*grr* I’m sorry, but I just flat-out don’t believe what some of my friends and fellow travelers seem to; that the reason the publishers want to control and initially raise the prices of e-books is that they need that control and increase…in order to DECREASE prices in some indeterminate future. Not buying it, folks.
What I’m seeing on the ground is that they could do that now if they wanted to, but they don’t. I had been waiting to buy So Damn Much Money by Robert Kaiser (had heard good things) until it dropped to $9.99 for my Kindle, but I failed to catch that text-to-speech is disabled. So in car last weekend, and wanted to just listen…no joy. Yes, I know publishers
have to protect audio-book sales. Spare me.
So, already irritated by that this morning, nevertheless I thought about buying a digital copy of a book I already own, in hardback; Colossus: How the Corporation Changed America. I’ve started the book several times, and I always get so angry I have to put it down…not a good choice of book to carry physically and double my bag weight. But dumped on the Kindle and available whenever? I just might get through it.
I found it in the Kindle store; excellent! Then, all downhill: “Digital list price”, $30; crazy! Kindle price, $16.50; insane! “Text to speech, disabled”; not going to happen. I’ll finish it in physical form, someday. I suppose.
Note: this book was published in 2001. It’s no longer in print, as far as I can tell. I bought it as a hardback on a bargain shelf a couple of years ago for I think about $7. I would have bought the book AGAIN if it had been available for the Kindle for $7 (with text-to-speech enabled; without it, either no-go, or maybe $4.99 or less). There’s no hardcover in print for e-book sales to
parasitize; this e-book pricing makes no sense whatsoever, in my opinion. They just lost a sale is all I know…and at a current ranking of 140,479 in the Kindle store, they’re not exactly making a huge case for the price discrimination strategy.
As for the text-to-speech issue; yes, I know I can crack the DRM and listen to these books…that’s not the point. Get a clue for how I might want to use a book, and I might even pay more! (O’Reilly, for example, sells technical books without DRM, in multiple formats whenever possible, allows you lifetime updates, and use on any supported device. The last e-book I bought there was almost $21 on sale…but with copies I can put on my phone and my Kindle, and updates forever, I was OK with that.)