Readers, overwhelmed by choice, implode and buy nothing

Book pricing has gone haywire. Peter Osnos at the Atlantic uses David Remnick's The Bridge as an example of the pricing craziness (although he could also have pointed to the forthcoming Twilight novella):
Here are the ways you can buy it: the hardcover list price is $29.95 and the CD audio lists at $50. But that is barely the beginning. Amazon sells the printed book for $16.47, the Kindle e-book version for $14.82, the audio CD for $31.50, and the downloadable audio for $34.12. B&N.com has a "member" price for the hardcover of $15.52 and the CD for $36. At Borders.com, the book is $17.97. The Sony Reader e-book is $14.50.
What Osnos takes away from this is that a) things are bananas in publishing, and b) readers should take advantage before they figure it out. I think it probably has more to do with the ease of comparing prices, as bookstores have always had the discretion of their own pricing (although fewer format options).

Just remember, in your shopping, that some people are not so fond of the Apple bookstore, even though vooks are big in iPad world.


  1. Wow, you mean if we shop like we do for any other product we buy we can find bargains? Golly, how will the publishers survive?

    Guess what other fun the reader gets to have when he or she buys an e-book? Buy an e-book from a publisher such as Harper Collins and you pay sales tax. Buy an e-book from a publisher such as MacMillan and you are not charged for sales tax.

  2. Sometimes I think publishing just needs to reset.

    Sometimes I think that thought very frequently...