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  • FIRST POST
    • jap200
    • By jap200 27th Sep 12, 3:23 PM
    • 2,001Posts
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    jap200
    0 WOW
    Overpriced Kindle version of JK Rowling 'A casual vacancy'
    • #1
    • 27th Sep 12, 3:23 PM
    0 WOW
    Overpriced Kindle version of JK Rowling 'A casual vacancy' 27th Sep 12 at 3:23 PM
    I was looking forward to downloading the new JK Rowling book today, but am dismayed that the Kindle version is 11.99 compared to the cost of the hardback at 9 on Amazon.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Casual-Vacancy-J-Rowling/dp/140870420X

    What on earth are Amazon playing at? Why is an electronic version of the book which costs almost nothing to produce more expensive than a hardback book - including delivery?

    The book now has only 2 review stars because 15 people have given it 1 star due entirely to the fact that it is so expensive.
Page 1
    • mippy
    • By mippy 27th Sep 12, 3:37 PM
    • 486 Posts
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    mippy
    • #2
    • 27th Sep 12, 3:37 PM
    • #2
    • 27th Sep 12, 3:37 PM
    Because VAT is exempt from print books but not electronic books. Hence it being 20% more expensive as an ebook.
    • jap200
    • By jap200 27th Sep 12, 5:38 PM
    • 2,001 Posts
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    jap200
    • #3
    • 27th Sep 12, 5:38 PM
    • #3
    • 27th Sep 12, 5:38 PM
    Because VAT is exempt from print books but not electronic books. Hence it being 20% more expensive as an ebook.
    Originally posted by mippy
    But the publishers (or Amazon) are free to set the price they choose so bearing in mind the vastly lower cost of 'production', the ebook should be cheaper before VAT, so that the gross price is certainly no higher. This has been the case with every single other Kindle book I have bought.
    • Pinkdebster
    • By Pinkdebster 27th Sep 12, 8:18 PM
    • 392 Posts
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    Pinkdebster
    • #4
    • 27th Sep 12, 8:18 PM
    • #4
    • 27th Sep 12, 8:18 PM
    I managed to buy it today in Smiths at 6.99 (in conjunction with another offer).................I couldn't justify the difference onto my kindle.
    • JS477
    • By JS477 27th Sep 12, 8:56 PM
    • 1,793 Posts
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    JS477
    • #5
    • 27th Sep 12, 8:56 PM
    • #5
    • 27th Sep 12, 8:56 PM
    Is not Amazon's fault it's the [greedy] publishers because it says 'This price was set by the publisher'.

    On principle I won't by this book in Kindle format as I believe it is grossly overpriced.

    Rowling is by no means the only one to have overpriced Kindle version books. Mark Billingham's Kindle books are also expensive.
    • Haffiana
    • By Haffiana 27th Sep 12, 10:16 PM
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    Haffiana
    • #6
    • 27th Sep 12, 10:16 PM
    • #6
    • 27th Sep 12, 10:16 PM
    It isn't so simple. The price of the book is set by the publisher, yes. Most publishers set the price of their kindle edition well below the hard copy book price - in the pricing/royalty constraints set by Amazon, it makes fiscal sense to do so. In addition, the kindle book will cost 20% more because of VAT, so it has to be at least that amount cheaper in order to cost the same price or cheaper as the hard copy, physical book.

    Also please remember that the Author gets a royalty from the publisher, and doesn't get a say in the price, which has to cover the print costs, the publishers costs/profit margin and the royalty costs. The Author is paid a set amount per copy sold, no matter what the book price is. Also remember that the publisher has to pay that royalty to the author no matter how cheaply the book sells for.

    Now, the book is bought from the publisher by Amazon. The margin that they demand means that the publisher will get pennies per copy, and perhaps feels glad that the book cost will be a little bit offset by the kindle version. At this point, the kindle version is set to bring in say, 2 x the pennies of the hard copy book.

    The book launches. Amazon immediately drop the hard copy selling price by at least 50+% - they can afford to do this and still make a stonking profit as they are giving the publisher such a low margin. This leaves the previously cheaper kindle version suddenly far more expensive by comparison. The book sells well thanks to the 50% discount, and Amazon make money. The Author also makes money. The publisher makes a bit of money and tries to sell the book to any other book shop that will give them a slightly better margin than Amazon. The other book shops however have to match or better Amazon's price in order to get sales.

    The kindle version is belatedly price dropped by the publisher to match or better still be lower than the hard copy price - and remember, that hard copy selling price is set by Amazon not the publisher, and the kindle price has to be 20% less to price match it, - and the publisher suddenly finds that the kindle edition is actually bringing in less pennies per copy than the hard copy book. Ah, you will say, but it costs nothing to produce the kindle book... Well no, that is not true. The Author still has to get their royalty, and Amazon still get the monster lion's share of the selling price. The publisher gets whatever is left, which is significantly less than either of those two other elements.

    That is how it is. It isn't greed, it isn't gross overpricing or whatever else the consumer might imagine, it is businesses trying to earn some money, to keep going, to employ people, to put something into the economy, to turn words into books for others to read.
  • katehesk
    • #7
    • 27th Sep 12, 11:18 PM
    • #7
    • 27th Sep 12, 11:18 PM
    I'm actually shocked its been made into an Ebook.

    Joanne Rowling has not allowed any of the Harry Potter books to be reproduced for kindle etc, because she believes in the value if a real, physical book. Maybe that only applies to the 'magical' Harry Potter books though.
    • chunkychocky
    • By chunkychocky 27th Sep 12, 11:20 PM
    • 1,048 Posts
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    chunkychocky
    • #8
    • 27th Sep 12, 11:20 PM
    • #8
    • 27th Sep 12, 11:20 PM
    Don't buy it in book format from Amazon. I placed my order with them in August and they haven't even dispatched it yet. Would have told them where to shove it by now and gone and got it in WHSmith but I was given an Amazon voucher for my Birthday which I used to buy it.
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