When Should You Buy an eBook?
It used to be if you wanted to buy a book, you just went into a store and bought it. However, times have changed. Today timing has become critical when buying eBooks.
At this point, I estimate that I’ve spent about $200 on eBooks which later were offered for free on Amazon as Kindle books. I have also avoided spending about $200 by deliberately waiting to buy books that I suspected were going to be offered for free on Amazon. There are also the books I bought for 99 cents that later went to $3.99 and the books I bought for $2.99 that dropped down to .99 cents. Some of my $4.99 purchases have gone up to $6.99.
Of course, to be safe, I have downloaded about $8,000 in free books on my Kindle. I may or may not decide to extract these books from the archives. In a sense, I have over 900 books just waiting to be shifted over to my TBR pile.
It seems that with the great availablity of free books, we no longer buy books simply to read them. Since we already have more good books available to read than we will ever be able to read, books are now being bought because we have a reason to want to have read them.
Instead of reading to read we are reading to have read. This acts to change the marketing dynamics. And when the marketing dynamics change, the old tried and true rules may no longer apply.
Update: 20 September 2011
This morning I downloaded Ralph Peter’s “Endless War” for free as a Kindle book. I bought this book as a hardbound when it first came out and I could not read it easily because the type was too small for me to read in comfort. I really wanted to read this book so it is almost a kind of ‘justice’ that it is now a free Kindle book with type sizes that are a pleasure to read.
This makes me think that perhaps it would be best if the eBook version came bundled with the hardbound book. Think how this would change marketing!