But should not an ‘ebook’ cost considerably less than the printed version? Really? No? Well, I ask this because around Christmas I toyed with getting a Kindle. However, Luke pointed out that it was an unnecessary expensive when I could have the Kindle app on my iPad. So, I bowed to pressure (always pays to take the line of least resistance where my husband is concerned) and I did indeed install the Kindle app on my iPad. I was very excited to discover that many of my favourite classics are free. I downloaded many. I also decided to buy some of the ones available in the Kindle sale. I was rapidly getting carried away with it all, when my excitement and enthusiasm was brought to an abrupt halt!
Now, I love history, really love history and have many, many history books. So many in fact, that I am now prohibited from buying any more due to lack of space. I am not interested in historical ‘novels’, though these are cheap as chips. I read factual history books based upon a solid body of research and evidence. I decided therefore to go and check out some of my favourite historians to see what their bestselling works were going for. My first port of call was Barry Cunliffe, well known historian whose specialist field is the Celts. Imagine my consternation when I discover that his best selling work ‘The Celts’ published in 1997 is £10.99, and the paperback version (wait for it), £10.99. Another of his, ‘The Ancient Celts’, also published in 1997, Kindle version£11.63, paperback edition £12.92.
I did some research and discovered pretty much the same situation for most of the history books that interested me. I am at a loss to understand how the publishers can justify this pricing policy when there are no printing costs or other related overheads? I appreciate that there is the royalty payment to the writer…but still!!! How is this mark-up justified?
So, my Kindle experience thus far? Disappointing.
ETA: Having said that, reading the books I have downloaded thus far is an enjoyable experience.