Last updated: October 5, 2010 - 8:51am
Readers of e-books may not be able to turn paper pages, lend their copies to friends or file them away on living room bookshelves. But they do have the comfort of knowing that they paid less for them than for hardcovers. Unless they bought "Fall of Giants" by Ken Follett, which was published by Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Group USA, last week.
On Amazon.com, the price for the e-book was $19.99; the hardcover edition was $19.39. Or "Don't Blink," by James Patterson and Howard Roughan, whose publisher, Little, Brown & Company, charged $14.99 for the e-book. Amazon priced the hardcover at $14. Customers, unaccustomed to seeing a digital edition more expensive than the hardcover, howled at the price discrepancy, and promptly voiced their outrage with negative comments and one-star reviews on Amazon. "Really, James Patterson?" wrote one reader from Elgin, Ill. "Why would it possibly cost more for a digital download than printed and bound ink on paper?" Other customers directed their anger at the publishers. "They aren't penguins," a Web commenter from Paradise, Calif., wrote about Mr. Follett's book. "They are pigs." Several major publishers said those two books were the first they knew of that cost more as e-books than in hardcover on Amazon.
- E-Books Fly Beyond Mere Text
- Great digital expectations
- Hardcovers fall behind Kindle book sales at Amazon
- Connecticut Attorney General Investigates Potentially Anticompetitive E-Book Deals With Amazon And Apple
- Amazon Publishing makes some e-books available to other retailers
- Authors Feel Pinch in Age of E-Books
- Why Might A Publisher Pull Its E-Books From Libraries?
- Library Wars: Amazon and Publishers Vie for Control of E-Book Rentals
- The Truth About Amazon Publishing
- Government Pressuring Publishers to Adjust Pricing Policy on E-Books
- Library in a Pocket
- Penguin to Settle in E-Book Dispute
- The return of cheap e-books? Apple, publishers bend in Europe, too
- In E-Publishing Revolution, Rights Battle Wears On
- E-Book Price Increase May Stir Readers' Passions