehee, and all the Best of SQLServerCentral and the Stumpers.

However, I won't because I wouldn't want to distract you from the job of downloading the new FREE Ebook edition of 'Confessions of an IT Manager'.

Posted by Anonymous on 1 July 2009

Pingback from  For Profit Ebooks. | 7Wins.eu

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