Night Angel author Brent Weeks has ruffled feathers with a tweet in which he mentions a fan who emailed to complain that the ebook edition of his latest work costs $13. Weeks seems to think this complaint is rather unfair, given that he worked six days a week, for two years, on the book. He ends with a comment about the reader enjoying their $4 coffee.
The subject of ebook pricing is rather sensitive at the moment, with some worrying that ebooks are undervalued and others arguing that high prices are unrealistic. Weeks seems to be leaning more towards the former point. But as The Digital Reader points out, much of Weeks’ backlist is available for around $4 in paperback format; also, that comment about a $4 coffee has the potential to aggravate many readers. Was that tweet from Weeks a little too combative?
The other point is that ultimately the market is the place to judge the value of a work. If a $13 price tag leads to plenty of sales, Weeks can relax. If, on the other hand, that price tag doesn’t lead to lots of sales, it might be worth wondering whether spending two years writing a single book can be justified given the current publishing climate.