Lola’s Ramblings is a feature on my blog Lola’s Reviews where I ramble on about a book related or a non-book related topic. These are discussion type of posts where I talk about a topic and readers can weigh in on the topic in the comments. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like tours, cover reveals, memes, challenges, recaps or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are discussions of a certain topic and my point of view on them. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Designs.
One day I was over at amazon spending some gift card money I won, I had just spend about 4$ for 4 books in a series I hadn’t started yet. I noticed the second book in a serial where I read the first book was available, so I went to amazon. I saw the prize, 2.99$, hesitated and decided not to buy it. So why did I easily spend 0.99$ per book on four books where I haven’t read the prequel series, but not 2.99$ on a book I probably will enjoy? The four books I bought were 160 pages each and only 0.99$ per book, the second book is a 132 page novella and for some reason 2.99$ just felt like too much for it. So that made me wonder how much I would pay for a book. We all have limited money, so how do we decide which books to buy and which not? I think it depends on multiple factors, so that made me wonder on what does it depend? And the topic for this post was born.
On what does it depend what I am willing to pay for a book?
- How badly I want the book. The more I want to read/ own a book the more I am willing to pay for it. It’s like in my mind the book is worth more because I want it to badly. This can easily make me willing to pay a few dollars/ euro’s more for a book.
- The Author. If a book is by an author I know and whose previous books I have enjoyed I am willing to pay more for the book. This effect is even stronger if it’s an author I really like or one of my favorite authors. I gladly pay more for books by authors I really like.
- Format. Depending on the format I am willing to pay more or less for a book. Roughly speaking I am willing to pay more for a paperback than an e-book and more for a hardcopy than for a paperback. Even though I don’t really care for hardcopies, I do understand that they will costs more than paperbacks and accept that if I buy a hardcopy the price will be higher. I would say roughly the maximum I am willing to pay for an e-copy is 10 euro’s/ 11 dollars, for a paperback 16 euro’s/ 18 dollars and for a hardcopy 22 euro’s/ 25 dollars. But those maximum’s are the exception. Usually I consider 6-8 euro a nice price for a paperback, but will pay 10-12 euro for a book I really want and only the maximum for a few exceptions. While most of the e-books I buy are in the free till 5 or 6 euro max range. And if the paperback version is cheaper than the e-book, I will go for the paperback version instead as in my head that’s worth more.
- Cover/ Version. Sometimes there are different versions or cover editions for the same book and in some cases I am willing to pay more for the cover or version I prefer, but only a euro or two max, if it’s a much bigger difference I think it’s not worth it.
- Length. The longer the book the more I am willing to pay for it. I guess this makes sense as the more pages a book has the more time I can spent enjoying the book. I think this is partly the reason I find the price of 2.99$ steep for a short story. Short stories (0-100 actual story book pages) are worth 0-1.99$ in my head, 2.99$ is pushing it for a short story that I can read in one-two hours at most. Sure if you compare it to other hobbies that 1,50$ per hours is still cheap, but if I can buy a full length book for only 0.99$, it just feels weird to pay 2.99$ for only a short story. Also I as far as I know people don’t actually charge more for thicker books. It usually seems to depends more on the format or publisher than the actual amount of pages. I’ve seen books with 400-600 pages sold for the same price as books of 200-300 pages, but then short stories for which they ask 2.99$? It just seems weird somehow.
- Is it part of a series? If a book is part of a series, especially when it’s a later book in a series I already started and enjoy so far I am most likely willing to pay more for the later books. I’ve seen marketing strategies that hook into this nicely, by offering the first book for cheap or free and having the later books pricier. As a reader I have no problems with this, as once I read the first book and enjoyed it, I don’t mind paying more for the later books. Ofcourse this is also more of a scale, there is a limit on how pricey sequels should be and how badly I want to continue the series. But overall I don’t mind an paying a few dollars more for sequels, by then I know if I want to continue the series and if I enjoy. With series where I am on the fence about whether to continue the price does play a bigger role. If I can get the next book for cheap I might be more likely to continue the series.
- If I already own the book. If I already own the book in some way I am willing to pay less to buy it in another format as I already own the book. I will very rarely buy a book twice, but it has happened a few times. I remember getting a book from netgalley for review and then seeing a very cheap sale for the paperback, so I bought that one as well. In most cases I will only buy a book in two formats if the second format is really cheap or free or for some reason I really want the other format (which brings me back to the first point).
- Does it has bonus content or limited edition. Usually I don’t really care for bonus content and am not willing to pay more for it. Unless for some reason I am really interested in the bonus content. Bonus content is a nice extra, but I won’t pay more for it.
- The higher the chance that I will enjoy the book. If I think there is a higher chance I will enjoy the book I am willing to pay for the book. I already mentioned the author of a book before, but there are more reasons as well for why I might gauge the chance higher that I will enjoy the book. Normally the first book in a new series is a bit of a gamble will you like it or not. With a book in a new series by a author I already know I feel that risk is less. Or when I already have read the previous books in a series as well. And because I am more likely to enjoy the book I am willing to pay more for it. Other reasons for this are when I’ve read lots of reviews for a book and am pretty sure I will enjoy or the book has themes or topics I normally enjoy. Or even if it’s a genre I am really into at that moment. No matter what the reason if I think there’s a good chance I will enjoy the book it reduces the risk of that purchase and makes me willing to pay more for that book.
What’s the most I paid for a book?
The book that I probably paid most for are the Cainsville series books by Kelley Armstrong. I paid about 22 euro, so that’s about 25$ for each book. Kelley Armstrong is one of my favourite authors, I wanted the books very badly, and they are hardcopies as the paperbacks won’t release till a year later. And in the case of book 2 and 3 I knew I loved the previous book(s) and knew I would most likely enjoy this one as well. So that means there are multiple reasons why I was willing to pay so much for those books. And that price is probably the most I am willing to pay for a single full length book. It’s an exception that I pay so much for a book and it only happens once a year ;).