Round up #3: cheap pre-orders, nook prices, Kindle for PC video

E-book prices driven down by p-book prices!

Yes, you read me correctly!  Lower prices for paperbooks have driven down the price for e-books.

I wrote about a p-book price war in this earlier post.  Amazon and a couple of brick and mortars have been battling it out, and are doing pre-orders for some really big books for the holiday for $9.00 in hardback!  Those are huge discounts!

So, some of those books are now becoming able to be pre-ordered as Kindle books.  Generally, it’s a bad idea to pre-order Kindle books, if you want to get them as cheaply as possible.  It hasn’t been uncommon that a book will be priced higher as a pre-order for the Kindle, and drop after its released.

Why?  Well, pre-orders don’t really help the publisher or the retailer (Amazon) much, when it’s an e-book.  Not like when it’s a p-book, and they have to judge how many to print or how many to have on-hand.

New York Times bestsellers (and a lot of other new releases) commonly go for $9.99.

Well, for these Kindle pre-orders they went to..$9.  That matches the p-book pre-order price, and is a mighty ninety-nine cents below the usual.  🙂  Okay, okay, maybe that’s nothing to write home about…and if you did it would cost you about half what you saved just to mail the letter.  😉

I expect the $9 price for the p-books may evaporate pretty quickly after release (certainly, after the holidays), and the e-book prices may go back to $9.99.

Here are a few of those $9 e-book pre-orders:

I, Alex Cross (by James Patterson)

Pirate Latitudes (by Michael Crichton) (UPDATE: down to $7.20!)

Under the Dome (by Stephen King) (UPDATE: down to $7.20!)

Friends, Romans, Countrymen…lend me your e-books

I haven’t really compared the Kindle and the Barnes and Noble nook (sic) yet.  I’ll probably do a full post on that at some point.

However, one of their flashy points has been the ability to “lend” e-books.  Yes, that sounds like a cool feature.  There has just recently been a confirmation about one of the limitations, though…there had been some confusion about it.

Phil_K, a very helpful admin in the Barnes and Noble discussion board for the nook, gives definitive answers.

In this post, he says:

“The LendMe feature on nook can be used once for each eBook, and once only.”

So, you can lend a book…once…for fourteen days…during which time you can’t access it on your nook…only to people who have the Barnes and Noble free reader software (and a lot of people will)…and only if the publisher allows it.

It’s a cool idea, and the concept of it will appeal to people.   However, I think the reality is quite a bit more limited than people think.

It does sound like (similar to Amazon) you could have multiple nooks on one account and access the books on multiple devices…but I’m not sure if there is a device limit on that.  I’m guessing there will be, set by the publishers, but I can’t confirm that.

Comparing nook and Kindle prices

This came up on the Amazon Kindle forum, and got me to compare prices (again) between Barnes and Noble and Amazon.  Amazon tends to come out ahead (or below…cheaper, at any rate).

The poster was asking about books by Anne George, so I checked a few of her mystery books.

The poster was also concerned that the price at Amazon was higher than the price on the book that she had bought recently at B&N.

I pointed out that if you are talking about the price printed on the book, that what is called the List Price. That’s set by the publisher, and is the same at any retailer (Amazon, Barnes and Noble) that you see…unless they happen to have an old copy laying around. The publishers do change those (usually up) 😉 from time to time. Sometimes that is when they do a new print run, and sometimes they use stickers (much more permanent than the price stickers we used when I ran a bookstore).  I never liked those.

Publishers also set the Digital List Price (again, that will be the same at all retailers…and since they don’t need to use those pesky stickers, there won’t be “old ones”).

The retailer then may discount that (Amazon generally does). I’ve compared Amazon and Barnes and Noble a couple of times…Amazon is generally cheaper. Not always, I’m sure, but usually.

Murder Runs in the Family  (I’m linking to the Kindle edition)

$7.99 paper list price (PLP…set by the publisher)
$14.99 digital list price (DLP set by the publisher)
$7.99 at Amazon both in e-book and p-book

At Barnes and Noble:

$7.99 PLP
$7.19 (for members)
$14.99 DLP
$11.99 e-book price at B&N

So, on the nook, it’s $4 more than for the Kindle. although the paper price (for members) is eighty cents cheaper.

Murder on a Girls’ Night Out

Same at Amazon: $7.99 all around.

Same situation at Barnes and Noble: $4 more for the nook than for the Kindle, eighty cents less (for members) for the p-book

Murder Makes Waves

The same…

So, if you bought all three books for the nook instead of the Kindle, you’d pay $12 more.

The question here is, why does the publisher (HarperCollins) set the digital list price so much higher than the print list price?

That’s a good question.  🙂  You might want to write to them: (that’s what they give as the e-mail address when you select Customer Service.

Kindle for PC video

Okay, I’m excited about Kindle for PC.  I wrote about that in this earlier post. 

Well, there’s now a video on-line (at Microsoft’s site) that shows it in use with the just released Windows 7. Now, admittedly, they are showing off a lot of the touch capabilities of Windows 7…sort of like an iPhone.

The video is here:

Kindle for PC Demo on Windows 7

Ignore the touch stuff, and it’s not all that fancy, but that’s fine.  It was hard to tell, but it looked like the main page (like the homescreen) didn’t seem to have any folders…but there was only one book, so it wasn’t obvious.

One other thing: the video said it was coming in November…that would be nice.  🙂

News crawl

some foreign users are reporting difficulty registering their Kindles with…some foreign users are reporting trouble charging through a USB, because of an output difference…some are too busy reading to report anything at all…

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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