The New York Times reported a couple of days ago that for some newly released books on Amazon, the Kindle version actually costs more than the hardcover. For obvious reasons, this has not exactly been well received by their customers. Reviews for James Patterson’s new book Don’t Blink are overwhelmingly concerned with the price rather than the book itself, with a slew of one-star ratings (though one of these unhappy reviewers did note “I read the hardcopy of this and can tell the people who are boycotting the e-book because of the price, that they’re not missing anything”).
Meanwhile, Amazon is blaming the publishers (going so far as to write in italics underneath the $14.99 on the Kindle version this price was set by the publisher) and the publishers are blaming Amazon for lowering hardcover prices too drastically. Though the real victims here seem to be Kindle owners who were relying on that $9.99 price point – or maybe the authors, who now have crappy reviews of their books because of things beyond their control.
So what do you think? Is $14.99 too much for an e-book in general, or only if the hardcover happens to be $14.00? Or what about $19.99 for the Kindle version of Ken Follett’s new book Fall of the Giants? What do you think is the perfect e-book price point?
I own a Kindle, though my purchase choices on it usually have little to do with price – more like whether the book is important enough to me that I want it on my shelf, or if I’d be embarrassed to be seen reading it in public. But I do think I’d be wary about paying more than I’d pay for the hardcover.