I see no reason why I should subsidize the print production costs and certainly no reason why my copy should cost more than a hardbound book. My eyesight makes ebooks a necessity since publishers no longer wish to take on the expense of printing (many) large print books. I certainly don’t see large print editions of my favorite sci fi and fantasy authors. I did recently find a contact email for a real person at an imprint who kindly responded to my email about pricing and am in dialogue with him but I don’t see many such email links or even contact forms. I think if I were a big publisher I would have polls about things like ebook pricing, how many customers preferred ebooks for vision-related reasons and so on, to get an idea of how customers are thinking about such things. I read a lot and have bought many new hard cover books through the years but I have always supplemented that with affordable used books. That’s not really an option now.
I am increasingly reluctant to invest in reading new series of books if new Kindle editions are going to cost me more than a hard bound book. I find myself checking out more and more self-published books and there are some good writers there. If publishers were smart, they would realize that they could nurture more new authors by publishing some in ebook only, with all of the editing, cover art etc., they’d struggle to produce with self-publishing. If those ebooks start earning, then they can do print runs.
This post was inspired by discussion and debate at the following sites: