New Pricing on Amazon Causes Reader Rage

Today's NY Times article, "2 E-Books Cost More Than Amazon Hardcovers"has readers wondering—is this the beginning of the end for buying cheap ebooks?


Most of us who have ebooks are used to spending about ten bucks per book. But two new ebooks by very, very popular authors are now more expensive to buy than their hard cover versions.

The books are “Fall of Giants” by Ken Follett and “Don’t Blink,” by James Patterson and Howard Roughan. We're not talking about a big price discrepancy—but it is a new pricing model.

Here's what we're talking about: Follett's book is selling for $19.99 for the digital version on Amazon; the hardcover edition of 'Fall of Giants'is going for $19.39. Patterson's "Don't Blink" is priced at $14.99 for the Kindle version yet Amazon prices the hardcover at $14.

Readers who saw the difference in prices jumped all over the comment section on The NYT noted, "Customers, unaccustomed to seeing a digital edition more expensive than the hardcover, howled at the price discrepancy, and promptly voiced their outrage with negative comments and one-star reviews on Amazon."

The article doesn't say who's behind or to blame for the new pricing it just states, "The skirmish over prices is possible because of deals that publishers negotiated with Amazon this year that allowed the publishers to set their own prices on e-books, while Amazon continues to choose the discount from the list price on hardcovers."

Today's news filled the blogosphere:

On the blog 24/7 Wall Stthe headline says, Amazon Raises E-Book Prices Above Paper Versionsnoting "Amazon could not prevent customer rants about the actions, but the trend will probably grow."

From London, The Telegraphasks, "What's a fair price for an e-book?" making the case that, "It seems unfair to blame Amazon because the company has been in plenty of rows with publishers recently over its efforts to drive prices down."

LAPTOP goes as far as to ask, "Is Cheap eBook Pricing Over?" writing, "It has yet to be seen if this digital book price gouging is a trend we can expect to see more of, but we suspect it’s just the first volley in a war where only customers are the losers."

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