Pricing cont’d – Noble Romance Publishing

Welcome back to the pricing series where I look at various electronic publisher (specifically those offering M/M romance) and try to analyze their pricing structure. For those new to this, I’m trying to compare publishers within themselves for consistency and against other publishers for sheer cost. What is the best “bang for the buck” for consumers. Please keep in mind I do not take cover art, editing or lack thereof, customer service, and quality into consideration. This is strictly a numbers game. 

A list of past posts HERE!


Today’s look is at Noble Romance Publishing Think Kink! I’ll shorten them to NRP. I like the catchy title but most consumers aren’t really aware of this publisher. They seem to be quiet, under the radar a bit and don’t have the same buzz as other more well known publishers. This could partially be the low number of available books from Noble. There are a total of 59 books available on the Noble website, although it doesn’t say when the company started.


Looking at their website, going through all 59 books is pretty easy and it’s clear there is some inconsistency. Just for reference there are 18 books listed as M/M, although one is M/M/F. So really for pure M/M enthusiasts this is 17, which is 28%. Roughly 1/3 of Noble books are M/M so that’s still worth checking out.


This particular analysis is different from others since Noble Romance is not listed on FW. Complaining of this, the Cocktease tells me now ARe/OmniLit (my preferred vendor) is now offering word counts. Thanks! So let’s use ARe listed word counts with the same caveats as before. Unfortunately of the 59 available books at Noble, only 34 are available at ARe as of today and none are available at FW. Perhaps this is why few readers are very aware of the publisher.


NRP categories are pretty easy and clearly listed:


Anthologies            $6

Collections             $4.50    15-20k words

Naughty Nibbles     $1.99      5-10k words

Novellas                 $4.50    15-20k words

Novels                    $5.95       21k+ words


So let’s break down what this means more closely.


Anthologies – No word count listed. 3 books that contain 4 stories each for a total cost of $6 per anthology on the website.


$6 NRP / 20,000 words for $4.50 at ARe


$6 NRP / 26,851 for $5.00 at ARe


Third anthology is not listed at ARe.


Collections – 5 novellas listed for $4.50 each. 4 are up at ARe so here is the breakdown:


$4.50 NRP / 17,000 words for $3.50 at ARe



$4.50 NRP / 26,800 words for $3.50 at ARe


$4.50 NRP / 18,000 words for $3.50 at ARe


$4.50 NRP / 30,500 words for $3.50 at ARe




Naughty Nibbles – 5-10k words.

There is some discrepancy here with an earlier wording of “Tryst” used on some books. Of the 13 books listed:


1 Naughty Nibble for $1.50 NRP/ Not at ARe


2 Trysts for $1.99 (1 listed at ARe)


$1.99 NRP / 5,000 words for $1.99 at ARe


9 Naughty Nibbles for $1.99 (5 not listed at ARe)


$1.99 NRP / 4,700 words for $0.99 at ARe


$1.99 NRP / 5,000 words for $1.99 at ARe


$1.99 NRP / 7,000 words for $0.99 at ARe


$1.99 NRP / 13,000 words for $1.50 at ARe



1 Naughty Nibble for $2.50 NRP/ Not at ARe



So what does this mean? Well if you can generally trust the word counts in comparison to one another (leave off the comparison to actual word count just for now) then the cost per word is all over the place. Especially taking into consideration the price discounts at the third party e-tailer – here ARe. I know this is common with publishers and Noble is by far not the only one doing this, others are as well as I’ve stated previously. So again, readers shop smartly for the best price. It likely isn’t at the publisher’s. Not to mention there is some confusion between the two names – Tryst and Naughty Nibble – for the same length of book and a wide range of cost from $1.50 to $2.50 on the publisher site and $0.99 to $1.99 on ARe. This is pretty pricey.


Novellas – 18 books listed from $4.00 to $4.75.

2 for $4.00

2 for $4.75

14 for $4.50


$4.50 NRP/ 9,000 for $2.00 ARe


$4.00 NRP/ 14,000 for $3.00 ARe


$4.50 NRP/ 19,500 for $3.00 ARe


$4.50 NRP/ 20,000 for $3.50 ARe


$4.50 NRP/ 20,900 for $3.50 ARe


$4.50 NRP/ 30,000 for $3.00 ARe


$4.50 NRP/ 23,000 for $3.50 ARe / My count 24,080


$4.50 NRP/ 32,000 for $5.00 ARe

$4.50 NRP/ My Count is 32,500

$4.50 NRP/ My Count is 20,200

$4.50 NRP/ My Count is 18,100

$4.75 NRP/ 19,700 for $5.00


$4.75 NRP/ My Count (I couldn’t find the book but I know I have it!)



