And that $5 to $10 price range is exactly what I was feeling long before I bought a Nook. Indeed, seeing ebooks of books that were available as paperbacks being offered for $7.99 was "ridiculous" in my mind.
So, the ereaders are coming. The public demands it. If the publishers don't supply that demand with affordable ebooks...well, then the publishers will probably feel the brunt of rampant piracy. And no, I've never pirated a book. I don't even download music. But just because I won't doesn't mean there aren't thousands of people who will.
seeing ebooks of books that were available as paperbacks being offered for $7.99 was "ridiculous" in my mind.
Yeah, I think that the publishers really need to price 'new releases', 'recent backlist', and 'old backlist' e-books differently. And as I've noted before, I think that when we're complaining on these boards, we should be more clear about what we're upset about.
The '$9.99' price point that the Agency Model killed was for new releases. I just checked the NYT Hardcover Fiction bestseller list, and in the top 20—with only one exception—all of the Agency Model titles were $13.99 and all of the titles from the other publishers were $9.99. That's one issue.
But let's talk about backlist.
Mass-market paperbacks are usually listed at $7.99 for the conventional C size and $9.99 for the premium size, and the big retailers will discount them a bit. The e-book prices for backlist titles were more than the MMPB list even before agency pricing hit us. The publishers generally were continuing to wholesale backlist e-books at 50% of the hardcover price. With the Agency Model, they're generally setting the retail price at 50% of the hardcover price, but sometimes they go nuts.
For Google Editions, Google wanted to put a price cap on e-books of 80% of the lowest-price print edition. The last I heard, they had to backpedal on that.
For backlist books from the Linotype and phototypeset eras that don't have digital files readily available to be converted to e-books, there's some cost involved in producing the e-book, and those titles probably won't sell very big. But for 21st century titles recent enough to have MMPBs on the store shelves, the e-book prices look indefensible to me.