It's summer, the sun is shining, and I'm about to head off on a three day trip to the beach ... so of necessity (and lacking the brain power to discuss anything in a deep and meaningful manner) this post will be short.
Harking back to Claire's post on eBooks and how she's surprised herself with just how enamoured she's become of her Kindle, today, I had a bit of a thought-provoking eBook moment myself.
I'm one of those types who roughly buys half eBooks, half paper books, but when it comes to vacation time I firmly favour packing my Kindle over trying to stuff four or five paperbacks (or, God forbid, weighty and spine damaging hardbacks) into my suitcase. So this morning, I set about doing a cruise of Amazon's Kindle shop to see what lovelies I could download for my beach reading pleasure, and to my delight I came across a new release by an author whose previous works I have very much enjoyed: SEASON OF LIGHT by Katharine McMahon. And it was available in Kindle format. Bliss!
But then I noticed the price: $US20.82.
Yep. Twenty dollars and eighty-two cents. I confess, I had to blink to make sure I wasn't seeing things, but no, that is indeed the price of the Kindle version (a price set by the publisher according to a disclaimer of sorts on the book's Amazon page). More expensive than the paperback version, which is selling on Amazon for $US19.84.
I didn't buy the book. I just couldn't. And I've been questioning my reluctance (or stinginess?) ever since.
I've become used to paying no more than, say, $12 - $15 at the very top end for an eBook, and I guess the fact the paperback version is cheaper - ok, only marginally, and yes, freight charges would be added, but still cheaper at face value - than the eBook, came as a bit of a shock to me. With eBooks, costs such as paper and printing and warehousing and freight are eliminated; and yes, while different costs go into eBook production, surely, they can't be as much as those associated with paper production. Or am I wrong about that?
But I think the main reason for my reluctance, and with no disrespect intended to Katharine McMahon who is a very fine author, when the Kindle version of a book by an author as popular as Stephen King doesn't even break the $20 mark (his latest release, 11/22/63, sells for $17.69 as an eBook on Amazon) then I'm even more hesitant to buy.
Is it just me? Am I missing something? Am I just being a tightwad? Or is $20 for an eBook too much for you, too?