It's called milking the cow, riding the gravy train, having your cake and eating it to, drinking the cider before squeezing the apples. The actual truth is, books are too cheap as it is. I don't mind her pricing the book at this price point. What bothers me is all the authors selling their books for a buck or three bucks.
Books are too cheap, seriously? Granted the author should be compensated for their work. The publishing companies get their piece of the pie and I'm OK with that but the profit ratio for downloaded books is getting out of hand. What does it actually cost to transmit a kindle book. Not anywhere near what the paper/ink versions cost. And...I'm all for the "buck or three buck" books, especially if it is a new author just looking for some exposure. Sell it for a buck now and when you become known, you can go on tour and join the publishing companies and Amazon etc. and reap the ridiculous profits from the outrageous prices that they charge for your book.
Just FYI out there, the cost of books is not really in printing; it's really the cost of networking, editing and marketing. It takes manpower (and salaries) to hire people to weed out good manuscripts, actually edit them, sign good authors (both new and well known), and to market their product (yes, it's publishing companies that do most of the marketing for their books). The actual difference in print v digital is a few dollars, at most, and actually a lot of publishing companies really suffered from Amazon's undercutting of prices to $9.99 (making the majority of the public believe that is the normal price of e-books). The entire cost of a book reaches so much farther than just the dollars it takes to send a book through a printer.
No, I don't work in publishing, but I have friends that do, and trust me, the majority of editors and editorial assistants DON'T make very much money at all.
Okay, let's multiply $35 by the number of people that will actually pay full price for this book, and add $20 times those who will pay the Amazon book price and then add $17.99 times the suckers who download the Kindle book. That's just one of many markets available to the public. Again, I understand that there are costs related to publishing, but seriously there is obviously some major profit being made. In my opinion it is the price of the Kindle edition. You get a well known author who has had some success so it OK to jack up the price because of expected demand? I'm only suggesting that people should not cave to these tactics.
How much marketing did this book REALLY need? We're not talking about some new author and a publishing company footing the bill for ads or PR people scoring interviews and getting the word out. This is JK Rowling. This book has been greatly anticipated. This price is simply over the top. I would have paid $12 I think that's MORE than enough for an electronic download. If she was an established adult writer it would be even better. But this book is a gamble IMO.
Well I for one will not be buying this book, I refuse to pay hardcover prices for an ebook. So I will either wait till it drops to about $7.99, or I will just borrow it from the library. Anything over ten dollars for an ebook is ridiculous imho.
They are charging what they think the market will bear. They figure they can get a high price for a JK Rowling book - and IMO $17.99 for the Kindle edition is absolutely preposterous - because she is super popular because she wrote the Harry Potter series. If the public wouldn't go ga-ga over a book just because it has Rowling's name on the cover as the author, the publisher would have to lower the price. Alas, many people jumped at the chance to get another Rowling book.
I personally am not interested in the description of the book and will not buy it just because Rowling wrote it. Even though I loved Harry Potter, that doesn't mean I will love everything else she ever writes.
IOW, if "Casual Vacancy" were Rowling's first book, it would probably be in the $3.00 e-book section.
I think it is very hard to put a price on artistic ability, whatever form it comes in. An abstract artist, for example could spend hours and hours on a painting that looks as though just anyone could slap some paint on a canvas, swirl it a bit, and call it Abstract. But there is a lot more to it than that, besides the materials and the marketing, and so on. The knowledge of color, the chemical processes, the creativity involved and the inspiration are all part of the process and to be considered. Granted, painting or sculpting are different than writing by way of the materials, but certainly not different in the creativity and knowledge involved. Whether its a first novel or tenth best seller, an author should be paid for her talent.
Caving in to the argument that the main cost for books is in editorial work and advertising, there is still a cost to physical binding and shipping of the books. Bottom line is an e-book should be nowhere near as expensive as a hard copy. All too often the e-book is the same, and in some instances more expensive. That defies logic.