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Old 04-05-2010, 01:39 AM   #1
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Prices are so confusing---and in print, too!

I have been doing some comparison shopping trying to put together another article for Teleread, and I don't know what end is up anymore.

How about this one: inspired by my recent shelf space liberation due to Anne-Marie Macdonald's massive doorstopper of a first book hitting Kobo, I did a search for her second book. Here is what I found:

- Fictionwise: Not listed
- Sony: Not listed, but they had book #1 for $13.99
- Kobo: $13.39 with a list price of $23
- Amazon ebook: $10.99 "this price was set by the publisher"
- Amazon.com cheapest print version: $11.66 paperback
- Amazon.ca cheapest print version: $16.79 paperback

So I guess Kobo, being Canadian, will not be able to compete on price because they will have to base their e-price on the Canadian paperback, and our print books have always been more expensive. But they have been more expensive because of import and distribution issues in the print chain, so this doesn't really seem fair. And it doesn't explain why the ebook list price is $23 when even the highest-priced paperback is cheaper.

I thought the 'price set by publisher' thing would standardize the book prices. I also thought they would drop as the book aged. This book was published in 2004 so giving us a whole $2-3 off the paper version doesn't really seem like much of a bone.

I am so bitter about this. I'll happily pay for the books I want to read, but it seems they are really taking advantage and not playing fair here, and ebook readers are some of their most loyal customers (I mean, we read enough to shell out for the devices, that's saying something). Bottom line is, $12 for an ebook is about my maximum ceiling, and I'd have to really want the book to spend that much. Any higher and it goes on my wishlist until either the price drops or the library gets it, whichever comes first.
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:05 AM   #2
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You are better than me. I refuse to pay a dead tree price for a digital book and nearly all the mass markets I want are being priced at 7.99.
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:37 AM   #3
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Well, really, $10 is my limit but everything is $2 more in Canada so I have bumped it a little. But I am certainly not as free with the book spending as I used to be. I just went through my print shelf again looking for e-versions to replace with, found a few more and wishlisted them all. In better days, I might have blown $50 and bought them all on the spot. Now, I'll go through my to read pile first and then when I have read through more of my newer stuff, I'll think about what old p-fav to revisit. I am telling you, they are losing money on this!
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Old 04-05-2010, 06:02 AM   #4
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This really IS weird, because I was doing some comparison shopping over the weekend, too, and I get entirely different prices from what you're reporting.

At Kobo, I'm showing $11.79 for the Anne-Maire MacDonald book. Amazon.com shows $6.89 for the Kindle version of the first book.

It's strange, too, because I checked out the three books I had posted to my wish list in the Sony store - priced at $12.99, $12.60 and $12.55 at Sony, up from the prices listed before April 1st. At Kobo, the same books were uniformly $9.29 each. (A 4th book priced at $12.99 at Sony isn't listed at Kobo.)

I was wondering if Kobo simply hasn't yet raised their prices, due to the Easter holiday.

Curiouser and curiouser....
Cheers,
Bev
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