So Patrick Rothfuss’s second book in the kingkiller chronicles is out now. To all those who like to buy their books and read on a kindle though there’s a bit of a dilemma. On amazon.co.uk for instance the cost of the hardcover with free delivery is just £10. Whereas the kindle copy is £10.99. At this point you could have a bit of a rant explaining why it’s so obviously absurd for a electronic copy to cost more than a new original. I’ll resist that for now but if publishers want the download market to be a success they’re going to need to price accordingly. The thing about the download sector is that there is a choice and fierce competition with exactly the same product but a price tag of just £0. This doesn’t mean publishers have to give away electronic content but some pricing relative to the physical copy would be nice. £5-£7 for instance would strike me as a fair price for the kindle copy on release falling just shy of the eventual paperback price.
This isn’t an isolated incident. Casting a beady eye on other recent fantasy releases we have:
The Heroes £7.49 hardcover. £7.99 kindle.
And with kindle copies ever so slightly cheaper than a delivered hardcover:
The Crippled God £10.78 hardcover. £9.70 kindle.
The Way Of Kings £9.69 hardcover. £8.99 kindle.
So come on publishers. Pull your socks up and ensure that kindle copies are always cheaper than their physical companions at release. Whilst you’ll be uncompetitive at least you won’t be actively making me feel like you’re trying to rip me off.