Sunday, December 30, 2007

E-book vs. paperback price

I was looking at books about open heart surgery recovery and given that I don't have much time before surgery I was going to have to get super fast (and more expensive) shipping. I found a website for one of the books "The Open Heart Companion" by Maggie Lichtenberg. Through the website you could purchase the paperback for $20, or the e-book which was also $20. I thought it was a bit rude to charge the same for an e-book, but given the tight time frame, got it anyway.

I also sent an email to the author saying I thought it was a bit rich to charge the same costs and she replied very fast (which I was rather impressed by), and said

"Truthfully, from the hundreds of grateful comments I continually receive from heart patients and their caregivers who read/use the book, I consider the information I provide equally valuable whether provided in a paperback book or in an e-book format, hence the $20 price."

If she believes the information is worth $20, surely the paperback would be more expensive given the printing costs. When you buy the e-book, you get directed to a link and given a password to access the PDF.

I would expect an e-book to be at least $5 cheaper, since it's more of a pain to read and you have to print the 204 pages yourself. Anyone else got thoughts about this?


Ewen said...

I wouldn't print a 204 page book! My printer would have a heart-attack.

It should be at least half price!

Mommaroo2 said...

Yep, I agree, it's pretty gutsy to charge so much for an ebook. I saw a similar book, which also charged the same price for print and ebook...and it was $25. If you ask me, I think it's greedy to take advantage of people just because they are heart patients and scared and eager for information that they have a hard time finding elsewhere. I think the authors deserve compensation, but come on...$20-25 for an ebook with very little overhead costs? That's just greedy, no matter how useful the book is. They could charge $10-15 and still make a tidy profit.

Sea said...

I agree- e-books should cost less considering you have to pay for paper. They end up costing more, which is crazy considering how inconvenient they are. I always get a bit twitchy when anyone says that people should be grateful for something that they provide (unless it's someone's mother, haha). Until e-books cost less, I'm not going to invest in the technology. Paper was invented for a reason and my eyes much prefer it. Besides, highlighting e-books just isn't the same.

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