Amazon V Amazon

21 Mar

Sooooo…. I bought a kindle a few months ago.

I was excited. I didn’t get it necessarily to buy books on. I’ve always been a paper book fan, but I thought I’d take advantage of the great prices kindle offered….all those great deals. I mean, you hear constantly about how much money you’re going to save on your kindle. WOW! Save money! I’m all for that.

Unfortunately, Amazon isn’t.

Almost every time I wanted a book… and they’re all mass market generally since I’m a big genre reader… there was no savings. Not only was there no savings, but typically my super-dooper new kindle was going to cost me more to buy a book. I mean, I paid $140 thinking I’d start to save money right away. I’ve heard the, “Well, maybe it’s not for you. Maybe all the savings are in the top sellers” -which, do NOT get me started on the ridiculousness of that thought.

And so, I did a little experimenting. Amazon had a Top 100 for 2010 published at the end of the year. I took the top 25 and compared the prices… Of course, 2 of the top 25 weren’t even eligible because you can’t get them on a kindle.

I’d call that Strike One.

Then I added them all together. Well, ou know — all of them but those 2. And compared the costs.

So, let’s ignore that $140 again and look at how things came out:

Kindle: $249.67
Paper:  $148.18

The difference: Kindle books were $101.49 MORE. How many books could you buy with that?

That would be Strike Two.

This week, I went to buy a book three different times. Two of them weren’t even released in Kindle versions “yet.”

I’d call that Strike Three.

Don’t get me wrong. I totally love my Kindle as a writer. I love being able to do beta reads on the go. I love not having to print out my manuscript to do a read-thru. I love that a read-thru on Kindle feels different than paper or the screen so I catch different stuff. I love the ability to change the sizes so I can read in bed without my glasses. I love that it’s portable. I love that I can bring all my work with me. I love that I can check my email and twitter from it on the go.

I really do love my Kindle.

But, Amazon, don’t lie to me. Don’t tell me something is going to save me tons of money when it’s not. Not act like I’m going to be able to get all the books I want. Don’t try to sell something great by telling us things that just aren’t true – Just tell us what it does and let us decide.

Oh, and  seriously? I’d love to see all the money I’m supposed to be saving any second now.

I’d love to hear what you think about your ereader. Is it what you expected?

If you’re curious about the numbers, below are the 25 books in the top 25 and their comparative costs. For the paper version, I went with whatever version of the book was *new* and least expensive that you could order through the Amazon site.

    Kindle Book New
1 The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest $11.99 $11.60
2 Women Food and God $9.99 $8.69
3 Mockingjay $7.58 $7.98
4 Dead in the Family  $12.99 $7.99
5 The Big Short $7.75 $9.54
6 Game Change $9.99 $6.50
7 The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner $9.99 $2.47
8 Freedom $12.99 $11.26
9 Sh*t My Dad Says $9.99 $6.49
10 The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks $9.99 $7.88
11 Delivering Happiness $10.99 $6.60
12 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth  NA  
13 The Red Pyramid $9.39 $8.99
14 The Overton Window  $8.99 $4.00
15 The Belly Fat Cure $9.99 $9.45
16 Switch $11.99 $9.86
17 Change Your Brain, Change Your Body $11.99 $8.49
18 The Heroes of Olympus, Book One $9.34 $8.34
19 Sizzling Sixteen $12.99 $8.60
20 Drive $9.99 $8.19
21 Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang $12.99 $10.87
22 Teach Like a Champion $13.79 $14.89
23 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth  NA  
24 Savor the Moment $9.99 $3.35
25 The Grand Design $13.99 $12.15
    $249.67 $194.18

13 Responses to “Amazon V Amazon”

  1. Alicia Gregoire March 21, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    Argh. That’s frustrating. I wonder if the Nook has the same problem?

  2. briaq March 21, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    Maybe that should be next weeks blog LOL – Unfortunately, I haven’t played with the nook – so I’d be a horrible person to blog about it.

  3. Jodi Meadows March 21, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    This may explain things.


  4. briaq March 21, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    Hmmmm that’s interesting. But I’m also just shaking my head no for some of that.

    I mean, I’ve spoken to three friends. All mid-list authors for the same publisher. All making basically the same money per contract. Two of them have their books down to something around $5.50 and the third’s book i at $7.99 ($1 more than her mass market paper book) – I love numbers. I’ve read the numbers…. but I’ve also done enough statistical classes and work to know that very often, the numbers can tell us what we want them to.

    I just don’t believe this is the truth across the board.

    But, my point was more – Let’s stop saying *reading on a kindle is going to save you *tons* of money* when it’s not.

  5. Jodi Meadows March 21, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    Oh I agree. Amazon is definitely not selling what they advertise!

  6. briaq March 21, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    I guess the standard response to that (lately) has been, Yes. But who is? *sobs a little*

  7. gwen hayes March 21, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    It isn’t really Amazon’s fault regarding the pricing. The publishers set the pricing and Amazon isn’t allowed to discount it. It’s the big six that are holding the reigns on ebook pricing.

    I can see how you still “save” if you were a hardcover book buyer who regularly spent $15-$30 on your books–but most of us aren’t.

    But, again, it isn’t Amazon’s fault.

    This time.

  8. Steve Hall March 21, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    But it is Amazon’s fault: They negotiate contracts with the publishers. No one held a gun to Amazon’s head and said “You have to take this horrible deal.”

    I have no problem paying the same for an e-book as I do for a paperback. I have no trouble paying the same for an e-book as I do for a hardbound book, before a mass-market paperback edition is released (if I want the book that badly). I have a lot of trouble paying more for virtual zeroes and ones than I do paying for something physical.

  9. briaq March 21, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    I’m loving this discussion… It’s totally NOT the one I was trying to start (about the savings we’re *told* we’ll get compared to the reality) but, still REALLY interesting.

    And Steve, I agree – I don’t have a problem paying the same for books… It’s the MORE. Especially more for than the cover price of a paper book.

  10. Gwen Hayes March 21, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

    Okay. Back to your original point. Who is saying that you will save money buying books on Kindle? Because, like you said, you don’t unless you are buying books that are newly released hardcover.

    But, I don’t think Amazon is saying it, are they? I know they tout they have so many books priced $9.99 or less, but I don’t see where they say you will save money on books.

  11. briaq March 21, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    It was in one of the Kindle ads I saw on TV a few weeks ago. And, when I saw an online type of sales pitch last year.

  12. Gwen Hayes March 21, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

    Well, that is misleading. If you can find the ad, maybe we could start a class action suit.

  13. briaq March 21, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    LOL Yeah, that’s what I need to add to my to-do list 😉

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