It's about the timing of the release as well. The mass-market paperback doesn't come out for several months after the hardback. Perhaps the e-book price can be a certain price while the hardback is out and then drop once the paperback comes out?
"Given the economic circumstances, I'd say the Walmart mentality is just what this country needs... People should look for ways to save money. It is GOOD that people are saving money, using discretion, and evaluating purchases."
Unfortunately the "Walmart mentality" is nothing to do with "saving money, using discretion and evaluating purchases". It's actually about expecting to be able to buy anything you want cheaply, no matter the real cost of making it (including the costs that are borne by third parties).
I think the snarky tone of the post and the comments is unnecessary and missing the point.
There are genuine arguments on both sides.
Here's a revolutionary idea: How about we let publishers set the wholesale price and retailers set the retail price?
You guys are all acting like Amazon is the good guy here, but they are protecting their vested corporate interests just as much as publishers. Amazon wants low prices for e-books so it can sell Kindles.
Publishers should have a right to set the wholesale price for e-books, just as they do with printed books. There's nothing to stop Amazon selling at a loss - that's exactly what big box stores did for the Harry Potter books - but it's unlikely they would choose to do that for every book.
We don't really know what the market price for an e-book is because it's never been tested. Amazon decided that e-books should cost $9.95. As no one has ever experimented with other prices, we don't know whether some e-books would sell at higher (or lower prices).
I suspect the reviewers on Amazon were reacting badly to the lack of availability of the book as much as anything else. And Amazon is just as much to blame for that as the publisher. The publisher would have likely made the e-book available if they'd been allowed to set the price they wanted. Consumers could choose not to buy but until the e-book goes on sale at $14.95 we're not going to know. I'd like to base any assessment of price strategy on actual sales rather than the online ranting of a subset of Amazon reviewers.
And the author is right - consumers do have a sense of entitlement when they *demand* low prices. They have a right to vote with their wallet and if prices are really too high, no doubt prices will fall. It's supply and demand.
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