That is the question that Penguin wants answered, and they are running a test to get an answer. Teaming up with Starz, Penguin is launching an e-book on iPad that contains video from a television mini-series based on the same tract.
The company plans to price the book at $12.99, a steep rise over the standard $9.99 price point that most e-books sell at. Is the value of having integrated video tie-ins worth three dollars more to the reader? Do readers actually care about having extra content tacked into their pages? And finally, given that this is an iPad only play (video and electronic paper screens are not friends), can it move enough copies to be worth the while?
This entire enterprise is a trial balloon, but where the winds blow it might have a lasting impact of the future of e-books. Publishers are scrambling for future revenue, the writing is on the wall for print books. As Amazon begins to sell more e-books than hardcovers, publishers need to plan for a majority electronic future. Most of all, they want to keep high margins and control, and right now they have neither in the electronic realm.
Looking at it plainly, a stand alone book with a few video clips mixed in does not sound like a $12.99 value, unless you are a dedicated fan of the series in question and will buy anything with its moniker attached. Personally, if it’s not on the Kindle store, it is not going to end up on my iPad, but that may be the minority view.
When real data comes in for the book we will bring it to you. Until then, would you pay more for videos in your books?