A book is worth …

First, thank you for voicing your opinions by votes and comments.  But, once again, I failed to word my poll questions the best I could, so the voting results answer two questions and pose a couple of others.  Several of you said the price you’d pay for the debut novel depended on what you already knew about the book or the author. Fair enough.

The results for the print version poll surprised me most.  Ten of you said you’d pay up to $11.99 for a debut in trade paperback. I assume that would be for a novel you’d heard highly praised.  The next highest voted price was $5.99, with 5 votes. With four votes each, there was a four-way tie for $7.99, 9.99, or 10.99.

The votes for the ebook version were more scattered. In fact, they topped out at a three-way tie. With seven votes each, you said the most you would pay is $2.99, $4.99, or  $5.99. The next highest vote was four for $3.99. And yes, one person only voted for the ebook version, which, I presume, was their way of saying they wouldn’t buy the print at any price.

I suppose a good idea would have been to have a separate poll with the question:  Are you a writer? As a reader, I tend to look for a bargain. As a writer, I’m more sensitive to what I’m actually paying for—someone’s craft, someone’s hard work. Of course, the quality of the end product varies depending on the skill and effort put into it.  But do the prices set by indie authors reflect that? Probably not. Some authors with excellent work will undervalue it. Some with subpar work will overvalue it. I’m looking for my sweet spot.


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19 thoughts on “A book is worth …

  1. One thing I thought about, Linda, as I was reading this post is that in Canada we pay much more for books than in the US. When I look at the cost of a book that shows both American and Canadian I had hardly believe the difference. When I looked at your question everything appeared very low to the standards here. I didn’t think of that, did you? Will your book be available in Canada?

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    1. Is it equivalent, do you think, Laura? For instance, I believe I paid $10.99 for your book and that’s the equivalent (or a dollar more) of a full-price movie ticket here.

      Good question about the international availability of my novel. I assume it will be, but that’s something I’ll have to check.

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      1. I think now that the dollar value of our money is the same as the US and this has changed the book pricing. The last book I purchased that was published in the US was priced at $17.95 us $18.95 Canadian but a book I bought back several years ago sold for $13.95 US and was 19.95 Canadian. For years we were used to seeing this pricing difference and I assumed we paid more because of the difference in our dollar.

        You’re right, my book is selling for the same price on Amazon.com as it is on Amazon.ca, as a YA book. I know one debut author’s whose book is selling here for $19.99
        and since it is adult fiction that doesn’t seem over-priced to me. Seriously, I would expect to pay as much for yours. Why wouldn’t I? I’m excited to read it.

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