Wednesday, December 07, 2011

My Email to Harper Collins a few weeks ago

I still haven't received a reply.

Subject: Before I Go to Sleep
I recently wanted to purchase the Kindle version of this book so I found it on Amazon.com. To my surprise the price was about $17.00 which was HIGHER than the paperback copy of the book which was around $10.00. This is absurd. How can you justify the cost of the digital copy being more than 70% more than the physical copy? On Amazon.com it clearly said something to the effect like "this price was set by the publisher".

Instead of purchasing the book, I found a friend that had it and borrowed it from her instead. Had the price been reasonable for the digital copy (reasonable means in relationship to the actual cost of producing a digital copy) I definitely would have bought it as I had heard that it was an excellent book (and it was!). As it was, you
lost a sale and I'm most likely not the only person making that decision.

Publishers such as you have learned nothing from the piracy that has surrounded the music industry for about 10 years. If you're truly serious about making your product available to consumers it must be at a fair price. If I don't think it's fair, it's possible I'll find other means of getting book, such as borrowing. Your policy also encourages a viable market for piracy. Of course, it's also possible that you want to curtail the growth of the e-book market by setting the price unreasonably high. Apparently your profits aren't as high on e-books as physical books so it's to your advantage to encourage people to buy the physical book. Although I'm not sure what your motive is by setting the price so high, I can assure you that it is leaving consumers such as me very disappointed in the publishing industry and it's ability to embrace digital technology.

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