02 July 2011

The Value of a Digital Edition

Julia over at Lotsa Laundry recommended Sheena Iyengar's The Art of Making Choices. And when Julia makes a recommendation, I listen, because chances are it's intelligent, thoughtful, and wise. (You don't get all three of those for the price of one very often.)

So I went over to Amazon to check out the availability, and found this:
The screen shot is a little fuzzy, I know. So here's my problem: the paperback is now available for $8.61, but to download the Kindle edition, it's still $9.99. And if I wait a year or so for used copies to flood the market, I'll be able to get it for under five bucks from Better World Books. (Yes, the library is another option.)

I can understand the $9.99 Kindle pricing (Nook is the same, by the way) when the book first comes out in hardcover. But once it's out in paperback, shouldn't the Kindle be available for less, reflecting the fact that the publisher doesn't have to pay $4 or so per copy for printing and binding?

Horror of horrors: does the digital edition now have greater market value than the book?


This morning, I said to The Offspring, "Close the book and come to the table." He objected: "I'm not reading a book, I'm reading Kindle." I maintain it's still a book, even though the format has changed. What do you think?