Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Amazon finally begins to offer Kindle-plus-paper

Kate just pointed me at this article. Summary: Amazon is finally starting to play with the feature that I (and I'm sure a number of other folks) have been wanting for a long time -- a deeply discounted price for a book if you buy it in *both* Kindle and paper formats.

It's a good idea, and I hope more publishers sign up. I can't claim that I would use it for the majority of my books, but it would likely get me to buy more books in paper format than I'd otherwise do. At the moment, I'm mainly buying eBooks (because let's get real, they're much more convenient), but when I really *like* a book, I'd often like to have a bookshelf copy.

The tweak I'd really love to see them add here is the other way around: if I've bought a book in Kindle format, offer me a deeply discounted price on the paper. Obviously there are limits to that -- the incremental cost of production is much higher, and there's a risk of weird arbitrage -- but it's what I'm most often going to want: I read the book in eBook format first, decide that I like it enough, and want to have a bookshelf copy. If the hardcover is going to cost me $20 *more*, over and above the Kindle copy I already have, I'm rarely going to do that. But if I can get a copy for a more reasonable price, I might well do it.

Why would the publishers go along with that? Mostly because, if I have that option down the road, I may be more willing to fork over the money for the original eBook. That is, $10 for an eBook *feels* expensive, knowing that the incremental cost of production of my "copy" is pennies. (If that.) But if I know that I can add another $5-10 later and get the hardcover -- basically, paying the full hardcover price only once I know that the book is worth it -- that makes it a somewhat more plausible investment...

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