Yesterday, in part 1 of this post, I talked about how ebooks are unreasonably priced compared to their physical counterparts. Given that the publisher can produce an infinite amount of digital copies for almost nothing means that ebooks should actually be cheap given the low barriers to entry. (Yes, I know the economics of the publishing world are far more complex than I’ve laid out here) My point is that with the increase in sources for information including blogs, video, social media and news, why aren’t ebooks priced cheaper? I believe that the issue is one of value. When I go to the book store and see that I can purchase a physical book for slightly more than the digital copy, I am more likely to pay more for the hard copy because I’m getting something tangible. If ebook retailers are not going to go for a low cost strategy, then they should aim to increase value for the customer.
One way to increase value for customers is to make purchasing ebooks similar to the model that the magazine industry has. You purchase the physical copy of the magazine and you also have access to a digital copy which is available in tablet form.
Another way to increase value is to provide a discount on a complementary item. Amazon has a deal with its subsidiary Audible where if you purchase the kindle version of a book first, you can sometimes get the audiobook for as low as $3.95. This model works well for me because I can read a book faster by having different options available for consuming the material.
I’ve love to hear your comments on how you think ebooks should be priced and what you think retailers could do to increase the value proposition for customers.
You should follow the Pinstriped Suit on Facebook!