2 Hardcovers for 1 Kindle edition

As part of the on-going saga of eBooks, here’s yet another quite stark example.

37signals.com are a cool company, they wrote Ruby on Rails which is a simply stunning piece of software to have produced.

They have a book REWORK, which when you read the sample looks excellent, anything which sets out so neatly why meetings are rubbish has to be good.

Interestingly they have Jeff Bezos the Amazon CEO as an advisor, which adds more spice to this.

So if you go to buy their book from Amazon:

  • Kindle: $10.68
  • Hardcover: $12.98
  • Second-hand hardcover:$9.77 ($5.78 + shipping)

First off the Kindle is within 20% of the Hardcover price (I’d made a guess at 10% in my previous article on the proper price of an eBook).

Secondly and more importantly is the re-sale value of the hardcover / paperback.

A paperback has an intrinsic worth – you are free to sell it on. If you buy a second hand one and treat it well you can read it and sell it on for the same price. Obviously if you do it through Amazon they’ll take their 20% cut, plus you lose money on the shipping.

So if you buy the hardcover, read it and sell it back on Amazon it will cost you (taking shipping and 20% Amazon cut): $12.98 – $5.20 = $7.78

If you buy a used hardcover and do the same: $9.77 – $5.20 = $4.57

That’s half the price of a Kindle version.

So I can get two hardcover books for the price of a Kindle version.

However much R&D costs Amazon need to recoup for the Kindle fire, the Kindle edition simply isn’t worth it.






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