Now this is disturbing. While not all the novellas are listed on ARe the ones that are vary widely in price and word count available on ARe versus available on the publisher’s website. Even if the word counts are off, they are all off by the same amount so the inconsistency shown above is disconcerting. Paying more for 10,000 less words is shocking. While all publishers DO discount on third party retailers, I’d hope it’d be consistent in some way otherwise how can you tell you’re getting a good price?


Novels – 20 listed for $5.95. 11 were listed on ARe as follows:


$5.95 NRP/ 32,650 for $4.50 ARe


$5.95 NRP/ 47,000 for $6.00 ARe


$5.95 NRP/ 50,000 for $5.95 ARe


$5.95 NRP/ 50,000 for $5.95 ARe


$5.95 NRP/ 50,000 for $5.95 ARe


$5.95 NRP/ 58,000 for $5.95 ARe


$5.95 NRP/ 60,000 for $4.00 ARe


$5.95 NRP/ 61,666 for $5.95 ARe

$5.95 NRP/ 62,000 for $4.50 ARe


$5.95 NRP/ 65,700 for $5.95 ARe


$5.95 NRP/ 75,000 for $6.00 ARe


Here you pay anywhere from $4 to $6 on ARe for counts from 32,000 to 75,000. The range and variety between the two (publisher and retailer) is enough to cast some doubt. NRP is very consistent on their website but the price at a retailer varies wildly.


So let’s look at what this means in comparison.
When comparing NRP’s website by categories and pricing, here is the breakdown.


As always when offering the same price for higher counts, the cost per word goes down. Also the cost per word decreases as the length of the book increases even when it’s a more expensive, longer book.


But let’s look at an internal comparison of word counts…



Here I went by the word counts listed at ARe and compared the price buying from ARe or buying from the NRP website. It’s rather inconsistent but clearly your best bet money wise is to buy from ARe.



But how does this compare to other publishers?


Here since there are no word counts from FW I had to use ARe for all the publishers. I had to go back and re-enter all the publishers word counts from ARe (which does differ from FW) so they all had the same internal comparison. Yes this sucked.


But what this shows is that Noble is actually one of the more pricey publishers. Their shorter works are erratic with pricing but this gradually levels out similar to other publishers and the longer novels are all basically equivalent. Noble (the dark blue) tends to be higher in cost than most publishers but only by a small margin that may or may not be important.


Looking a little closer at the novella and novel price comparison shows this clearly.





So what does all of this mean!?!?


Well NRP is mostly consistent within their website. 15% of the books in their rather small catalog are outliers that fall – price wise – outside of their general price. The biggest aspect is that the price listed on NRP’s website is not always the best price. In fact, although it’s consistent within CATEGORY, it may not be a good deal for your money. The wide variety in price and word count on ARe show that the best price is often looking there. You can sometimes save more than $2 which is quite a difference in cost.


As for comparison with other publishers, Noble tends to be higher in cost than other publishers, often costing more than our most expensive publisher so far, Dreamspinner. Part of this I attribute to the relatively small catalog of books and what seems to be a publisher still in flux. The changing of names and prices on some books tends to reflect published dates as well (older published work seems to be less expensive while the newest novellas are more expensive). I believe the cost differences in the categories are due to shorter/longer word counts than the averages but it’s almost impossible to tell with the craziness on ARe.


Also keep in mind the relative difference in cost is still rather small. Noble is the most expensive, but what is the real difference? Depending on the book, this could be pennies or dollars.


Bottom line.


Noble Romance is comparatively costly. They are somewhat consistent if buying off the website but you tend to pay considerably more. Buying off All Romance Ebooks/OmniLit will get you a better price but also highly inconsistent prices for word count. Hopefully there will be some kind of consistency soon as the publisher has a nice website and better than average cover art. Not to mention the customer service is superb.


As always – your opinions.


BTW – I apologize for the rather EPIC nature of this post.



