Follow by email

Wednesday, 17 November 2010


Bloody eBooks!
Ordinarily a new Stephen King collection is something to celebrate, but his new collection Near Dark, No Stars is gathering nothing but bad reviews and it's nothing to do with the quality of the stories. The problem is that the discounted hardcover is actually cheaper than the eBook version - this has provoked a stream of one star reviews, complaining of he pricing of the eBook. In fairness Amazon have been forced into this pricing model by publishers who are afraid of losing some of their profits.

“At first I could not believe my eyes: the Kindle download is more expensive than the hardcover version. This is outrageous!” Wrote one King Fan.

“Unfortunately as a retired senior I can’t afford $14.95, so my one star review is not about the short stories. I haven’t read them.” Wrote another.

“Please kindle owners – don’t buy books that are overpriced! This is the only way that the publishers will bring the prices down!” Complained yet another King fan.

"I won't buy the hardcover. Why should I after investing in a Kindle? But nor will I be ripped off by the greedy men in suits who run the publishing industry. This is a load of shit." Wrote a particularly furious fan who then proceeded to also give the book one star.

This has happened before. Perhaps it’s time for Amazon to put up separate star ratings for pricing and availability; they could collect some interesting data that way, in addition to protecting authors from lost sales due to customer disgruntlement over things that have nothing to do with writing quality.

On the UK Amazon site the Kindle version is £9.99 while the hardcover is £7.99 - now that's clearly insane and does represent a rip off to purchasers of the electronic version, but giving the author bad reviews is not the answer. The simply answer would be to boycott the eBook version but that may be futile and certainly wouldn't bother the publishers as long as the discounted hardback is still selling. Amazon themselves are keen to point out in their listing for the book that -

This price was set by the publisher

No comments: