On the theme of book prices I found this article yesterday and thought I would share. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/11/technology/11reader.html?ref=business. The article talks about the price war between publishers and Amazon yet the heart of it shows how fickle and unrealistic some people are when it come to rising prices of well, of everything. The article starts off with:
In the battle over the pricing of electronic books, publishers appear to have won the first round. The price of many new releases and best sellers is about to go up, to as much as $14.99 from $9.99.But there may be an insurgency waiting to pounce: e-book buyers.
We already knew the price of e-books would rise at some point, after all Amazon never promised a life time of $9.99 books, but reading the article might make you think they had. Many E-Reader owners are complaining pre-price hike. One says he feels “extorted”, another says Amazon promised $9.99 books and if the cost rises she will go back to borrowing books from her local library. Some people feel that these books are not printed so they should not cost the same as print books; obviously these people do not understand it still takes work to have e-books available for mass production.
What is so odd about this mentality is that the price of print books is not static. Print books started out costing a penny, then a nickel etc. I pulled out two of my Stephen King books I have purchased over the years. In 1978 Doubleday came out with the hardbound edition of The Stand. The jacket price says $17.99. Ten years later I purchased a hardcopy of It for $22.95 and this year Under the Dome would have set me back $35.99(oops just checked, the hardcopy is now $17.99, does this say something about the book or the price?). My point is we lifelong readers know that book prices rise just like milk and cars.
So why the outrage over the rising cost of e-books? I want to think these people who are complaining are the same ones who taunted their friends when they first got their Kindle. Can you see it dear Reader? Can you see these people mocking those who not only did not purchase an E-Reader but are willing to pay more than $9.99? Now they may feel stupid that they too are going to have to pay more than $9.99. Their mocking was all for naught. Or maybe the reason is as Douglas Preston so eloquently puts it in the article. Preston says:
“The sense of entitlement of the American consumer is absolutely astonishing,” “It’s the Wal-Mart mentality, which in my view is very unhealthy for our country. It’s this notion of not wanting to pay the real price of something.”
Now I do not know the price of making an e-book but I do know a great quote when I see one. This can apply to more than just e-books, but after reading this article I have to agree with Preston, the American consumer has an unhealthy sense of entitlement. Read the article and let me know what you think.
So Yesterday I came home and found I had received a UPS package. Apparently Random House decided to send a book to me; since I did not ask to review this book I found the choice to send it to me rather, well, random.
Random House sent a nice hardback copy of Frank Delaney’s newest book titled Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show. If you have not yet read Delaney’s novel Ireland I encourage you to do so. Deleaney is a wonderful writer and though this book may not be something I would have chosen on my own, I do look forward to reading. Thank you Random House for the nice surprise!
Speaking of sending books, I am going to host my first book give away in the hopes to gain more readers. Everyone who follows me is already entered to win. Send a friend(s) over and you will be entered again as will your friend(s. More to come, but meanwhile spread the word, free books are on their way to someone soon!