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People who started buying ebooks are used to prices that are lower – sometimes considerably lower – than print editions.
What’s more, there are several deals on ebooks, which enable users to get favorite titles at prices cut to a range between $0.99 and $2.99.
Users expect audiobooks to work the same way. Audiobooks are also books in a digital format, so there is no cost of printing, right?
Yes, but there is another cost-generating factor. It’s narration. You have to pay the narrator, plus cover the cost of sound recording and editing.
An average novel contains 80,000 words. It translates to about 9-10 hours of narration. The cost per finished hour ranges between $100 and $500. So, the cost of producing an audiobook of a 100,000-word novel narrated by a recognizable voice can easily exceed $5,000.
It’s no surprise that an audiobook version of a book title costs much more than its ebook edition. In most cases, it’s also more expensive than a paperback or even hardcover.
The usual price of an audiobook edition is between $20 and $30. It’s twice as much as the cost of a Kindle or paperback edition. Both formats are usually priced below $20.
In the table below, we’ve compared prices of a few popular books from the list of Amazon’s top 100 book bestsellers.
Price comparison: audiobook vs. Kindle vs. paperback
|Title and author||Kindle||Paperback||Audiobook|
|Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng||$4.99||$19.72||$20.65|
|The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood||$9.99||$10.50||$23.44|
|The Outsider by Stephen King||$14.99||$18.00||$26.64|
|The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey||$4.99||$21.31||$28.30|
|The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson||$14.99||$12.99||$23.95|
|Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling||$9.99||$8.49||$29.99|
|A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1) by George R. R. Martin||$5.99||$10.48||$28.77|
|The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho||$9.99||$9.33||$23.95|
|Artemis by Andy Weir||$15.99||$16.00||$29.95|
|Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders||$10.99||$10.20||$24.50|
|How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie||$0.99||$9.60||$29.46|
• • •
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