On Tuesday, the NY Times had an article about the price of E-books on Amazon. Best-selling author Ken Follett’s new book had a hardcover price of around $19.39, but the Kindle electronic version was $19.99.
The fallout was dramatic, with readers actually slamming Ken in the reviews of the book because of the outrageous e-price. But in fact, the publisher sets its own price for electronic versions, so it really wasn’t the author’s fault. Add to that the cheaper price on the hardcover (which Amazon sets) and you can see why readers were confused and incensed.
I know more and more teens who read on Kindle. It’s bringing more kids to books, which is a great thing. That said, making it more expensive to enjoy a book is a terrible idea -- both for readers and authors.
Do you use a Kindle or E-reader? I don’t. I’m not saying that I ever won’t, but for right now, I’m still in love with the old fashioned experience, no batteries required. Plus, I spend all day on my computer, so I don’ t want to have more screen time when I read for pleasure. I know people who love their Kindles, but I love the sound of turning book pages, the smell of the ink, the way you can read for hours if you want.
There is room for both, of course, providing the books are affordable for everyone. This kind of crazy pricing makes no senses -- especially when publishers don't have the expense of paper, printing, shipping, etc. It's digital for a reason, remember? Physical books at the library are free -- you may have to wait a little while, but the price is worth it. And if you buy a physical book, you can read it, love it, and either pass it on, or keep it on your shelf to enjoy again.
The future is not so far away, though -- can you imagine your local library loaning limited-time Kindle downloads as if you were checking out books? I’m sure it’s only a matter of time...
Would you pay $19.39 for a e-book? I really want to know.
P.S. Pug/Kindle photo taken by amazing author Alyssa Day and starring Daisy.
Never Cry Werewolf - HarperTeen
The Clearing - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Wherever You Go - Harcourt Fall 2011