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Old 07-28-2013, 10:19 PM   #1
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An interesting conversation with Kobo about ebook prices

One of the things I genuinely appreciate about Kobo is the support for e-pub with Adobe DRM. While I despise DRM with a passion, I accept that it's a security blanket that many publishers have yet to outgrow, and by supporting Adobe DRM Kobo makes it possible for me to buy from many sources and use that product on my Touch.

However, I haven't bought many books from elsewhere. Mostly because with Agency pricing (which still seems to have a big stranglehold on the Canadian market while it loosens in the States) there wasn't much of a difference in price.

Sometimes though, with non-Agency books, there's a BIG difference. And I'll admit... I'm lazy. I like hitting "Sync" and having my books autoload onto the Touch without messing around with ADE, Alf or anybody.

So I thought I'd ask Kobo an obvious question: Do they price-match? Alas, I got the answer I expected: they do not. But I figured there was no harm in asking.

Definitely means I'll be checking ebookstore.sony.com for price comparisons every time I look to buy a book though...
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:13 PM   #2
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Check the Kobo discount codes thread too, though - I believe I'm yet to find a non-Agency book that isn't cheapest at Kobo, once you've knocked off 30% or more with a code.
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:00 AM   #3
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In this case, it would need to be more. Just ran through a 30% off code. Not only was the Sony copy $.50 cheaper even then, it turns out that Sony doesn't charge taxes. That's an additional 13% savings right there...
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:33 PM   #4
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The prices in France were so exagerated that I had to fake my ID and subscribe to the US store. I'm glad that rakuten is not enforcing geoip checks !

I heard that in the US, more books are read on ereader than on paper, in France we are SO far from this, and our publishers are totally scared.

Often the difference in price tag can be explained by the need for translations, which is only created by our global sloppiness in teaching english anyway xD

A good exemple of the stupidity of such publishers is "the song of ice and fire" (game of thrones): in the US on the kobo store, you can find an english bundle for approx 40 USD, which is like 30 euros give or take. In France, translated, the books are subdivised in 10 parts (instead of five originally) and are sold for 10 euros each... in ebook format, on the Kobo store ! So the equivalent bundle would be 100 euros, 300% more expensive ! Translation and taxes can't explain this, only greed could don't you agree ?

So I don't really mind anymore, I leave my language on the side of the road and I go on with english. I'm sure I'm not the only one, and these publishers are digging their own grave. The day we all read english, they won't be needed anymore. Wouldn't that be an interesting development ?

Last edited by xwolfi; 07-29-2013 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 07-29-2013, 03:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xwolfi View Post
The prices in France were so exagerated that I had to fake my ID and subscribe to the US store. I'm glad that rakuten is not enforcing geoip checks !

I heard that in the US, more books are read on ereader than on paper, in France we are SO far from this, and our publishers are totally scared.

Often the difference in price tag can be explained by the need for translations, which is only created by our global sloppiness in teaching english anyway xD

A good exemple of the stupidity of such publishers is "the song of ice and fire" (game of thrones): in the US on the kobo store, you can find an english bundle for approx 40 USD, which is like 30 euros give or take. In France, translated, the books are subdivised in 10 parts (instead of five originally) and are sold for 10 euros each... in ebook format, on the Kobo store ! So the equivalent bundle would be 100 euros, 300% more expensive ! Translation and taxes can't explain this, only greed could don't you agree ?

So I don't really mind anymore, I leave my language on the side of the road and I go on with english. I'm sure I'm not the only one, and these publishers are digging their own grave. The day we all read english, they won't be needed anymore. Wouldn't that be an interesting development ?
Ahh, but the French would not be so French anymore, and maybe a tad less interesting.

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Old 07-29-2013, 03:49 PM   #6
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Oh well, the world is changing, what was french 1500 years ago ? A completely different language no one is able to comprehend now except some pervert scholars

Let's think about it a bit differently. It would not really destroy the french language to start reading in english on a massive scale, it would just render it useless, as are the dozen of sublanguages in today's France. French would be a slang that some old farts speak out of nostalgia, while everyone busy enough would speak english.

Would that be so bad to be integrated in the world ? I don't think so. If you want to understand how miserable we feel everywhere, go in France. You'll see what it is to be in an area where no one is able to communicate with you. Well most of us feel that way in most parts of the world lol

In the end, do we exist to give tourists an exotic feel of the past or are we here to compete with the others on a global scale ? I wonder if some people think that way in Italy or Spain, two sisters who are in the exact same situation as us
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Old 07-29-2013, 03:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xwolfi View Post
The prices in France were so exagerated that I had to fake my ID and subscribe to the US store. I'm glad that rakuten is not enforcing geoip checks !
It must depend on which books you are buying. I often visit France to buy Tor books that are not available in New Zealand, because they are much cheaper there than in the US.
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xwolfi View Post
Oh well, the world is changing, what was french 1500 years ago ? A completely different language no one is able to comprehend now except some pervert scholars

Let's think about it a bit differently. It would not really destroy the french language to start reading in english on a massive scale, it would just render it useless, as are the dozen of sublanguages in today's France. French would be a slang that some old farts speak out of nostalgia, while everyone busy enough would speak english.

