A couple of weeks ago I wrote about ebook pricing insanity, citing the high prices of new release books using the newly released Gauntlgrym: Neverwinter Book I by R. A. Salvatore. At the same time I noted how the move to price ebooks at greater than $10 has slowed down my buying:
I have definitely balked at buying books I would have bought without thought at $9.99. For example, Bob Woodward’s ‘Obamas Wars’ looked interesting, but the ebook cost $14.99 – basically the same as the $15.00 hardcover. Similarly Company Town, looking at industries that have become wrapped around a single town (interesting since I work for one!), cost $12.99 – much less than the $19.40 hardcover, but whereas I wouldn’t have hesitated at $10, for $13 I decided to wait.
But another point of that article was about not just the high prices but the wide variety of pricing amongst new release ebooks.
So there you have it – a $3 differential on a niche fantasy genre book, with prices all the way up to $0.05 less than hardcover!
Now there is a site – Leatherbound.me – that does comparisons of the three main ebook stores: Kindle, nook and iBooks. As you can see in the example at the top, had I waited two weeks I could have gotten Gauntlgrym for $9.99 just about anywhere (Borders.com is still $16.29, which perhaps explains why I don’t buy ebooks there!).
The site isn’t perfect – my paperback copy of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaptick is in really rough shape after being brought out again for both of my kids to read (ok, the paperback is more than 30 years old, I suppose it IS time!), so I searched Vonnegut and got a nice list. But no Slapstick. So I searched Slapstick. Still nothing.
Similarly, entering Neverwinter got me nowhere, nor did Gauntlgrym … but Salvatore got me the book right away. From the other stuff mentioned above: I tried Woodward, Obama’s Wars, Company Town, Hardy Green, and so on … and got nothing. Just ‘Obama’ got me Obama’s Wars (which has dropped to $12.99 across the board in two weeks!) … but I couldn’t ever get the site to find “The Company Town: The Industrial Edens and Satanic Mills That Shaped the American Economy” by Hardy Green. Seems like there are still issues.
But even in this somewhat rough state I consider this an invaluable tool in the war against getting gouged for ebooks – and I very much applaud the authors for their efforts!