pagerd: (kindle)
[personal profile] pagerd
And in retaliation of not being supplied the e-book versions of Penguin's latest hardcovers, Amazon slashes prices on new releases.

I read the comments for this WSJ article and had to comment myself.

Comment follows:

Speaking from an Amazon kindle customer's perspective, Amazon cut the hardcover prices as an apology to the people who preordered the ebooks and had their orders canceled on them. It's just good customer relations.

Of course, there are those of us whose homes are already full of DTBs (dead tree books) that have no interest in purchasing more now that we've converted to digital personal libraries. Some of us also have no interest in buying full paper cover price for a digital file. We know there are no printing, storage, shipping or return reserve costs associated with ebooks. Ebooks for previously published titles are found money once the conversion costs have been recouped. The smart publishers put their authors' backlists on kindle at a decent discount from the start to encourage repurchase. Of the 1,854 ebooks I have purchased that I've classified in this way, 633 are books that I have in hardcover, paperback or both.

Those publishers (such as Macmillan) that waited until the agency model went into affect before they made authors' backlist available, at the same price as the non-discounted paper book cover price, have earned my enmity/rage/scorn/ire/bafflement. It's not going to make the DTB more attractive; I already have it. I want to be able to read the text of the book on my kindle. I want to be able to increase the font as the daylight fades. I want to be able to start the next book in a series the minute I finish the first without having to figure out what bookshelf it's on or what box it's in.

All they are doing with their current pricing model is leaving money on the table. I was made aware of a book I was waiting for had arrived on kindle. I searched for it - saw the price was ten cents lower than the paperback, debated myself, and hit the buy button. I had somehow gone to the international page and was redirected to the US page where the book was the same price as the paperback. I have three copies of this title already: trade paper, mass market paperback and an anniversary reissue. I decided to pass. At a ten percent discount I would have bought it. There are at least twenty of this author's titles I am not going to buy with this pricing model.

Robin Page

Postscript: One of the things I forgot to mention in the comment was that not all of the DTBs were purchased new, therefore the author and publisher didn't get a dime from me. Every kindle purchase earns a royalty. Another of the reasons for my replacing my favorite books is to make sure I'm supporting the authors I like while freeing up display space on my bookshelves.

December 2015


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