Discussion question: Would you be willing pay extra for a Print book that included access to a digital copy?

November 8, 2011 § 41 Comments



I posted a question on Twitter and Facebook today that I would love to hear other readers’ perspective on. Would you be willing pay extra for a Print book that included access to a digital copy? Many times, if I am going somewhere, I do not want to drag a big hardcover book along with me and wish that I had my current read in digital format. Or I would like to have a physical copy of a book for my shelves but find it much more convenient to read the book in a digital format. Do you feel the same?

I can understand the concern that the publisher/author would be possibly losing money by combining the two formats, but I know that I personally do not ever buy both the print and digital copies of any book other than that of my absolute favorite authors. I wonder how many people like me will only buy one format or the other but rarely both? If most people do only buy one format, then combining the two should not cause any kind of loss but instead be an incentive for a reader to purchase more print books. 

It also occurs to me that shady people would use this as an opportunity to make money by keeping and reading the eBook and selling the print copy. But ultimately I think that bundling the two would benefit both the reader and the publisher/author. There will always be people who will try to find a way to take unfair advantage of something, the question is, would the benefits outweigh any possible loss?

What do you think?

Would you be willing to pay extra for a bundling of Print and Digital book?

How often do you now purchase both print and digital format?

Would you like to see publishers offer the option to purchase a print/digital bundle? Do you think they should or eventually will?

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you take the time to share your thoughts on this!


§ 41 Responses to Discussion question: Would you be willing pay extra for a Print book that included access to a digital copy?

  • I love your discussion today. As a blogger myself I often don't have the time to comment on every email that I subscribe to. That doesn't mean I don't look. So it was great to see this topic. With that being said. You have a great blog.I would be willing to pay the little bit extra. I, like you, will not buy both digital and print. What I look for first is print. I only want print. I like print better. As you know a lot of reviews are now done with eBook copies. So I do have an eReader. I also don't like carrying around a bunch of books and that is when the eReader comes in handy. I think it is a good idea to pay the little bit extra and have both copies. I would be willing to do that. I hope I helped in some way.Thanks for the great post.Mary

  • @Mary @SweepingMeThanks for stopping by Mary. Trust me, I understand simply not having the time in a day (week or month) to comment on everyone's blog regularly! You have a great blog too!I appreciate your input on this. I wonder if the publishers will ever consider doing this?

  • Deedles says:

    I love print books. I don't have an e-reader and I'm not sure I would ever get one. So for now I would have to say I wouldn't want to pay extra for a digital copy.

  • @DeedlesI love print books too so I can certainly understand where you are coming from. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your opinion on this! I am curious, what prevents you from wanting an eReader?

  • Ricki says:

    I'd say no – if I had one, I don't need the other. I know a lot of magazines now do this, but if I have the print, I don't read the digital.

  • beachy_keen says:

    I would be willing to pay extra once I have an e reader. Right now my only e readers are on my phone. I like the print books because my favorite way to relax is to soak in the bathtub with a good book.

  • Personally that would be great, since sometimes i cant bring my paperback in fear of it getting bent/dented and other times if im going to the beach i wouldnt want to bring my ipad. So yes, i think that would be a good option for some readers- juhina

  • Jessica S. says:

    I really don't like the idea of paying extra for something, which is why if I own the book I won't buy the e-book, and vice versa. But, if it's only a dollar or so more, I might consider it… only if I really like the author. 🙂

  • Suz says:

    I like print books better but I do have a Kindle. I would probably pay more if it was just a little more just to have the option for both.susanw28 (at) mindspring (dot) com

  • Katharyn says:

    I love my print books. I don't have an ereader so I feel it would be a waste of my money having to pay for both. Good topic! 🙂

  • primrose says:

    I love print books because I think using my e-reader too much messed up my eyesight or something. Or maybe I'm getting old?

  • Abby Fowers says:

    Interesting idea! I think I would – but not a LOT extra. The digital copy should be discounted. I love printed books. They are my favorite, although I do think a digital copy would be nice to have for traveling.

