Summary: There are a dedicated group of watchmen, determined to bring ebook prices back down to below $10. And as the world moves on without them and their arbitrary prices, it only takes a little bit of searching to show that they are still off in their own little corner, oblivious but angry...
BLOT: (15 May 2012 - 10:16:32 AM)
Watching the Amazon Kindle Price Weenies Shoot Themselves in Their Own Collective Foot...
One of the most intriguing facets of the ebook anthropology, and hopefully one that will be retained in the annals of ebook-publishing lore, are those tireless men and women who descend upon hundreds and thousands of ebooks on Amazon.com and mark them as being priced over $9.99, the arbitrary price set initially by Amazon and maintained by that faithful core as being the "true" price that ebooks should be, at least ebooks that are brand new and hot off the virtual presses. In other words, they see this as a maximum, not an average nor a special pricing, but the very horizon to which ebook prices must not venture beyond.
Some of the earliest of these brave defenders wrote nasty reviews. You have a brand new ebook coming out, the hardcover being over $30, but you dare charge $12.99 for the ebook? 1-star for your greed and no they did not read it because you, sir, are evil. As the bad reviews started getting tons of "not helpful" votes, they moved on to tags, which Amazon allows people to use to sort of crowd-source book organization. A book that ventured into the "here be dragons" of greater than $9.99 might find tags like these:
Even assuming that each person marked more than one tag, we have 32 accounts going for the tag "overpriced-kindle-version" on that book, as of yesterday. Just picture them all shaking their fist and lighting up a thoughtful cigarette of justice after getting done, staring into the sunset out their living room window, realizing they are mankind's only hope.
Except this isn't an ebook they are attacking, this is a trilogy of ebooks in one bundle. The Mistborn Trilogy, to be precise. Three ebooks priced at $22.99 for the package, which is about a dollar less than buying the ebooks separately. Sure, this is about $8 more than the hardcopy edition, but the hardcopy edition, a box of three massmarket paperbacks, is at a 40% discount, and that's one of those weird bits where ebooks being handled not as commodities but as licenses ends up with physical product being discountable while ebooks are sort of "special license price this week only" -able, and I can see some complaint, there, but in this case I think your $9.99-or-bust watchmen do not care about what is really going on, and since no one seems to care about Amazon tags or about people complaining about prices, I'm pretty sure they are preaching to the choir.
They have effectively marginalized their own argument, or as I call it in the title of the post, they have shot themselves in their own collective foot...
OTHER BLOTS THIS MONTH: May 2012