Monday, March 4, 2013


I love my Kindle. I really do. It's so easy to buy a book at night when there's nothing around to read. It's so easy to make the text large enough that I don't strain my eyes. It's so easy to carry scads of books on trips in one tiny container.

But today Amazon sent me a Best Books of the Month ad that showed the book covers over the hardback price and the Kindle price. And I was amazed that publishers still don't get it.

The Still Point of the Turning World - Hardback $14.41, Kindle 12.99
Benediction - Hardback 14.36, Kindle 12.99
Between Man and Beast - Hardback 15.66, Kindle 13.99
The Drunken Botanist - Hardback 11.97, Kindle 9.99

Went into the Mysteries category and the same thing:
Six Years (a Harlan Coben pre-order) - Hardback 15.98, Kindle 14.99
The Golden Egg (Donna Leon pre-order) - Hardback 14.43, Kindle 13.20
Murder Below Montparnassee (Cara Black pre-order) - Hardback 15.71, Kindle 12.99
The Accursed (Joyce Carol Oates pre-order) -Hardback 16.62, Kindle 12.74

And so on.

Why should I pay 9.99-14.99 for an eBook when for 1-4 dollars more I can get a printed copy? And then I can loan it to as many friends as I like, I can donate it to the used book sale for the library, or I can trade it in at the used bookstore for credit to buy more books.

The eBook, on the other hand...Well, I think Amazon allows us to loan it once. And that may depend on publisher permission; I'm not real clear on that. But anyway, if you loan it to your sister, then your mother and cousin want to read it...Too bad!

Not to mention Amazon can evidently take back any of your eBooks stored in the Cloud at any time. Not that they would, I'm sure, but still...

And I don't blame Amazon for the unreasonable prices. It's the publishers. I understand that they're trying to cover their overhead and make a profit. But lots of smaller ePublishers are putting out books for half these prices and less.

So bottom line: I really have to want to read an author before I'll buy their eBooks. And I'm sorry to say, there are lots of authors I enjoy reading, but there aren't that many I like well enough to shell out ten bucks plus for. So I'll wait till the used paperbacks come down to prices I can afford and buy them then. And I'll stick to trying new authors on my Kindle, or wait for old authors I like to go on sale.

So long as I have something to read, I'm okay with that. Publishers might want to get on board with  our reading habits and adjust their thinking. I suspect they could sell a lot more books if they do.

Okay. Rant over. It's safe to come out now.

1 comment:

  1. For prices like that, you might as well get the regular version. It's finding a balance with pricing, but these days, the publishers are acting more like the last five minutes on the Titanic.


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