While I’m still enjoying my Kindle, Amazon is starting to get on my nerves. The issue at hand is the pricing for some titles. Although you get a pretty good deal when it comes to hot of the presses best-sellers, your savings can diminish quite a bit once you start looking at Kindle versions of books already in paperback. Now I don’t expect Amazon to just give the Kindle versions away, but they should be at least more than a couple of bucks cheaper than the trade paperback version.
A particularly annoying example involves Stephen Fry’s “The Ode Less Travelled”. I own a copy of the paperback and enjoyed it enough that I wanted to have a copy on my Kindle. When I looked it up, what did I find? For starters, the Kindle version is $8.34 and the paperback version I already have is listed as $9.27. Wow! That’s a whopping 93 cents savings! Then I noticed that they have a bargain paperback for $4.99. Aarrgh!!!
Now this is the only instance that I’ve seen so far where the Kindle version is pricier than one of the paperbacks. But I haven’t compared too many either, so I don’t really know how widespread this sort of pricing is. But that fact that I found that one case is troubling enough. I believe that Amazon is letting the publishers have more of a say in pricing stuff now. If that is the case, then all of the blame can’t be leveled at Amazon. But Amazon needs to do something about this.
I don’t think that a Kindle version of a book should ever be more expensive than a paperback version (even a bargain paperback). And it seems to me that prices have started to creep up in general for Kindle books. I have a hard time justifying paying more than $10 for an electronic copy of a book, regardless of how convenient it is to be able to always have it with me.
And I doubt that I’m alone in this. The situation is further aggravated by the fact that Amazon makes the $9.99 price for new best-sellers part of the marketing of the device. For better or for worse, if you use a price point to sell the Kindle, then I imagine that customers will use that price as a reference for gauging the cost of books not on the best-seller list.