  • I'm surprised by how many of you don't have or use ereaders. That will probably begin to change as the price for eReaders continue to come down. The competition between B&N and Amazon should help keep the prices affordable and will provide deep discounts on the older models as each tries to outdo the other in the next new thing. Thanks everyone who has taken the time to comment on this. I'm super interested to hear other readers thoughts on this.

  • Donna says:

    Yes I would. I love my ereader but sometimes, I just want a book in my hand.

  • latishajean says:

    I love print books and I like to read on my computer so I don't have a ereader! I use the amazon for pc and pdf for reading and like it!

  • sablelexi says:

    I like having a print book, and if I really want a book, I'm going to want it in that format. I don't own an ereader and I'm not sure I ever want to own one, so I can't see being willing to pay more to have two copies of the same book. Though I suppose it depends on how much more. I know they do this with movies all the time, but I wonder if they would really be loosing more sales if they did this with books. Jennelle S

  • Tiffany Drew says:

    I have a Nook, but still prefer print books. You can't replace a real book: the smell, the feel of the paper, being able to flip from page to page easily. I don't buy ebooks now unless they are really cheap, like free lol. I would not pay extra for a bundle, I would have no use for both an ecopy and print copy.

  • elena says:

    Absolutely! I still buy vinyl and I feel like it's in the same vein of having a mp3 code included with the vinyl. I like listening to vinyl but I like having it to go too! It goes same from books too. It didn't think about the shady people thing but I feel like it's again, the same as mp3s being available online. People can choose to actually pay for what they look or download it "free" on the Internet. Personally, I mainly buy print because I like the actual books but I'm running out of space! I think they eventually will, hey anything that makes more money, right? P.S. Love your bookshelf! I spy Anna Dressed in Blood and Shatter Me!

  • April X says:

    Probably not since I don't have an e-reader and don't really read the books on my computer unless I don't have internet connection 😛

  • Vivien says:

    I do have an ereader. They can be very useful. I would probably consider paying more for a bundle. As long as it's reasonable. It's very useful for those of us who read a lot.

  • This is a great idea and something I hadn't considered. I would definitely be interested in paying more to have both. I can see the problem with it but I think your right, no system is perfect and this would benefit a lot of people.

  • Judy says:

    I love my print books and I also have an ereader, which I use often. If I have one, I don't think I would want the other. I can only read one at a time:)Judymagnolias_1[at]msn[dot]com

  • Gisele Alv says:

    I love printed books! That way i can borrow them to my friends and in a Kindle is way different! And if already have a copy printed i dont need the digital one or viceversa! 😀

  • Chey says:

    Even though I have a Kindle now, I still prefer physical copies. There would be no use for me to have an e-book and physical copy of the same story.

  • brendajean says:

    I love print books over my ereader. I would like an option for both, but would not pay much more for it:)

  • If I had an ereader which I don't and if it was only a little extra then yes. But I don't see it happening for me to be honest.

  • I have a kindle and love it, but only use it for inidie authors. I acutally prefer to have a book in my hands and sitting on my bookshelf. I don't see the need to have both a print and digital. I've done that a couple of times, bought a book for my kindle when it's on sale and then find it in the store later on at a good price. I then delete it off my kindle because I don't have the need to own two copies

  • Great question and I adore the name of your blog. My initial response was no but then I read on and saw your point about not wanting to drag a print copy with you somewhere when it would be easier to take your ereader. I think the extra price would need to be very low for me to go for it.

  • Sam Bella says:

    I've never thought about this before! It sounds like a good idea to me. I have only just recently started using my e-reader. Although I do at times prefer the feel of a paperback copy in my hands, I agree that a digital library of books is a lot more convenient. Because of this, I have been starting to buy more books in digital format than print. However, I think would only be willing to pay extra for a print and digital bundle for books I definitely know I am going to enjoy. If it isn't a favorite book or anything, I don't think I would necessarily want it in both formats – I'd buy it in digital in the first place. I reckon it could work though! 🙂

  • Burgandy Ice says:

    Good question. I love my ereader. I love getting the book immediately and diving in, 'cause I don't stock up on TBR's. I would pay a little more to get a copy in both formats. More than a few times I've had a book on an ereader that I wanted to share and it's too complicated (or impossible & irritating!) I'd probably be quick to pass on the hard copy, tho, of non-fav's. Not sure that would be so great for business.

