IWSG MAY Price Hiking Publishers Trying to Crush the Indie?



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Happy IWSG May!

I am ticked.

I have gone for the last few months to pre-order my fave author’s e-books, some of the big names, and the e-book price has been set higher than the paperback by the publisher.  Paperback 9.99-10.99  e-book 11.99 to 14.99.

Price hiking.  Really? A digital book, not a hardback book with pages that you hold in your hand that costs more to produce.  omg

I canceled all pre-orders.  For that reasons, I will no longer pre-order my beloved authors if the e-book is higher than the paperback or above 9.99.


I will not say I will not buy, but I will not pre-order.  I am too addicted, and because the higher e-book price is the publishers fault, not the authors.

digitalhigherpaperback2Notice paperback less than digital.  Hardback only 4 dollar difference higher than digital.  

I love these guys Nalini Singh, Nora Roberts aka J. D. Robb, Ilona Andrews, Jim Butcher, Christine Feehan, J. R. Ward, Faith Hunter, Patricia Briggs.   I have many more authors I could add to list because this appears to be a new trend for traditional.



On the other side.

Maggie Shayne is another long time favorite, well known named author, that has gone Indie.  She writes romance and paranormal romance.  Her “Wings of the Night” series, hooked me with the first one in 1993-1998 when she wrote for Harlequin. I have followed her ever since.


She still writing, in fact, she closed that 20 book series and started another chapter in that series called, “Wings of the Night: Reborn.”  Three books in now. I love the new restart.


Maggie says she is happier now and more so than when she published traditionally.  She said she was afraid to make the leap to Indie.  She was already established but is glad that she did, and she has never looked back.  She’s turned it into a family affair with her three daughters.


Yes, I pre-order her.  She does not set her prices like a traditional publisher.  She is in the game with the rest of the Indies.  I also read both her blogs., Coffeehouse & Bliss blog, which I enjoy.


***NOTE: I am jumping for joy.  Maggie commented on my post.  See what she says below.  It is the first comment.

Okay, that is my rant.


I have been tweaking my website.  I made my NaNoWriMo Camp April word count goal.  I am 50% through my first draft.  I have a bonus I am working on for my newsletter.  I am working on a few short stories and flash fiction in all four of my series projects.


My muse and I have expanded our relationship with my series Apocalypse, Signed, Sealed & Delivered.  I am changing my mindset, my habits and plans for moving forward.


My fear?  My fear is that I will let myself down.




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  • Interesting discussion, don’t think I would want to pay more for an ebook than a print copy. Haven’t noticed such a price increase here but I will look out for it now!

  • E-books still scare the crap out of publishers and I think this is their way of trying to scare their readers away from them for as long as possible. IF it drives trad-published authors out into the wild, the publishers will have no one to blame but themselves.

    • I think you are absolutely right, The funny thing is the promo I just received in email from Amazon on one of the same authors I just ranted about and this time the e-book was less than the paperback, but both were over $11. Still weird…

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

  • I’ve noticed this trend as well and I will buy the paperback if it is cheaper. Paper books are kinder on my eyes anyway. I wonder if I can turn down the brightness of my Kindle . . . gotta check that out. It’s so cool Maggie Shayne took the time to comment and what a comment! It makes me feel better about sticking my toes in the self-publishing waters.

    • Really? I find paperbacks harder on my eyes. I can see my kindle with a backlight so much easier than hardcopy because I can adjust the size of the print for reading ease. I love books but can’t adjust nothing, so buy less, unless getting it for my bookshelves. I love the look, feel, and smell of real books.

      Isn’t she great to do that? Made me feel better. It so awesome, for me, that someone I have read for so many years and enjoyed takes the time to comment to me. I was surprised, but I really should not be she is a really nice lady, always has been to her fans. She has been an inspiration to my writing life. I appreciate that a lot. She is one of the reason that made me want to write because…

      I’ve said this for years and its in my bio:

      “I am a voracious reader. The reason I love to write is to try to recreate for myself the JOY that reading fictions gives me. Reading period. One compulsion leads to the other.” ~Me ROFL @ self.

  • Louise (Fundy Blue)

    Congrats on all you are accomplishing, Juneta! I think it’s crazy what publishers are charging for ebooks. I don’t even like ebooks! So I definitely wouldn’t pay those prices! Give me a real book I can hold! I found Maggie’s comment spot on! Loved the hare in your coffee. It’s getting late, and I needed a good laugh to keep me going!

