The High Cost of Reading

I like to read. I read voraciously and the total dollars spent on my habit is outrageous. Much of what I read is gay romance or erotica (straight and gay) and most of THOSE are only available in ebook format because the big book chain stores don't carry them.

Of course, I read mainstream books too; I am just as hooked on the Dark Hunters as anyone and The Argeneau series is a hoot. These very popular and lengthy books are priced at, or near, $7.99 in paprerback. That's $8 for 350+ pages of reading.

Why then are the ebook-only books priced at $5 for 1/3 or even 1/4 of reading pleasure. The writers are not as well-known, sometimes the writing is awkward (grammar, spelling mistakes and the like) and the overhead is nonexistent. There is no cost of paper and ink and no warehouse of paperbacks waiting to be shipped to stores expecting a cut.

Before I really started paying attention to the word count of what I was buying, I was spending a great deal of money to feed my need to read because the reads were so damn short. 12,000 words (approx 38 pages) for $2.99. That works out to $30 for the same reading provided by a mass-market paperback.

Now, my own book at Excessica sells for $5.99. I cringe a bit as I say that because it's only 37,000 words or 120 pages. The ratio is better, but still pricey compared to mainstream books.

The kicker is that the mainstream books charge the same price for their costly paperbacks as their no-cost-to-produce ebooks.

If you look for them, there are some wonderful ebooks out there that cost maybe $1 per 10,000 words. There are also sites that offer incentives for being a regular customer like buy 10, get 1 free.

Yes, I understand that piracy is a problem and ebooks are too easy to copy for your friends and writers need to make a profit. Still, I was highly entertained when a paperback copy of my book was passed around town like a cheap date for weeks. One copy=twelve readers and counting. So, jacking the price of an ebook based on that argument doesn't impress me much.

Be aware of what you are buying when you buy an ebook. Sure, there are authors I willingly pay the high price to read because they are just that enjoyable to read, but more and more I find myself going for the ones that give me more bang for my buck.


Debra Varva
Exactly. At the height of my buying addiction, I was spending $200 a month. My friends almost held an intervention for me. LOL
  • July 12, 2013
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I rarely pay for an ebook either. I have downloaded more than 1500 books to my Kindle, then archived about 400 of them or left them in the cloud for a rainy day. HA! That isn't likely to happen any time soon. I have so much to read and yet, I stay glued to the Big Brother live streams on CBS. I...
  • July 17, 2013
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what's this book thing you speak of?
  • July 17, 2013
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