A One-sided View – Mine!

This is about books and advertisements. About publishers and what they offer as incentives to new readers. It’s about the money they spend to get the books to readers.

But it’s only specific readers, the ones from a defined location.

And there are some publishers who punish readers who aren’t in the right location.

Does it sound like a joke? Or is it just my high expectations? Or is it a whinge?

Whatever. I want you to look at these examples and see whether you would buy the book:

One: I read the Randy Ingermanson newsletter. I like what he has to say, and I like the way he writes. The newsletter is to writers, so I take his recommendations to heart. This week, he recommended this book:

For US readers, the price from the author page is $15.15, but when you click on the book, the price changes to $23.19.

Change the address to .com.au (that’s Australia, a little continent on the southern side of the equator) and the price (from the author page) should be around $20.00. When you click on the book to make the purchase, the price is suddenly over $30.00. It’s only 200 pages (the second edition is 290 pages). And I want to read it for interest only, to see the other side of the writerly fence, so to speak. But it’s not going into my device at that price, and it’s not available at my library so I can have the quick read I want it for. And I’ve decided (this happens a lot) I’m not going to buy from a publisher that changes the price from page to page (the buying page should be the same as the author page, in my mind, or it might come close to misrepresentation or misleading conduct, or something similar), or that excludes the smaller reader-number countries. Yes, I looked up the paperback version. Which I can’t hold due to arthritis. Cost >$50.00. Printed and packaged from one reseller only, and located in US. 3-5 weeks.

This is another example, but a bit skewed toward the other major audience:

For UK readers, the price is 0.99 (I can’t do one of those funny pound signs).

Change to US (.com) and the price has two variations – the one on the book page and the one to the far right – and they’re not the same! The book page has $1.99, but the box on the far right has $10.02. I don’t know what the buyer would have to do to get the lower price, but if there’s a discrepancy, it leaves a sour taste in my mouth – what if I was buying direct from the kindle? Which number would end up on my bank statement?

Change to AU (.com.au) and the price is $12.99. I may like the author and his stories, but I’m not paying that much for an eBook when it’s been advertised at such a low price elsewhere. It annoys me that publishers think we will, or that we are a small market so they don’t need to consider us as serious buyers.

In the overall generalisation that I’m making is this little gem: A lot of publishers do this, but all of them the big ones. Why do they get away with it? Why do we let them?

If you’re a reader from one of the smaller countries (or one of the excluded countries), how does this affect you?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Yes, I’m cranky. I’ve done my back in and was looking for a bit of a read session for the day. Now, I’ll just sulk after throwing a tanty (with just my hands so I don’t do more damage to the back).

And, yes, I will probably delete this post within a few days. Just ‘cos.

21 thoughts on “A One-sided View – Mine!

  1. I throw online tantrums all the time, but that’s largely because I think 6 people read my blog. I wasn’t aware book are more expensive in Australia, and particularly, online books. I mean, the web is the web, right? (Or am I just too old to get it?)

    Liked by 3 people

    • The web is the web, and if the conversion rate is different to the stated $, there must be a reason.
      It’s nothing to do with age (I’m not a young clucker, more like a dried-up old duck). In my book, there are no excuses for excluding a market except the (very low, for them) cost. ROI, it seems, rather than wide-ranging offers.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There is something skewed about the Web, it can be so unfair. And as for what it quietly does to our efforts, behind our backs, doesn’t bear thinking about.
    Thanks for the Randy Ingermanson Newsletter too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Way back in the 1980s I was very active politically. We had a big campaign protesting about a government proposal to tax books in Australia. We lost. I can’t remember the details now but the change in legislation meant that governments taxed all new books. I can remember books more than tripling in price after that. I have a vague memory too that one of the more recent Liberal governments increased the rate of tax still further not so long ago. The current price of books is really exorbitant sometimes. Maybe we should start a campaign to remove the tax on books. Back in the 80s we called it ‘a tax on learning.’
    I hope your back gets better soon. 🙂 .

    Liked by 1 person

    • The recent one was Joe Hockey. I’d fully back a campaign to make the people who do this back-pay their education with the added costs. I wonder how they’d see it then?
      Thanks – I think the back’s on the mend; it just doesn’t like it when I move, stay still for too long, bend my legs, straighten them, turn the neck, etc.
      The great things about the body making you pay for the indestructability of youth (and I’d do it all again … well, most of it).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve discovered the perfect phrase for these publishers – they suck. Not very ladylike, I know, but the price gouging on ebooks stopped me buying traditionally published books years ago. I miss out on some books I’d like to read, but when you’re on a pension and go through as many books as I do, $10+ for a digital book is ridiculous. Plus there’s the inequity of it too. The authors of those books don’t get anywhere near as much in royalties. The system just sucks. Full stop.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s a mess isn’t it? I wish I could sell books and buy books for the same price everywhere. Prachett’s book was on sale with Bookbub, which might be why it was priced so differently in different markets, but who knows. Perhaps the variation in paper books might make sense in certain markets. But ebooks? That one is a mystery to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ‘twould be good, indeed, if the same prices applied to all markets (conversion comparisons), but it seems the bigger publishers don’t include all the markets available to them when advertising. What do they have against the rest of the world?
      And I really do think eBooks should be less than USD10 (especially on ‘zon as the books aren’t owned, only licensed for the reader to peruse and can be taken away at any time – or if the company folds!).

      Liked by 1 person

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