7 August 2010

Who came up with eBook pricing

by Anton Piatek

Seriously… Who decided how to price eBooks?

A friend at work recently recommended I read Richard Morgan’s Altered Carbon. The Kindle app on android allowed me to find it quickly and download the first 3 chapters free to read – I loved it and decided I wanted to read the rest of it… However when checking the prices I was left the feeling that eBooks are just too expensive for what they are £5.99
Amazon UK £5.19
Kindle (Amazon UK) £4.88

I went with Play as their free delivery normally takes about 2 days, so that was great. But seriously, nearly the same price for Kindle? For a book I cannot resell, lend or give away?

Digital books should be much, much cheaper – There is no printing cost involved, so the book should be significantly cheaper, but this is not what I am seeing.

If I choose to keep the book and reread it again in a few years, the price may be fine. But I am more likely to read it once, and then give it to a friend to read. Why should i pay nearly the same price for something I cannot lend, sell, or give to a charity shop?

Also, how on earth does a paper book qualify for no VAT, yet as soon as that book has no paper involved I have to pay VAT?!?

There are lots of Kindle books for £3 or less, and for these I will probably just buy it digitally as its incredibly cheap. But if I wanted to buy a recent release, then I really am paying a lot more for a digital book just to have it early? Why?
I can understand pricing getting lower for older books as they have to compete with people lending books, libraries and second-hand sales, however none of that is possible for DRM protected eBooks, so they should all be priced the same as older releases

tags: books - drm - ebook - kindle - Reading