    • LOL, Thank you. I love both, but my eyes love e-book most because I read so MUCH it is easier with eyes getting bad. I also can keep up with a voracious appetite for reading e-books easier and at one time cheaper. I do love real books tho and have 5 bookshelves full. When I find one I love that I know I’ll reread or a resource book I buy hardcopy too. I also buy audibles a lot too because I like listening when moving around house or driving or at night when my eyes are tired and do not want to read any more.

  • I won’t pay more for an ebook than I would for paperback, that’s for sure. I’m not sure why this trend is occurring, when I’ve been reading lately that people were moving back to paper from e-. Shouldn’t they be bringing more people instead of pushing them away?

    • I know I just posted to Lynda below about the fact I received promo email from Amazon about authors I found the higher e-books and that the promo was different. Maybe it was a fluke or they are trying it on a few not all to see how it flys?

  • The crazy price of ebooks is ridiculous and I won’t buy them when they are those stupid prices. Even though I prefer to read ebooks.

    • Agreed.
      You know the funny thing is after posting this I received emails from Amazon telling me about new books from some the authors I just check with higher e-book prices over paperback. The new book they were promoting was over $10 BUT was not higher than the paperback. What gives with that? I thought that strange.

      It was the higher e-book finds that had me going and ticked. Don’t like the higher prices but it was the other I though stepped on principals.

  • Very cool that Maggie read your post. I would never pay more an ebook than for a physical book. The publishers do take a big hunk of that money.

    Susan Says

    • Maggie is awesome. It made my day.

      Yeah, the whole idea of pay more for a digital book just gets me because very little of that money actually goes to the author creator. Thanks for visiting with me.

  • I think what you’re saying makes sense, but I’m really taken by the hare in your coffee. You should complain!

  • I won’t spend $9.99 for an ebook. I will then go look for used paper. But I’m cheap. 🙂 I think it’s a dumb move by publishers.

  • This reminds me of when it became cheaper to buy CDs than to download music. So crazy. Publishers have always lived in the here and now. Future returns mean nothing in the light of immediate profit. Traditional publishers never ceases to amaze.

  • I hear you about e-book prices, it’s ridiculous! That’s why I love indie authors, because they don’t do stuff like that! 😉

    • Well, it is not the authors doing it. They don’t really get the choice. It is the publishers setting those prices. But you would think even the publishers would have enough sense to see how ridiculous it is to make it higher than print. Two year olds stomping their feet because they are not getting their way, sheesh.

  • My best guess is that because they are not making as much on print books as they once were, they make up the difference with higher priced ebooks. They don’t realize that they are shooting themselves in the foot doing that since most smaller publishers and self-publishers price their books much more reasonable.

    • It’s not smart. I suspect it is the bull in china closet syndrome only they don’t they are the bull or they and think sheer force will win the day.

  • Have to keep on plugging away indeed. Agreed, stupid the prices ebooks are going up to.

  • I agree that ebook prices have gotten so high lately. That’s part of the reason I’ve found myself going back to print, especially because I can then resell the book when I’m done if I didn’t love it. ? When I am not sure about the book, like if it’s gotten mixed reviews, I borrow it from the library too, usually putting in a request so it’s waiting for me.

    I want to support the authors, but I read too much to spend $10 a book on every book I read. ?

  • I won’t pay that price either. I wonder if it’s to push people away from ebooks and back to paper. Personally, I wait to see if it comes out on audiobook.

  • Digital price that is higher than the print price? That is odd, and not right. Since when have ebooks become more valuable than print? I don’t get it. I would’ve canceled my orders too.

    • That is the thing. It makes no sense,unless it is a statement and an attempt to force things in another direction that is to the benefit of the authors in the long run. What Maggie said in her comment below, so true.

  • I find it interesting they’d hike the price when all I hear is how much sales are off. Shaking my head out here and wondering what they’re thinking.

  • Congratulations on reaching you goals and getting all that writing done, Juneta. You go girl! You are doing a great job. Just don’t give up. Also, congrats on Maggie Shane commenting on your blog. That is awesome. That was really nice and very cool of her:)

    I’ve seen some of my favorite authors e-books cost more than their paperbacks. So, I rather buy the paperbacks. I think the traditional publishers want the readers to rather buy the paperback than the e-book. But that is just my opinion.

    • Thank you. That was so awesome. I’m still dancing on rooftops. She is a really awesome lady. Also, one of my go-to authors when I need a reading fix. I have read the Wings of the Night series twice now. They are fun reads. I have fun when I read them and she brings me into her stories. Love that.

