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Old 04-24-2010, 11:56 PM   #1
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Why are Stephen King ebooks so expensive?

I was looking at some Stephen King ebooks today. A few were reasonable (Different Seasons for example) but some were just outrageous. The Stand for example was published in 1990 and is available in paper for about $8 new. The ebook version is $25 on Fictionwise and about $17 at Sony and Kobo. The Kindle version is $8.09 (but I don't shop for ebooks at Amazon).

How on earth can they justify these prices on 20-year-old mass market paperbacks? All the Grishams came out in the $10 range so why is Stephen King so special? And why is everyone else pricing it so outrageously when the Kindle version is so much cheaper?
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Old 04-25-2010, 12:28 AM   #2
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Think of it as the "paying for a designer label" concept. Some people will shell out tens of thousands of dollars for a Ferrari or other "exotic" sports car while others think a Kia Rio is just as good because they both do the same thing, take you from point "A" to point "B".

I have only read one book from King, It was his first attempt at a fantasy novel. He is definately a good writer, but there is no way I would pay $17 or $25 for an ebook that can be had for $8 in paperback form, but some will. Like you, I do not have a way to read amazon ebooks on a portable reader.
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:30 AM   #3
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Because they can. There are people that dont care for SK but I love most of his books... I am almost done with the Dark Tower Series right now...

As for The Stand, I think that is the best book I have ever read
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:45 AM   #4
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I believe the reason why some Stephen King ebooks are really expensive is because the ebook is published by Random House, which only has the hardcover and ebook rights (IIRC mass market paperback rights are Pocket Books), and the ebook is priced to match the hardcover. The ebooks that are priced to match the MMPB are all published by the publisher with the MMPB edition.

I bought the expensive ones last year when Fictionwise had one of their 100% micropay rebate sales going on, but I was really tempted to just boycott them. I don't think Random House would have ever noticed if I had.
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bgalbrecht View Post
I believe the reason why some Stephen King ebooks are really expensive is because the ebook is published by Random House, which only has the hardcover and ebook rights (IIRC mass market paperback rights are Pocket Books), and the ebook is priced to match the hardcover.
The paperback rights are mostly split between Pocket & Penguin - Random House has Black House and The Talisman, but I think those are it.

Otherwise, that's essentially correct.
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Old 04-26-2010, 12:37 AM   #6
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well, can't argue with $8.09 on Amazon. I wonder why there is such an enormous price difference?
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Old 04-26-2010, 12:42 AM   #7
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well, can't argue with $8.09 on Amazon. I wonder why there is such an enormous price difference?
Random House is still on the traditional retail price model for their ebooks.
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Old 04-26-2010, 12:46 AM   #8
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Random House is still on the traditional retail price model for their ebooks.
More power to them. Amazon actually lowered the price, a few months ago I was looking for The Stand, then it was 12.95 or something. So I just bought it for 8.09.
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Old 04-26-2010, 01:16 AM   #9
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Too bad none of the other stores will match it I have not bought from Amazon yet and won't until someone figures out how to 'liberate' the files using the Kindle for Mac application.
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Old 04-26-2010, 01:30 AM   #10
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Too bad none of the other stores will match it I have not bought from Amazon yet and won't until someone figures out how to 'liberate' the files using the Kindle for Mac application.
You seem to have the hardware Kindle? Can't the files downloaded with it be liberated on a Mac? Or a file downloaded from the iPod Touch?
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:17 AM   #11
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HansTWN: No. I use a separate US account to download the free books and it is not linked with any of my hardware except the mac and the ipod. I don't know how to get the PID from the mac or ipod and I do not want to link my physical Kindle to that account.
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:16 AM   #12
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Because they can. There are people that dont care for SK but I love most of his books... I am almost done with the Dark Tower Series right now...

As for The Stand, I think that is the best book I have ever read
I love the The Dark Tower; reading that series was perhaps the most enjoyable time I've ever spent reading.

Have read the series twice so far. Will read it again in about a year or so.

I haven't read The Stand in about 15 years, I've got it on my 'to read again' list. Maybe in the next month or so. It was truly a great book. I really enjoyed Under the Dome as well.
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Old 04-26-2010, 03:26 PM   #13
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Too bad none of the other stores will match it I have not bought from Amazon yet and won't until someone figures out how to 'liberate' the files using the Kindle for Mac application.
I think Barnes & Noble is price matching Amazon on everything except 'Salem's Lot, which is still $26.
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:56 PM   #14
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Have you tried WH Smith? at under £7

http://ebooks.whsmith.co.uk/F028CBBB...D-57C6BDCDFD14
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Old 04-27-2010, 07:37 AM   #15
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Apologies if this is derailing the conversation a little - but i'm desperately looking for Stephen King's Dark Tower series in non-DRM'd ePub. So i can read them on my imported iPad. The WHSmith link above is the first ePub version of them i've seen (added bonus that they're the british ones too!) but i'm guessing they've got the Adobe Digital Editions DRM.

Any ideas?
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