Originally this post was meant simply as a rant on Facebook, but it grew into several paragraphs. I am not an overly wordy person so this is an exceptionally long analysis of my thoughts on raising the price of an ebook from a measly 99 cents to something respectable, perhaps $4.99 or even $9.99. I often see coworkers come into the office with a coffee cup from one of the many baristas. Asking them how much the cup was I am astounded that many will say $4 or more. Why is it that its so easy for a consumer to pay that much money for a single cup of coffee, but it is so hard for them to pay more than 99 cents for an ebook?
I got a check in the mail today for V&V modules I wrote in the 80s. I make more money through 30 year old game books than I do with my ebooks on Amazon. I truly can’t see a future for small authors on Amazon or other digital services if they can’t sell their books for more.
Amazon (and others) take 70% of the price of the book. So if I am forced to sell my book for 99 cents (which seems to be the current demand from consumers) I make 29 cents for each book.
A book is not just the creation of one person, but a collaboration of many. Although I am the author,I am often required to pay for a book cover and most importantly an editor. Again, most of these people want their money up front and usually costs hundreds of dollars.
So just putting a book up on Amazon costs the indie author perhaps $1000. I would have to sell 4000 books before I would see even a penny. Most indie authors sell half that much on a great book.