Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Oh, Amazon. It's like you don't even want me to buy books.


As we have previously discussed, there is nothing more infuriating that buying a newly released book from Amazon. The ridiculous markdown on hardbacks combined with the infuriating mark up on the Kindle version creates the following situation:

Broken Harbor is a book I have been looking forward to all summer. Last summer, I blew through these mysteries set in Dublin. Each one focuses on a different member of the detective squad, and I loved them. The new one came out yesterday!

How infuriating. I can buy the Kindle version for 15 bucks or get the hardback from Amazon for $16.43. The hell?

You know what I'm probably *going* to do, even though it's totally illogical? Go down to my local independent bookstore, right in the neighborhood, and plunk down full price for it. At least that way the local bookstore gets a cut. Those jerks at Amazon, or those jerks at the publishing house, or whoever it is that makes hardback sales the be-all-end-all number, make me want to scream. Don't get me wrong---I still by plenty for Amazon. But every once in a while, I just want to protest the stupidity. It also makes it more likely that I will get my small, petty revenge by letting other people borrow it. That's why I almost always purchase the actual book in these situations---I hate spending $15 on a non-lendable Kindle book.


PS. You know what, the more I think about it, the more likely it will be that I won't buy this book at all. I'll borrow it from the library at school and read it for free. Take that publishers! Of course, the downside of this plan is that I'm not supporting the author. 


  1. All right. I just did some poking around on the All-Knowing Internet to find out what the *heck* is going on with this. I found... a lot of junk.

    But I also found this interesting blog post from March 2011.

    After reading that post, I wondered about the publisher's cut -- couldn't *that* amount come down with eBooks? Not according to this other post (also at that site).


  2. Well, I had the last laugh...sort of. I hit the used book sale at the Newberry Library today and bought 6 or 7 paperback mysteries for $1 each. By the time I make it through a few of those, it will be time to go back to school and I can get Broken Harbor from the school library. I'm just too annoyed to buy the book at this point. I'd feel sorry for the author, but last Christmas, I bought a few people a copy of her first mystery, In the Woods. Right now, that's the best I can do.

    I think it's especially annoying because there are certain books that are just begging to be read on a Kindle, and mysteries definitely fall into that category. Bah. I'm off to read your articles now.

    Also, Salon has a new audiobook column! Their first recommendation is Angle of Repose!

  3. Duh. Link to the article at Salon:

  4. Reading those articles has made me go back to Plan A: buy it from the bookstore. At least they'll get a big cut of the book, especially a hardback.

    Those articles were actually super helpful, but I am firmly in the "what's an ebook worth" conundrum. I'll tell you what solve that problem for me *immediately*: make every Kindle book lendable. If that was the case, I wouldn't hesitate to buy more of them.

    I've spent way too much time thinking about this.

  5. Gotta revisit this topic because I have just encountered a *recently published* book where the Kindle version costs *more* than the paperback. Kindle: $13.72. Paperback: $10.20. A LOT more! $3.52 is a lot of cabbage when you are talking about a $10 purchase!

    SERIOUSLY?! That... just... doesn't... I... UGH.

  6. That's so ridiculous that I can't even handle it. I sort of get from the publisher's viewpoint the hardback thing, but this is insane.