  • kimyunalesca says:

    it's ok but I think it's better if they could like do separates & bundle marketing because not everyone likes/own an ereader ^_^

  • I really appreciate all the different points of view about this. I would really like to see the publishers begin to offer a bundle of print and ebook. For me, the attraction of having the two formats is that I can have the convenience of the ebook on my Nook plus the aesthetic enjoyment of having the physical book (and maybe gorgeous cover) on my bookshef. My books are as much a part of my home decor as they are for practical reading purposes. lol

  • I would LOVE to see publishers offer a bundle. I am fairly new to reading digital formats and still prefer to actually have a physical book in my hand (and on my shelf). Seeing how they do just the same thing with music and movies (think how many movies come with multiple formats ie dvd, blu-ray, digital copies) I think it would be a good idea. I don't own a dedicated e-reader as of yet, but a first generation ipad which I bought for entertainment reasons when I found out I'd be facing several extensive surgeries and long hospital admissions. I now mainly use the Bluefire app (ADE) and the Kindle app for reading digital books.As a book reviewer, I've found that most sites (like NetGalley) prefer/only distribute digital copies as it is easier (and cheaper) than 'hard' copies. I also like having lots of books on my shelves as I've dreamed of having my own personal library since childhood. Although I can also understand and appreciate the pros 'virtual' books bring, especially if one is short on space. I really like the idea of purchasing a book and also receiving an ecopy. I hope the industry picks up your idea soon!Thanks for a great discussion question and giveaway!~Jaclyn~wwww.jaclynsmusings.com

  • Julie says:

    I have a Kindle and I really don't think I need a copy of both digital and print books. I know a lot of people will go out and get the print book if they liked the digital one, but I just don't have the money to be buying both. And that is exactly the reason why I wouldn't pay more for a print book that comes with a digital copy – I think it would be a waste of money. Now, if I was filthy rich, that would be a whole nother ballgame!! lol

  • ebaker says:

    I prefer the digital format so I don't really care if they bundle the two together. I don't like having stacks of books at my house and considering I have over 400 books on my kindle that would be lots of stacks! erin

  • elin says:

    I wouldn't want them to combine it because I don't have an ereader.

  • I don't have an ereader and I rather like having the actual books. However, I did recently install kindle for on my computer because there were some free ebooks on Amazon that I wanted to read and the only way to do it was install the kindle software. And since I think that I might actually like to have an ereader someday for the free reads or for the books/novellas/short stories that have not yet been released in print I'm going to say that yes, I would be willing to pay a little extra for a print book that gave me access to a digital copy of the book as well.

  • C.E. Hart says:

    It would depend on 'how much more' it would cost. lol I think it would be handy to have both a 'real' book and an 'e-book'. For instance – if I had my paperback at home, but carry my ebook with me in my purse, I'd be able to pick up where I left off while I'm having my lunch break at work, etc…

  • LisaILJ says:

    I have been advocating this for a while now. I really think it needs to happen and soon. I personally would be more than willing to pay a bit more extra in order to have a copy of a book both in print and digitally. the movie industry has been doing this for a while now, and I don't know why the publishing industry is not following suit. For example I bought one of the Harry Potter movies on DVD. There were two Blue Ray options. One with a digital code to download it as well as the hard copy, and one without the digital option. I think the one with the digital option was a couple dollars more, maybe $5. It was totally worth it to get the more expensive version. I would do that with a book too. Make it a percentage of the list price to make it balanced. When someone goes to the register to purchase the book, have the option of a code for purchase there. It would be so simple and totally worth it.

  • @Lisa, I like the idea of having a code offered at the time of purchase. I would definitely like to see this become an option. I really do believe it would increase the number of print sales because many times its just easier to purchase the ebook online and have it immediately, but if I could have both, that would be even better and I would be more than willing to spend a few more dollars.

  • Cassy says:

    I'd more than likely not be willing to pay any extra since I only pay for print books.

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