posted on October 27, 2015 by Jeanne Devlin

When you buy a book does price trump format?

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As a reader you may or may not have heard the recent news that eBook sales have slowed in the U.S.

That would be an interesting bit of book industry trivia any day of the year, but with the big holiday book buying season just around the corner it is news with a capital N.

Already industry gurus are parsing the numbers trying to figure out what readers are up to and whether the trend bodes well for print books? Or Amazon? Or mom-and-pop indie book stores? Or book sales in general?

In the process, more than one has come to the conclusion that as far as readers are concerned it is no longer about whether to buy your next book in print or as an eBook but rather about the price tag on that book—the theory being that readers now shop for books like our mothers once shopped for toilet paper or soda pop:  willing to drive across town for the cheapest price.

Now, this theory stands in stark contrast to the rumbling we’ve been hearing for some time about the lack of quality in the .99 cent eBook romance or mystery.  In fact, publishers had heaved a collective sigh of relief when all signs pointed to readers having discovered that most .99 cent books—be they digital or not—are rarely worth, well, a nickel.

So how about you? When it comes to buying your next cowboy love story or contemporary romance or Regency thriller, what makes you happily lay down your hard-earned cash?

  1. It must be one of my favorite authors
  2. I have to have an eBook
  3. Nope, I want a small paperback
  4. Not me, I want a large paperback
  5. It must have good reviews
  6. Nope, it must have a cover or title that speaks to me
  7. Not me, I need to know someone who has read it and loved it
  8. Honest truth? The price tag is everything

I can assure you the publishing houses of your favorite authors are waiting with bated breath to hear what drives you to buy a book in print vs. digital.

Here is your chance to have your say!

 Jeanne Devlin

Jeanne Devlin

Jeanne Devlin

Jeanne Devlin is editor of The RoadRunner Press, an award-winning traditional publishing house based in the American West. An editor of newspapers, magazines, and books for more than thirty years, she has also worked on national marketing and publicity campaigns with such publishers as Simon and Schuster and St. Martin's and for a number of New York Times bestselling authors, including Robyn Carr, Sabrina Jeffries, Debbie Macomber, Linda Lael Miller, and Wendy Corsi Staub. A graduate of the Stanford University Publishing Course, Jeanne is a member of the Children's Book Council, the National Book Critics Circle, and the Oklahoma Center for the Book of the Library of Congress. She also consults with boutique publishers.

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