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Amazon Kindle Book Pricing Number Fudge
Ed Kohler

I'm a huge Amazon fan, but as I mentioned earlier, I have my doubts about the Kindle ebook reader. Here's an example of why I think Amazon has some doubts about the Kindle too.

Check out the pricing examples for current NY Times bestsellers compared to hardcovers. This comes from the Kindle page of Amazon's site earlier today:

Amazon Kindle Book Pricing

Three popular books. All for more than 60% below the hardcover price. Impressive, right?

I don't think so.

If Amazon wanted to give a more HONEST example of Kindle ebook pricing, they would have compared the Kindle book prices to what those NY Times bestsellers cost in hardcover form on their own site.

It turns out that Amazon sells brand new hardcover versions for $16-17 for the titles mentioned above.

This is a significant difference, because it more than doubles (almost triples) the number of titles one would need to purchase before one breaks even on the Kindle.

Also, notice that the current USED price for the title mentioned above is only $2-6 below the NEW price. In theory, this means you could buy a new copy and sell it to someone else for a net of half of the Kindle. You can't sell - or even give your Kindle version to a friend.

The audio CD version of Colbert's book, which costs more new than the Kindle or hardcover version, IS reselling for $4 below retail, so also a better value play.

So, while there certainly are reasons why someone would buy a Kindle, I'm ruling out the cost savings as one of them.


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1. Posted by: Paul on November 26, 2007 12:11 AM:

Why would anyone buy a Kindle at $399? Ipods and mp3 players fill aneed-- try to carry around a large collection of music without one. And carrying around a lot of music is good. I use my ipod at the gym, at work (I own a bar), in my car and in my kitchen. Every one of those places needs a different type of music or podcast.
But how many books does one need at once? Maybe two books and a magazine. One certainly does not need to carry around one's entire library of books. In fact, why would I want to?
Music and books are intrinsically different. So far, from what I can see, none of these e-readersgets that.

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