Sunday, October 23, 2011

Kindle Prices Up!

Has anyone else noticed that the price of Kindle books is higher than before? I love to read on my Kindle. I can get books instantly wherever I am. It is easy to make notes and highlight phrases without destroying the book with marks. I can up the size of the font when I need to because of the lack of lighting or because of propping the reader up at a distance. And, best of all, I'm saving a few trees while saving money.

Lately, however, I'm not sure about that advantage of saving money.  I've started to see a change in the difference between printed editions and digital editions. When I bought Jan Karon's latest book, I ordered the hardcover because, at the time, it was cheaper than the Kindle edition even after taking into consideration the cost of shipping. Today (October 23, 2011) the cost for In the Company of Others is:

$14.40 Hardcover
$10.88 Paperback
$12.99 Kindle

Which one would you buy?

When Davis Bunn's latest book, The Book of Dreams, came out I had my review ready on the day the book was released because the publisher had sent me an advance uncorrected proof. Thinking I would have the first review posted on, I was surprised to see a one-star review already there. The one-star review was because the Kindle edition was $14.99 while the paperback was $10.19.

I went ahead and posted my review. See: While there I added a comment to the one-star review saying I didn't think it was fair for someone to use a review to complain about the price of the book, especially since the reviewer said he hadn't read the book. I went back a few days later and noticed the one-star review was no longer there.

I have two Christian Fiction books published through CreateSpace. One book is a little longer than the other. For the longer book, Where Love Once Lived, I charge $15.95 for the paperback and $5.99 for the Kindle edition. The Vengeance Squad paperback is $12.95 and the Kindle edition is $4.99. My royalties are about the same for paperback and Kindle.

Here are some more examples of recently released books:

John Grisham, The Litigators, $14.99 Kindle, $15.22 Hardcover (no paperback yet)
Nicholas Sparks, The Best of Me, $12.99 Kindle, $12.98 Hardcover (no paperback yet)
John Sandford, Shock Wave, $12.99 Kindle, $15.33 Hardcover (no paperback yet)
Sandra Brown, Lethal, $12.99 Kindle, $14.67 Hardcover, $10.19 Paperback
Stuart Woods, Son of Stone, $12.99 Kindle, $14.39 Hardcover, $10.87 Paperback
J.D. Robb, New York to Dallas, $12.99 Kindle, $16.25 Hardcover, $7.99 Paperback

This information was collected from a search of new releases on and are not books I have bought or even books I plan to read.

Like I said, I love my Kindle. However, I will continue to look for the best price even if that means buying a hardcover or paperback instead of a Kindle edition. I usually wait until I have enough books to get shipping free so that is not a concern.

Are you seeing a blurring of difference in the cost of paperback versus digital books? Are you, as an author, getting paid more for e-book sales? Will the increase in cost hurt the sale of e-books? How will you respond to the price increase of e-books?


  1. Sid, I just published my first e-book. It is called The Book of Ruth-A Story of Love and Redemption. I priced it at $4.99, because I wanted it to be affordable, where anyone that wanted it could buy it. I am considering doing it in paperback after the first of the year. However, after reading your post I may have to reconsider.
    Blessings, Deborah

  2. Thanks for your comments, Deborah. I'm not sure what the conclusion is. Are publishers upping the price to find out how much we're willing to pay? Are is it to clear out the print inventory? Is the price increase due to the increase use of eBooks in libraries? You may still want to provide a paperback at some time.

  3. All of my e-books are under $5.99 and will stay that way no matter what the paperback costs. Those prices range from $12.99 to $15.99. :)

  4. I am just self-publishing my first book, but have two books on Kindle, Rebekah Redeemed and The Fisherman's Wife, already. My publisher, Buoy Up Press, makes the books available in paperback and Kindle, as well as other e-book formats. The paperbacks are $11.99 and the Kindle is $2.99.

    I'm currently setting up my book, Tools and Tips (a book for writers) with Create Space - paperback for $9.99 and will price the Kindle at $2.99.

    As far as rising prices for new Kindle releases, I look for the best deal for a book and if that's a paperback, then that's what I buy.

  5. I DID notice the kindle price being quite close to the paperback price just recently. I can't say what the title/author was, I look at many each week. I WAS surprised at how close the kindle price was to the paperback but didn't give it much thought at the time.

    I'm not a writer, but as a reader I always look for the better deal. I have read several books from my kindle and love the highlight, dictionary, go back button, and instant download as well as other things kindles can do. These things I have missed when reading a paper print book but if the price is lower on the paper book, including postage, and I intend to buy I WILL pay the best price.

    I was sad to see the price up on the kindle. How much does it cost for the electric compared to paper to produce? (not asking for a quote). As Dianne (above) shared, there is a difference. This may make me rethink purchasing a kindle in the future as a gift for someone, which I was considering.

  6. Thanks to everyone for the great comments. I also received similar opinions from readers by email.

  7. There's only one book I was willing to pay more than $9.99 for, and that was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society ($11.99 at the time I bought it). At that point a real, hardcopy book wasn't an option for me as I had just had neck surgery and couldn't hold a book up properly as I lay in bed to read, so I was willing to go that much for such a wonderful book. However, now that I'm back to normal, I'm going to start paying closer attention to the prices -- if paper is cheaper, then paper it is.