Here we discuss the cost of eBooks and answer the question: Are eBooks cheaper than paper books? We do our own small cast study to determine which is cheaper for consumers. Read below.
Many people speculate as to whether eBooks are cheaper than buying regular physical books. Most of the time it depends on the circumstances and how long the books have been on the market for.
In most instances you will find that eBooks are the same price no matter which eBook store you purchase them from. However, you may also find that there is a difference between the cost of an eBook when compared with a regular book.
While you may think that this is the doings of the eBook seller, in most instances it is the publisher of the book that is controlling the price of the book and not the seller.
Publishers have been giving orders to eBook sellers that their books should be sold at a certain price. Those publishers that haven’t yet accepted the eBook market and accepted that the publishing world and their customers are not in the same place as they were ten years ago are still charging high prices with their books.
Ideally, as there is no printing and shipping involved, you would think that eBooks were cheaper than their physical counterparts. Sadly, this is not always the case – especially with new books. Publishers know that when a book first comes out there are a large amount of people that are going to want it within the first week of its release.
By charging high prices for eBooks, they are trying to capitalize on the eBook industry and get people to pay more for something that costs the publishers almost nothing to produce when compared to the physical books.
We have put together a small case study that shows the top 10 latest New York Times Best Sellers and we compare the cost of the eBook and physical book from Amazon.com.
While it is obviously, not just Amazon that sells eBooks, as the publishers put their own prices on the eBooks, we’re going to use it as an across-the-board average for our case study.
The following is comparing the eBook version and the physical version of the fiction section of the latest New York Times Best Seller List.
Some physical books are paper cover and come are hard cover. Therefore, we have listed the cheapest physical book price as sold by Amazon.com – whether that is paper or hard cover.
|New York Times Best Seller Fiction Book||Amazon.com eBook Price/$||Amazon.com Physical Price/$|
|THE HELP, by Kathryn Stockett. (Penguin Group.)||9.99||8.65|
|PORTRAIT OF A SPY, by Daniel Silva. (HarperCollins.)||12.99||14.05|
|A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, by George R. R. Martin. (Random House.)||14.99||18.81|
|NOW YOU SEE HER, by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge. (Little, Brown.)||12.99||15.30|
|SPLIT SECOND, by Catherine Coulter. (Penguin Group.)||12.99||14.91|
|HAPPY BIRTHDAY, by Danielle Steel. (Random House.)||12.99||14.73|
|A GAME OF THRONES, by George R. R. Martin. (Random House.)||6.63||10.20|
|THE BLACK ECHO, by Michael Connelly. (Little, Brown.)||7.99||7.99|
|THE CONFESSION, by John Grisham. (Knopf Doubleday.)||9.99||9.99|
|THEN CAME YOU, by Jennifer Weiner. (Simon & Schuster.)||12.99||14.84|
It appears that even with publishers choosing their own prices that their books are sold at in some instances, our little study – while by no means is scientific or thoroughly statistical – shows that eBooks are cheaper than physical books.
Buying the entire latest New York Times Best Seller List would cost you $114.54 in eBook format and $129.47 in physical books. That’s not including any shipping costs that you would have to pay if you ordered the physical copy of the book.
So, it looks as though one of the reasons why eBooks have overtaken physical books, is to do with the fact that once you’ve purchased an eReader like the Kindle, it is in fact cheaper to buy eBooks.
Have you had any experience with eBooks being cheaper or more expensive than their physical counter parts? Should eBooks be cheaper because of the lack of shipping cost, and paper – or should you pay more for the convenience of having the easier access to books? How do you feel about the cost of eBooks?
We’d love to hear from you.