6 thoughts on “Pricing cont’d – Noble Romance Publishing

  1. Good Lord, my head hurts just THINKING about all the work this one post must have taken!
    I’m sure I’ve commented before about being willing to pay more for higher word counts, so I won’t repeat that. What I WILL do is add that I’m also willing to pay a bit more for quality editing and such because it makes it easier for me to read and not be thrown out of the story.
    What I want to know is why there can’t be some sort of industry standard within e-publishing with regards to length. It seems like one pub calls 50k+ a novel, while with another it might be 60K+ and a third (NRP) says a novel is 21K+.
    They all seem to charge around the same amount for “novels”, but the huge variance in word count is confusing, especially if there’s no word count on the site I’m buying from.
    Sorry, I may have gone off on a tangent there, but this IS about cost. Even if a book has stellar editing, special and highly appealing fonts, etc.? I think I’d be rather pissed at buying a “novel” for $5.95, only to read it and find that it’s actually what I think of as a novella. 😛
    Thanks for all your work on these posts, btw. They definitely open my eyes, every time.

    • I’ve said before and definitely want to stress again that editing, cover art, ease of website and other factors all play into decision making for buying books. Unfortunately those are often intangibles and subjective. I can tell you that I like the cover art at Loose ID but feel their editing sucks. Or the website at Noble is really easy, nice, and well done but someone may like the mess of TQ’s website.
      The only way I could do this objectively is to go by pure numbers – word count for cost. So assuming all other factors equal (which they’re not) but it gives a base for readers to make their own judgements I feel.
      Such as if you think the cover art at Loose Id is worth the extra cost. Go for it.
      If you feel the editing at Dreamspinner is not worth the extra cost, perhaps pass.
      That sort of thing.
      And really your last comment is what started me on this. When I initially bought ebooks I just picked a book and bought only to realize the $5 book I bought is actually 79 pages. I was pissed! It’s the main reason I stopped buying Amber Allure books for a long time. So hopefully all my hard work helps someone : D

  2. Kassa
    I read some of your earlier posts on pricing and must compliment you for the incredible amount of work that went into this.
    I have a couple of observations. My understanding is that the reason ARe can charge less for the same books is that when books are sold through this bookseller (usually a month after release – maybe less) the authors get less per book as royalty payments. I don’t know if this is factored into the equation as part of the reason for the difference in prices between books sold by the pubs and a book reseller like ARe..
    Think of ARe (ebooks) in the same terms as amazon (print books) where books are discounted by as much as 1/3 or more and the publisher and eventually the author get much less back from amazon which wields a pretty big stick in the business. Word count doesn’t really seem to matter a lot at amazon since they only sell novel length books and you never know the word count unless you read the fine print. Don’t know if I’m making any sense in terms of your analysis or if I’m comparing apples and oranges.
    Anyway great job! Would you like to balance my chequebook?*g*

    • Hi Wave!
      As for your first observation, yes I’m aware of that but that consideration, while valid, is another one for readers to consider along with editing, cover art, ease of shopping and so on. As I’ve said all I can do is offer the objective price points for readers to buy.
      I know for Amazon and ARe, the publishers who upload their ebooks can decide on price so it’s not the third party retailer deciding. Perhaps not for all books but I do know in this case the publishers are choosing the cost. Also whether the discounts are based on word count, length, or the moon phases – realistically as a buyer, what do you care? This is about what is the best value for your money. NOT what is the best book. So the reasons for discounts aren’t necessary, just that you as a consumer may be paying as much as $2.50 more for the SAME book if you shop at the publisher website versus somewhere else, such as ARe, where I haven’t found such a big discrepancy for other publishers. It’s worth noting in my opinion and if readers then choose to buy from the publisher anyway for their own reasons – be my guest.
      Since readers complain about the cost of ebooks versus what they’re getting. I’m trying to show that.

  3. I am in awe of the epic, Kassa, and continue to be fascinated by the outcomes of your investigation. Thank you for all your work in trying to find out the best value for dollar for readers.
    I’m with TC in questioning why there can’t be some sort of industry standard for word length. It is made even more frustrating for a reader like me who prefers their books BIG to see it all laid out like this.
    My only other observation is that the only thing that seems to be consistent is the inconsistency. It is astonishing.

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