      My eyes give me trouble so I find I prefer e-book when reading a lot. I still love paperbacks and have to buy faves to go on my shelves. I still have 5 full bookcases of books, plus a cloud overflowing with e-books. I could not contain all those in one house.

  • How awesome! – I must check out Maggie Shayne.
    It’s a crying shame that some publishers are pricing out e-books like that. My optimistic side says that things must settle down at some point, but I’m still waiting.
    And WELL DONE!!! Keep it up 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • She’s great. Writes in several genre’s and I love them all. Read all her stuff.

      Yeah, it is Everything is still in transitions, so the settling down day has just not arrived yet,. Looking forward to it too,

  • Yeah, I’ve noticed price hikes too. I pretty much wait until a library copy comes available and read it then. Not that I don’t want to support my favorite authors, but still $12 for a e-copy is pretty steep for me. Unless it’s an audiobook, then I’m willing to shell out more, just because I know how long it takes for someone to read something aloud.

    • Who can afford that when there are so many good ones and you want to read all of them. I use to stay caught up with my fave authors but because of prices and wait till a better day to buy for me. I have been know to buy both e-books and audibles a lot of times and sometimes paperback too, I was really worked up that too, I really wanted that book,

  • I noticed when I bought ebooks for people over the holidays the prices seemed higher than usual.

    You’ll only truly let yourself down if you give up going after what you really want. You might not get it, but you’ll know you did what you could. Keep at it!

  • WOW—that’s insane!!! And yes we know it’s the publisher setting the price, but it really sucks for the author. Then again, I imagine they get paid regardless. Things are changing so drastically in the industry I can’t even say that’s true for all of them lol But if it’s one of the authors you mentioned, I’d say they’re doing just fine lol

    And how interesting that Maggie has now gone Indie! It’s not for everyone but it sure has its perks. The important thing is she’s still writing and sharing her awesomeness with her fans 😉

    I’m so happy you’re writing and that it’s going well! Knowing you, you will certainly NOT let yourself down. You totally got this!!!! <3

  • Sometimes you just have to take a stand. I don’t blame you, Juneta. Maybe if others take the same initiative, publishers will cease this absurd practice.

    • I will pre-order IF the kindle is less than the paperback. I don’t know that I will pay over 10.99 because I just can’t afford it, but we will see.

  • I can’t imagine the e-book being priced higher than the print version. That doesn’t make any sense. Kudos to you for all your writing progress! It sounds like you’re on a roll. I don’t believe you’ll let yourself down. Full steam ahead!

    • I came across three that I really wanted that were that way. Kindle 11.99 Paperback 10.99 and the two others Kindle at 14.99 Paperback 11.99. Not all are higher, but most Kindle are 11.99 and up for these authors.

      I am finding it more and more. As I said I will pre-order only if the Kindle is less than paperback the other is ridiculous because paperback cost more money to make.

  • You’ll only let yourself down if you don’t move forward.
    And I agree! I won’t spend over ten bucks on an eBook. And why is it’s price higher than the paperback sometimes? That makes no sense.

  • I’ve gotten to know you and I doubt you’d let anyone down. Keep plugging away. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  • Aw, thanks for the mention Juneta. It’s true, the world is changing. Publishing houses have to support their entire company, its towering Manhattan headquarters, its highly paid executives, it’s entire staff, all its foreign offices and their buildings and their staff, and oh yes, send a few pennies to the authors too. Independents only have to support ourselves. In my case, we have 2 salaried employees (including me,) 3 sub-contractors, and a home office with low overhead. We can price my books far lower and still make more profits than I ever made on my books when I wrote for publishers. It’s the advances in technology that have made all this possible. It’s a changing world, that’s for sure. We are seeing the balance of power, in business, in politics, in film, in music, in books, shifting away from the corporate way of doing things, into the hands of the people. The creators of the product and the consumers can deal with each other one on one. We no longer need middle men. And I think the world will be a better place because of it. That said, I always keep in mind that when I pre-order a traditionally published ebook for $9.99, the author is only going to see $1.25 of that–AFTER she’s earned back whatever the publisher paid her up front. (Oh, sweet author, do you realize your share of that would be $6.99 instead if you were indie? I’m quite honestly shocked anyone is still working for the publishers anymore.) Pre-ordering often helps the author far more than the publisher by giving her a leg up on the bestseller lists so I’ll keep doing it. Thanks again for your post, and for your readership.

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and giving us your thoughts. I hate I have to make a choice like that because I want to see these authors I love to continue succeeding, write more and get the profit. I love what you had to say about balance and changing times. Thank you.

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