Posts Tagged ‘Amazon’

Kindle 3: A Consumer Review

Monday, September 6th, 2010

With a lower price, a smaller size, and improved contrast and faster page turning, Amazon may be offering an irresistible temptation to those who have yet to jump onto the eReader bandwagon.

I’ve been a Kindle user for close to three years now.  I’ve had all the versions and noted the significant improvements Kindle 2 offered over the original.  But, now, Amazon has topped all other versions with the new Kindle 3.

What I Love:

  • The faster page turning.
  • The smaller size.
  • The easy to use navigation buttons that all but eliminate accidental page turns.
  • The improved contrast that makes an already user-friendly reader experience even friendlier.
  • The ease of buying books without having to connect to a computer.
  • The longer battery life – Amazon says up to one month.
  • Storage that Amazon says will handle up to 3,500 books.  Wow.

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Publishing Drama Queens

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

DramaI’ve reached the end of my rope here.

In case you’ve somehow missed it, there is a labyrinthine mess about ebook pricing going on involving publishers, Amazon, and Apple.

First of all, rest assured that I’m not going to weigh in with a long-winded diatribe on the subject because (a) that’s not my style and (b) I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about. Let me also make clear that I’m not – nor do I pretend to be – a publishing insider.  I am a consumer.  And, as a consumer, I want to know that a book I want to buy is available at the place I choose to buy it at a fair price.

Not asking a lot, is it?

Well, apparently the pinheads in charge don’t see it that way.  In yet another episode of dick-waving – much like the dick-waving that took place when Macmillan pulled all ebooks from Amazon a month or so ago – publishers have withdrawn many ebooks from Amazon and other  retailers.

Including a book that I pre-ordered for Kindle:  Changeless by Gail Carriger.

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Amazon and Barnes and Noble Online Pricing: What’s Up With That?

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

If you haven’t heard by now, there was much outrage in Romanceland in the days before and during the Thanksgiving Day weekend. The issue? The Kindle price for Eloisa James’ When the Duke Returns was reported by AAR Alert Readers to be an incredibly inflated $14.99.  

Much sputtering later (and, okay, so I was one of the sputterers), it turns out that the price was a mistake (I have no idea whose) and a correct price was later posted. Only there’s a problem: It’s $7.99. The exact same price as the paperback edition. And, gee, isn’t the cost to produce an ebook a mere fraction of the cost to produce an actual paper book? Well, good luck with that, Avon.

Being the sleuth that I am, however, I noticed something equally outrageous: The paperback price is listed on Amazon as $7.99. Not the $6.49 or the like to which we’ve all grown accustomed. What the heck happened to the Amazon discount?

But it’s not just Avon. To Seduce a Sinner by Elizabeth Hoyt is priced at $6.99 (Forever), Catherine Mulvany’s Wicked is the Night (Pocket) is $6.99, Pagan Stone by Nora Roberts (Jove) is $7.99, and Robin Kaye’s Romeo, Romeo (Sourcebooks) is also $6.99. Berkley Sensation seems to be pretty much alone in holding the discount line with Erin McCarthy’s trade paperback Flat Out Sexy priced at $10.78, down from $14.00.

As for the prices at Barnes and Noble online: Ditto. On all of the above.

And guess what? Of the books that I checked, the prices on the backlists of the authors above are list prices, too. So, in effect, any discounts seem to have been retroactively removed.

The good news is that Avon seems to be standing alone in that Kindle pricing thing. All of the books above – except Avon new releases – have discounted Kindle prices. Which is as it should be.

Since I’m a fan of vast conspiracies, I wonder if there was some sort of meeting in a smoke-filled room amongst various publishers to abandon online discounts? As Amazon repeats over and over, publishers set prices for books.

So, what do you think? In a time when almost everybody is feeling the squeeze, will the price increase affect the number of books you buy? Are you outraged? Or, on the other hand, do you accept the higher prices as a manifestation of the grim reality that many publishers (as discussed here last week) are facing the same economic pressures as consumers? Are higher prices…well, just the price we have to pay?

-Sandy AAR