Paperback and eBook Price Differences!

Paperback and eBook Price Differences!

Generally speaking, I tend to buy eBooks over paper books. I like reading on my Kindle, and since I am usually reading more than one book at once it saves me the trouble of juggling several books on my nightstand or gear bag. My only major exception is if the book is not available in eBook form. I did trip across another reason to buy the paperback version over an eBook this week, though…

Paperback and eBook Price Differences!

That’s a screenshot of the listing for the Kindle edition of Michael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food”. Note that Amazon makes sure to tell you this price was set by the publisher.

Paperback and eBook Price Differences!

Then there’s the listing for the paperback version. Almost $4.00 cheaper! Crazy!

This is one of those things that need to get fixed by publishers. It’s ridiculous that the eBook would be priced at such a significant premium to the paperback, and it strikes me as either a sad disconnect or a desperate attempt to lure consumers to buy paper books. In any case, it’s frustrating!

Have you been faced with this type of pricing difference choice? Which version did you buy? Share your experiences below!

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About the Author

Zek has been a gadget fiend for a long time, going back to their first PDA (a Palm M100). They quickly went from researching what PDA to buy to following tech news closely and keeping up with the latest and greatest stuff. They love writing about ebooks because they combine their two favorite activities; reading anything and everything, and talking about fun new tech toys. What could be better?

7 Comments on "Paperback and eBook Price Differences!"

  1. Joel McLaughlin | February 6, 2011 at 11:58 am |

    Wow. That’s a little crazy. Not like it costs them oodles of dollars to sell an eBook copy!

  2. If I see a difference like that I simply won’t buy the book … I have done it in the past, and just tend to wait on the pricing to stabilize, or skip it altogether. There is enough good stuff out there that I never feel I’m missing out. Of course, that isn’t a solution for most folks.

  3. I’ve usually just banked my enthusiasm and waited, to be honest. I have plenty of books in my (electronic) “to be read” pile, and I find it simply nuts to pay more for an eBook than a paperback. But I travel around *way* too much to be buying more physical books. So, I wait.

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  5. Christopher Gavula | February 6, 2011 at 6:21 pm |

    I rarely buy titles off the bestseller lists, so I don’t often run into this situation. I’m usually buying technical books (usually not available in paperback) or titles are not available in ebook form yet. What I do find happening is that I am buying more titles from small publishing houses rather than the big marks. In any case, when I see disparities they are usually only small ones.

    That said, the overall inconsistencies in hardcover-paperback-trades-ebooks, etc. really ought to be worked out by now. You would think, especially with the kinds of numbers Amazon has been showing, that publishers would start to finally get their crap together and realize that they need to shape up or lose sales – period – but the larger publishers especially- seem to be a bull-headed and stupid group with blinders on to the world they are truly operating in. I wonder if their whole world will have to utterly collapse before they get a clue – well watch out guys cause it’s already coming!

  6. If it’s only a buck or two I just buy the ebook(nook) version. If it was ~50% difference like that I’d think about whether it’s a book I really need right now. If it is something I really want I have sometimes bought a used one just to spite them. is one I bout recently the ebook is slightly more expensive that the shaved tree version, but the convenience outweighed it this time. If it had been 2 or 3 bucks more? Well I might have just skipped it. Or checked Amazon for a used one.

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