Sunday, October 16, 2011

Another e-book Pricing Rant

I've mentioned before that my sweet spot for e-publications is around the $2.99 point. Amazon has various daily deals that meet my standard in addition to hundreds, if not thousands of free books. Hell, I'm reading the invisible man now that was free. Tor has some steambooks on sale for the $2.99 and took some of their biggest fantasy franchises to the $2.99 price point for the first book in the series. I've seen a few others, like a recent steampunk fantasy anthology for $2.99 as well as others, that makes me ponder that my 'mythical' price point isn't that far out of line.

What does that have to do with anything?

On RPG.net, someone start a WIR, short for where I read, and the book in question was Black Company, by Glen Cook. Go over to Amazon and hey, no Kindle copies at all, regardless of the cost. But the new stuff? Yeah, it's there. This is another case of author not taking control of his e-rights and insuring that his existing material is creating another revenue stream for him.

But then on an art blog, I see this fantastic drawing of Death Dealer, a Frank Fazetta character. It inspires me to look up one of my favorite authors of sword and sorcery fiction or semi-modern times, David Gemell. All of his books cost around $7.99 in kindle format.

Uh... listen estate of Dave, if you didn't make the money necessary to earn profit on those books while he was alive, then it might be a little late now and because the author is dead, it might be easier to spread information about him and his works at a much lower price point since as I started off, there are thousands of e-books out there for free.

I dread looking up what something like the Amber series would cost.

And one reason for that, is at the end of the series, sometime well after it, there was a nice trade paperback collection of the whole series. And Glen Cook's Black Company is also in collection edition. So how would the e books go in that instance? $7.99 per each of the original Black Company or Amber books or one reasonable price for a collection? While many of Bernard Cornwell's e books are around paperback price, the trilogy covering Bernard's version of King Arthur, the Warlord Chronicles, covers all three books and runs $5.14 for The Winter King, Enemy of God, and Excalibur under one file.

Once again, this tells me that my preferred price point isn't out of whack with reality and that if living authors like Bernard can do it with collections of their work, that someone needs to step up to the black and first make sure we have e books that take the existing work already out there and two, make it affordable to the masses.