How much should ebooks on Kindle cost?

I know, I haven’t been writing much here lately. Interrupted by life – teaching our youngest daughter Leah how to drive, setting up Talkshoe radio shows to interview my guests, attending telecalls and webinars, doing some work here at home for a friend, and today watching Ray open his birthday present which finally arrived from Amazon – a Kindle, so he can read his science fiction ebooks on it at work during down time.

It is so much smaller than I expected, thin, light-weight, but Ray was surprised and happy with it.  (Speaking of ebooks, did you know that my ebook on prayer Walking With God is available for sale in the Kindle edition for just 99 cents? Just click here.)

Just like ebook publishing changed the face of publishing and writing, the Kindle and other ebook readers are changing it once again. One of the biggest questions is the “value” of the ebook.

There is controversy among authors regarding how to price their ebooks on Kindle. Some argue that they are charging for intellectual property, not the cost of paper. The prices of many new releases and best sellers are rising from $9.99 to $14.99 in the next few months, although many readers of ebooks oppose prices higher than $9.99. There are also a LOT of ebooks listed in the 99 cents to $4.99 range.

Douglas Preston, whose novel “Impact” reached No. 4 on The New York Times’s hardcover fiction best-seller list earlier this month, was amazed by the public’s opposition to higher prices and said, “It’s the Wal-Mart mentality, which in my view is very unhealthy for our country. It’s this notion of not wanting to pay the real price of something.”

When his publisher delayed the ebook version of his novel by four months to protect his hardback cover sales, he said it gave him pause when 50 people emailed him, saying, “I’m never buying one of your books ever again.  I’m moving on, you greedy, greedy author.”

I laughed at this. Why are authors labeled as greedy when they simply want to make an honest  living from their mental labor? I agree that while we all want a bargain, what we authors/writers are charging for is intellectual property – our time, our effort, our research, our prayers (!), etc. When I put my ebook on the Kindle, I was stupid hadn’t researched it much and thought that since 99 cents was a common price, that is what I was SUPPOSED to do. I am about to raise my price on it, though – so get the 99 cents price now while it’s still available!

What are your thoughts on ebook prices? Do you think they should cost less than the cost of a regular printed book? Why or why not? What price would you recommend for a Kindle or another Ereader ebook? Leave your comments below.

To learn more about the Kindle, click here: Kindle 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 3G Works Globally, Graphite, 6″ Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology – includes Special Offers & Sponsored Screensavers.

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