Thursday, January 06, 2011

A Question

So I'm giving some serious thought to republishing, as ebooks, two out-of-print short-story collections,  The Invisible Country and Little Machines.  Also, to compiling and publishing in ebook form a substantial new collection featuring the 'Quiet War' stories and some other space-opera stories.  How much would people be prepared to pay for ebook versions of a previously-published but OOP short story collection?  And how much for a new collection?  ('Nothing' isn't an answer, by the way.  I have meet the costs of publishing (new covers, formatting and so on); also, I have to eat.)


Blogger Alex D. Baxter said...

Probably £5 each for the OOP collections, and maybe up to £7 for new Quiet War stories (Kindle format). However I already have a hardcopy of 'The Invisible Country' and probably wouldn't buy it again.

January 06, 2011 3:25 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As long as the price is less than that of a paperback. That's my general rule for eBook purchases - or about a fiver.
I'm tired of hearing publishers attempt to explain why an eBook should cost more or the same as a hardback. High eBook price will cost them my sale completely - there are already more books out there that I want to read than I will be able to in what remains of my lifetime.

January 06, 2011 3:27 pm  
Blogger Mad Hatter Review said...

Any thought to trying to see if Sub Press would do a big collection of your short work? They seem to have a good program to support it. I buy lots of their short story collections. For eBook versions $3-5 is probably a good place to be for the OOP and $5-8 for the new collection.

January 06, 2011 3:34 pm  
Blogger Paul Oldroyd said...

As Alex said - between £5 and £7.

January 06, 2011 4:05 pm  
Blogger Al said...

I would defo be interested in purchasing any new stories, particularly Quiet War stories in kindle format. In terms of price : discounted from the paperback equivalents just like most other kindle books. I would not be interested in purchasing older titles as I have those in paperback already if I feel the need to re-read.

P.S. I think you should offer kindle versions of all future books as thats become my new reading and reference format.


January 06, 2011 5:05 pm  
Blogger RFYork said...

Just to add to the chorus from a Yank; the numbers quoted, 5-7 pounds (sorry, no "pound" symbol available) translate to around $7.50 to $10 US. That's a pretty acceptable range here.

I would love to see the OOP at $5 and the new stuff at $7.50. But, that is a steep discount from the UK price.

Rick York

January 06, 2011 9:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think £3-£6 is the appropriate range for ebooks. At least, over £6 is when I no longer impulse purchase and start thinking "Do I really need this? I still haven't read the ones I bought last week." and similarly dangerous thoughts.

With regard to formats, DRM-free, I am begging you. After that mobi and epub format should cover everybody.

January 06, 2011 9:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem is, if you price it at £5, that's nearly 8 US dollars. I don't know how you price things equitably for your different international readers. Generally I wouldn't pay more than 6 dollars for an ebook of short stories.

Anonymous: try to think of the author. He makes more money on hardbacks. When the prices drop on ebooks, the author makes a lot less money.

January 07, 2011 12:02 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Except, on hardbacks, the cost of printing might eat up most of that extra profit - and the volume of sales of paperbacks, I would hazard a guess, probably far outweigh the profit from hardcovers, even though hardcover has a higher per-unit cost.

I haven't bought hardcover in years. Wastes of space. Fashion accessory and nothing more.

It would be nice to see eBooks go the route of mp3s, eventually. I mean, from a creator's profit-margin perspective, not a $1 a book perspective.

As much as I'd love to say "Save money! Typeset yourself!" I'd hazard the guess that you have contracts preventing you from doing that with your own works. :)

January 07, 2011 8:13 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For most people below a certain age the answer will be simple:

If it's not a file associated with the running of a machine, "free."

January 10, 2011 5:32 am  
Blogger chris said...

On a related note, why is your magnificent Confluence series still out of print? This just seems wrong.

January 10, 2011 7:28 pm  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Of course if you're working with a final version of the text, is there any reason the OP books can't be put formatted and sold via one of the more reputable self-publishing sites? Lulu, for example.

Ebooks are fine, but some authors need to be on paper.

January 11, 2011 9:56 pm  
Blogger Paul McAuley said...

Hi Jonathan, Good point. Matter of fact, I thought about using Lulu a couple of years back. One problem is rights to OOP books - I have eBook rights in all regions but not all print rights in all regions. Another is that in my opinion, eBooks has overtaken PoD as the way to go where fairly old OOP books are concerned. Maybe I could use PoD for any new collections in addition to eBook editions, but my time is limited...

January 14, 2011 8:32 pm  
Blogger GhostofChristmasPast said...

I have never bought an ebook before, as I do not own an e-reader. But if you were to publish those collections as ebooks, I would go ahead and buy a kindle or kobo just to have these stories.

February 05, 2011 3:11 pm  

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