Would that be so bad to be integrated in the world ? I don't think so. If you want to understand how miserable we feel everywhere, go in France. You'll see what it is to be in an area where no one is able to communicate with you. Well most of us feel that way in most parts of the world lol

In the end, do we exist to give tourists an exotic feel of the past or are we here to compete with the others on a global scale ? I wonder if some people think that way in Italy or Spain, two sisters who are in the exact same situation as us
The French have a unique charm and sense of humour IMO. My cousin in law, who is British, would agree with you. When asked by his wife what he had against the French, he replied "They don't speak English"

I think that language shapes a culture, and that a totally homogenous world would be a lot less interesting. I only speak/read one language and feel I am a poorer person for that. Living in Canada with many French friends/acquaintances, I envy them their passion and humour. It really sems to be unique to the French.

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Old 07-29-2013, 07:05 PM   #9
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Has anyone else noticed the rise in ebook prices at Kobo since the new website?? I bought John Grisham's The Rackateer for 13.99 and it is now 15.99. Books by Carolyn Brown have also risen about 2 dollars.

Kobo what is this????
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:51 AM   #10
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Check your local B&N nook store, for instance John Grisham's The Racketeer is only £2.99 in the uk nook store. Some books are as expensive as kobo's, but on the whole they are a lot cheaper.

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Old 07-30-2013, 12:58 AM   #11
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Check your local B&N nook store, for instance John Grisham's The Racketeer is only £2.99 in the uk nook store. Some books are as expensive as kobo's, but on the whole they are a lot cheaper.
Its £3.19 at the Kobo UK store, so it is a UK/Canada price issue not a Kobo/Nook one.

(Edit: Have a look at Luzme so see the prices in different countries.)

Last edited by GeoffR; 07-30-2013 at 01:02 AM.
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Old 08-02-2013, 04:45 AM   #12
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So the equivalent bundle would be 100 euros, 300% more expensive ! Translation and taxes can't explain this, only greed could don't you agree ?
It is partly, perhaps mainly, because of the different markets. The recommended prices differ from region to region, depending on what is established and accepted. You'll find the same in other areas too, e.g. electronics and video games, though the diffences are not as drastic as with books.

The situation is similar here in Germany. I wanted to pick up a copy of Dan Brown's Inferno a while ago and saw the e-book price tag of 20 euro (26 USD). No go. A couple of months ago I wanted to buy the Neverwinter Saga books in the German iBooks store. They only offered me the German translations and would not even let me buy the English originals. In both cases I bought nothing.

Sure, I could jump through hoops and fake my location, tunnel my connection or do all sorts of things to buy e-books at US prices, but I instead take the hint and vote with my wallet. I don't pay outlandish prices and I don't sneak around for the privilege of giving a publisher my money. In a world where there is no shortage of e-literature, and certainly no lack of ways to get what you want to read, market restrictions and vastly different pricing schemes for identical products are astonishingly short-sighted approaches.

More recently I started to buy from indie publishers and authors. Not only is this extremely affordable, but it is also offering access to books that don't follow the beaten track of whatever the large publishing houses deem worth printing (so much seems same-y).
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:23 AM   #13
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The prices in France were so exagerated that I had to fake my ID and subscribe to the US store.
I'm not sure to understand why you had to change your location. My account is set to France and I could buy the 4-book bundle for less than 10€ (with a discount, but it is about 15€ otherwise). Would that be much cheaper with a US account?
Still speaking of A Song of Ice and Fire, the UK released twice a book in two parts. But I believe that series isn't a good example since many editions exist and it's very confusing. Just keep in mind that one can find each original book translated in one and only one book in French

Regarding the original topic, if the price of an ebook from a French publisher is higher at Kobo, by calling and letting them know they have to match the lower price. It happened to me once or twice, but I seldom see it.
If the ebook doesn't belong to a French publisher it's different, but a Kobo rep told me on the phone that, if I don't mind to contact them, I could try to ask them to match the price. I haven't tried so far.
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:53 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by xwolfi View Post
Oh well, the world is changing, what was french 1500 years ago ? A completely different language no one is able to comprehend now except some pervert scholars

Let's think about it a bit differently. It would not really destroy the french language to start reading in english on a massive scale, it would just render it useless, as are the dozen of sublanguages in today's France. French would be a slang that some old farts speak out of nostalgia, while everyone busy enough would speak english.

Would that be so bad to be integrated in the world ? I don't think so. If you want to understand how miserable we feel everywhere, go in France. You'll see what it is to be in an area where no one is able to communicate with you. Well most of us feel that way in most parts of the world lol

In the end, do we exist to give tourists an exotic feel of the past or are we here to compete with the others on a global scale ? I wonder if some people think that way in Italy or Spain, two sisters who are in the exact same situation as us
I think you have an idilic version of the world (and English language around the world). Go Germany, not a big city but small one. Go Russia, go Austria, go around Europe and not at big cities. English is not Esperanto, although some people think it. And, in Spain, you can buy a lot of books in English... But more expensive. I don't usually have to fake my address... unless I want to pay less. And yes, "old Castilian" is difficult, but you can understand it. I don't want English "per se", I'm not interested in forgetting my language, I'm not interested in big integration or I would learn Chinese. I want to read and American writers (not English books in general but usually American books) appeal more to me because of the genres I read.
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:23 AM   #15
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Go Germany, not a big city but small one.
Been there, done that.
I was lost in a small town, trying my best to reach my group before breakfast was over* and all I could say in German was "Ich spreche nicht Deutsch" (as well as asking for a beer or a cigarette, but I don't smoke and I was expecting hot beverage for breakfast). Of course, not one person I've met that morning could speak English.

*oh, the horror! food is very important to me, but in the end I've found the place and could eat before going on a hike
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