Sunday, November 16, 2008

Why I (almost) bought Head Wounds by Chris Knopf

1. Cause I met him at CrimeBake very briefly and he seemed like a very nice guy.

2. Head Wounds has a GREAT cover

3. Head Wounds has some very nice reviews

4. Head Wounds is available for Kindle download

So, why don't I own Head Wounds?

1. I didn't get a chance to scout out a copy at CrimeBake (Glenlivet doubles bear much of the burden for that)

2. When I got home and unpacked my valise and found the postcard with the great cover, I downloaded the first chapter to my Kindle and when I went to click "Buy" discovered the horrifying price:

$18.40 for a Kindle version.
The same price as the hardcover.

I'm not spending $18.40 for an ebook. Even if it's just been published. I'll buy a hardcover for $25 without thinking too much about it, but I'm not spending $18.40 on electrons. I'm just NOT.

First, I can't do anything other than read it myself. With a $25 hardcover I can give it to a friend, give it to the library, give it to my Herpet American asssssistant for her birthday, use it as a coaster, a leaf flattener, a paperweight, a door jamb, a barbell, or raw material for a ransom note if I wanted to.

Electrons? Not so much.

Ebooks aren't going to replace hardcovers. I probably will buy this in hardcover when I next saunter past a bookstore. I'm just not buying it right now for my Kindle.

In setting the Kindle price so close to the hardcover price, the publisher is saying the two forms are interchangeable. They're not. I'm buying the book cause I want to support the authors who came to CrimeBake. If I was just a regular buyer though, the publisher has decreased the likelihood of making a sale. Once someone gets ready to buy and then doesn't, it's almost as hard to get them back to finish the sale as to attract a new buyer.

I'd have spent $10.00 for this book, no problem.
I'm not spending $18.40.


emeraldcite said...

I fancy myself fairly tech savvy. I love new technology and would love to own a Kindle, but I can hardly bring myself to pay the same price for an ebook as a physical copy.

What's upsetting is that the ebook costs less to produce, so that savings should be passed on, not just because of the cost alone, but to help bolster the new form.

I can't wait until ebooks pick up a bit more so that competition will drive down prices.

A smart corporation would lower their ebook prices below competitors and pick up some of those sales. Undercut your competition.

Not only that, but offer extra content like with DVDs. So much potential.

If I had a publishing company, I'd make a big push into the technology market. Use twitters, emails, texts, and ebooks to promote writers.

When I feel comfortable that my wallet isn't going to be raped by the publishing industry for buying an ebook, I'll invest in it. I just hope someone wises up soon.

/coffee-fueled rant complete

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Janet, is it the publisher who's setting the price, or is it Amazon? I thought I'd heard talk when the Kindle was first released that Amazon was dictating the price of Kindle editions.

Either way, it's incredibly too high. What a stupid way to undermine someone who could be a huge writer, if given a fair shake. FAIR shake.

Justus M. Bowman said...

I agree with you: the price is too high.

Amie Stuart said...

I totally don't blame you on not buying the e-book. That's crazy!

Tom Segerson said...

Looks like the typical "Jack the price up until they scream, then give 'em a discount. Tell 'em about their great 'savings'." ploy. Like gas prices.

How does the author know if they are getting paid for each download?

Does the author get a list of sales with the buyer's name, etc.?

Crimogenic said...

The price is out of line. It's cheaper to produce, so it should be cheaper for the reader. Also, the Kindle is already fairly expensive to start with.

Pepper Smith said...

Unfortunately, it's not unusual for newly released books from the big publishing houses to be priced at or close to the hardback price. I don't know why they think this is smart. Most ebooks publishers price their books at around that of a mass market paperback.

Heather Wardell said...

I read nearly everything electronically now, on my Palm, and I am constantly annoyed at the prices for eBooks. There are no costs per copy once the electronic file has been produced, so eBooks should be considerably cheaper. Not free, of course, but cheaper.

My favourite eBook store just did a "all NYT Bestsellers are just $9.99" sale - I bought three. I probably wouldn't have bought one at $15. Illogical, but there it is.

Barbara Martin said...

I agree with you that it's too much for an ebook.