The Most Expensive eBook in the World

In one corner, you have the fully-bearded JA Konrath, preaching to the Indie masses to make their books more affordable in hopes they can sell more of them, therefore increasing their income. In the other corner, wearing a goatee befitting an evil mastermind, you have Stephen Hise.

Hise is trying a different approach. In fact – he’s going in exactly the opposite direction. Stephen Hise today announced he was raising the price of all available versions of his book UPGRADE, on Smashwords, to one million dollars. This makes UPGRADE the most expensive eBook in the world, obliterating the old record held by Nuclear Energy, now on sale at Amazon for a mere $6,232.00.

Asked why he raised the price so dramatically, Hise said, “I read an article by somebody or other who claimed that his sales actually increased after raising the price. I figured if I raised it high enough, I’d only need to sell a couple of copies—half dozen at best.”

Mark Coker, Founder, CEO and Chief Author Advocate at Smashwords, could not be reached for comment, although I’m pretty sure he’s thinking “I never heard of this guy.”

I asked Hise to explain this marketing stratagem. He said, “This is my idea of reverse KDP Select. I make my book available at a much higher price for a very limited window of opportunity. In this way, I cater to the needs of the whimsical ultra-elite super-rich impulse-buyer. I think this is a niche market that has been long overlooked.”

Hise feels the extravagant price is justified. He said, “It is quite a good book. Have you seen the reviews?”

This is true. UPGRADE is an excellent book. I was lucky to have read it before the price skyrocketed. I gave UPGRADE 5-stars. You can read my review (dated 12/7/11) here.

Is the pure prestige of owning the world’s most expensive eBook something that can even be measured in dollars and cents? By all means, yes. And that price is one million dollars.

Despite his brilliant, eccentric, and somewhat intimidating exterior, I found that Hise was not without sympathy for those who may want the book but are unable to cough up the million bucks. “For anyone who really wants the book but can’t afford the million dollar price tag, I have a coupon code they can use to download the book for free. The coupon code is VB55G, good through April 5th, but don’t tell anyone, okay?”

Don’t worry Mr. Hise. Your secret is safe with me.


Author: K.S. Brooks

K.S. Brooks is an award-winning novelist, photographer, and photo-journalist, author of over 30 titles, and executive director and administrator of Indies Unlimited. Brooks is currently a photo-journalist and chief copy editor for two NE Washington newspapers.  She teaches self-publishing and writing topics for the Community Colleges of Spokane, and served on the Indie Author Day advisory board. For more about K.S. Brooks, visit her website and her Amazon author page.

43 thoughts on “The Most Expensive eBook in the World”

  1. Before you ruined my plan that could have made you wealthy beyond belief, I was going to suggest that you sell your copy on Ebay for $999,999. Some damned fool, uh smart consumer would grab it up. I mean look at those chicken nuggets and corn flakes!

  2. You @#$%^ I put in the coupon and when I hit checkout the coupon price disappeared and my credit card was charged USD$1,000,000.

    Almost. All is true except for the actual charging. It's a good thing that I didn't hit the okay button before I read the amount to be charged. That would have been a hoot! 😎

  3. KS, you shouldn't have posted the coupon code. How in the world am I going to sell my copy of "Upgrade" at half price on the black market if people can just get it for free?

    However, I do love the idea! In fact, it's given me the inspiration to shake things up on twitter. All of my tweets this month will be copyrighted. Anyone that re-tweets my precious nuggets will have to pay royalties.

  4. Awesome! The only problem is you will be copycatted on this one, Stephen. It's so absolutely diabolically brilliant that everybody will do it. In fact I can't believe someone hasn't tried it already.

    It's the classic-"I have to have what I can't afford" syndrome.

    K, gotta go check with my bank and see if they'll float me a loan. I have to have this book!

  5. I love it. The perfect blog for April 1st. I still haven't grasped the concept of $.99 books or giving it away free. Isn't the laborer worthy of his hire?

    Since I haven't earned enough on my two books, I simply can't afford to purchase his.

    Wonderful blog!


  6. I wish people would figure out the difference between a goatee and a van dyke. No mustache on a goatee.

    Oh, and good luck on the book sales.

    1. If you are talking about the Visa card you found in the parking lot at the mall, then-no. I happen to know you've already maxed that one out, "Mrs. Nussbaum".

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