Just a week ago, I wrote about my problem with Kindle books – the lack of the redistributable property. Essentially, books were often priced too high by publishers to make buying digital Kindle copies a worthwhile practice. My example was $9.99 for a Kindle copy you cannot give away or $13.99 paperback copy you can give to your friend for free.
I’m not giving up on Amazon or Kindle books yet. I was browsing through my favorite, the fiction section. I found two books. One was published by Random House and the other has no denotation and it makes me assume it was published on Kindle and via some form of physical Amazon self-publishing.
The first book looks pretty interesting. A Game of Thrones. So this is a long book at 864 physical pages or 2062 KB of data. Either way, you’re getting something pretty good. Here’s the price break down though.
- List Price: $17.00
- Amazon Paperback Price: $10.20
- Kindle Price: $8.99
Can you see the downward spiral in pricing? The discount between the list price and Amazon price is 40%. But then, the discount between the paperback price and the Kindle price is only a tiny ~12%. That’s fine, maybe, if you’re coming from the store and seeing that original list price but you’re not – you’re seeing it on Amazon. The insanity of it all.
The second book is probably one of those self-published Amazon books but I cannot tell for sure. Annihilation: Love Conquers All. I admit this is very different from the previous book in terms of length. At a mere 262 pages or 435 KB, this book is a quarter in length compared to The Game of Thrones. Here’s the price break down.
- List Price: $14.95
- Amazon Paperback Price: $14.83
- Kindle Price: $2.99
And here’s the bombshell price. The discount between the list price is a mere ~1%. But then, the discount between the paperback and the Kindle price is a huge ~80%. That’s what I’m looking for.
$2.99 is a reasonable price for a short book I cannot give away to anyone else, ever again. It’s like a rental. Fine, that’s just fine. Remember that first book? That $17.00 list price book? A Game of Thrones? It’s from 2003 and it’s probably well read by now. So why not allow the Kindle price to be discounted by 80%? It would end up around $3.40 which is again, like an Amazon Rental or an Apple TV rental.
Buying a book and owning it and also have the rights to redistribute it later is what I’m paying for, right? And additionally, if those rights are being withheld, then I think a rental price is in order.