Ten Things You May Not Know About Ebook Prices – TechCrunch

How much should I pay for an e-book? $9.99? $0.99? $0? And how much should you price your ebooks? I’m going to tell you what people really paid for their e-books, according to some concrete data from luzme. you can set the price of your book to be whatever you want; what really matters is what someone will pay for it!

Last year, luzme captured a large amount of data on e-book prices and reader price preferences. I am analyzing this data and will share any interesting results.

You are reading: Cost of e books

I don’t claim this is representative of the entire eBook industry, but I hope some real data can add something useful to the discussion.

so here is my analysis of the real prices people paid on amazon in 2013, when they bought through luzme.

united states

for us data. In the US, I’ve normalized them against the “standard price” of $10.

This is how the various prices worked out in terms of units sold.

Ten Things You May Not Know About Ebook Prices - TechCrunch The most popular price points are at the low-end, with a local peak around the $10 mark, and then tailing off as the price increases.

This doesn’t surprise me. but what I didn’t expect is how much people will pay for an ebook (well above the $10 price! how much do you think the most expensive one cost? I’ll tell you later…)

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now look at revenue over the same price points.

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Ten Things You May Not Know About Ebook Prices - TechCrunch

See how the $9-10 range shows a spike in income? I suggest this validates the industry view that there is a good market for books priced around $10.

united kingdom

The UK market is a completely different story. here, I’ve normalized the data around the £6-7 range, which is roughly $10.

Ten Things You May Not Know About Ebook Prices - TechCrunch

By far the most units sold are £1 or less (mainly 99p). and then decreases as the price rises. almost no sales over £5 (approximately $7.50)

Ten Things You May Not Know About Ebook Prices - TechCrunch And the revenue tells the same story; £5 or less is where the sales are.

then why the big difference?

I can understand why there are markets for both low-priced e-books and $10 books.

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When talking to my users, they fall into two categories. First there are the avid readers who buy many books each week; their watch list is so long that they are happy to buy whatever is cheap today. then there is the reader who has a particular book in mind; They don’t buy very often, but when they do, they’re not price sensitive, they just want the book right away.

but why the difference between the united states and the united kingdom?

in the uk, there is often a fierce price war between amazon and some new entrant; it is currently sainsburys, before it was sony and nook. but usually there is someone trying to buy market share by discounting the price. previously we had the 20p offer from sony, now 99p seems more common.

in the usa In the US, the current fight seems to be between existing ebook stores and new companies that want to sell you a subscription model (aka “netflix/spotify for ebooks”)

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in summary

10 facts you may not know about 2013 e-book sales prices, as seen on luzme:

in the united states:

  1. in usa In the US, e-books are sold at all prices from $1 to $10.
  2. the most popular price range was $1 to $2.
  3. got the most income between $9 and $10.
  4. specialized e-books sell for high prices, over $100.

in the UK:

  1. It’s completely different!
  2. Ebooks don’t sell much above £5.
  3. The most popular price was <= £1.
  4. Most of the revenue was in the <= £1 price range.
  5. There is less evidence that specialist e-books sell for premium prices.

and…

  1. someone thought an e-book was worth $134.84! “digital signal processing in protection and control of power systems”, to be precise…

rachel willmer is the founder of luzme, a book comparison site. this is part of a series on crowdfunding and publishing, the mytro project. For future posts, I’m looking for more input from online analysts and other crowdfunding platforms, so email me at john@beta.techcrunch.com.

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