In-Book purchases

In-Book purchases

This piece was inspired by news I heard today about Amazon being “deeply disappointed” that the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) was going after them for in-app purchases. The way that IAPs often work is that you download an app for free. Then, you can buy things from within the app to get or do more…you might buy a virtual weapon, more lives, or a new “land” to explore. That got me thinking…what if they did that with books?

Pat: “Hey, Kris! Do you want to go to lunch? I’m buying.”

Kris: “Where are we going…the Emerald City?”

Pat: “Is that a restaurant?”

Kris: “No, I just meant that if you’re paying, we must not be in Kansas any more.”

Pat: “Ha, ha. I just realized that I’m saving a couple of hundred bucks a month on books, so I can afford to splurge a little.”

Kris: “What, did you stop reading?”

Pat: “Lunch is off. Ooh, what you said!”

Kris: “Sorry. So, what did you do?”

Pat: “I’m getting all my books for free. Even well-known ones and bestsellers.”

Kris: “Well, I know you, and you aren’t pirating them. How did you manage that?”

Pat: “It’s the latest thing: IBPs…In-Book Purchases. I can get the book for free, and then if I want certain things, I can pay for them. I just don’t ever pay.”

Kris: “Pay for things? What kind of things?”

Pat: “Oh, all kinds. Mostly, it’s just stuff to make things easier, and I don’t need that.”

Kris: “I still don’t get it.”

Pat: “Here, take a look at this:


Kris: “What in the world is that?”

Pat: “And you’re supposed to be the bookworm! It’s Charles Dickens…A Tale of Two Cities.”

Kris: “Oh, yeah, I see it now. What’s wrong with the formatting?”

Pat: “Nothing. I just haven’t paid to unlock punctuation, spacing, or capitals.”

Kris: “That’s nuts!”

Pat: “You get used to it. It’s not that hard…just takes a little mental discipline.”

Kris: “And you are the master of mental discipline.”

Pat: “As you wish.”

Kris: “How much did you save?”

Pat: “Five dollars for spacing, three dollars for punctuation, and two dollars for capitals…although I could have gotten the whole pack of them for $7.50.”

Kris: “You know you could have gotten this entire book for free, right?”

Pat: “It’s a new edition with a special introduction and illustrations.”

Kris: “How much did you pay for those?”

Pat: “They were free. Of course, the illustrations are behind the text, and the introduction doesn’t have any vowels in it, but it works for me.”

Kris: “You are one sick bird.”

Pat: “Oh, and I finally got around to reading Harry Potter! You recommended it to me years ago, but it was always too much money. Now…free!”

Kris: “What did you think?”

Pat: “I didn’t really get it. Those kids don’t really do much.”

Kris: “Don’t do much?”

Pat: “Yeah. I mean, they can’t really get much done at Hogwarts with all those ghosts and things watching them all the time.”

Kris: “That’s why they have a cloak of invisibility.”

Pat: “Huh. Maybe I should have paid to unlock the cloak after all.”

Kris: “Sigh.”

Pat: “How about the ring in The Hobbit? They wanted ten bucks for that…was it important to the story?”

Kris: “Is bamboo important to a panda?”

Pat: “Got it. I also decided to read Stephen King last week.”

Kris: “What have you read so far?”

Pat: “All of them.”

Kris: “All of them?”

Pat: “Well, the first three chapters of each one…that’s all that’s free.”

Kris: “This is the dumbest thing you’ve ever done.”

Pat: “You’re not going to say that when you’re eating your slice of pizza, paid for by yours truly.”

Kris: “You’re right…I won’t say it. But I’ll be thinking it…”

Pat: “Close enough. I’ve got this new place I want to try. We can get a large pizza for three dollars.”

Kris: “Three dollars? Is that all?”

Pat: “Unless you want to pay extra for a crust…it’s ‘in-meal purchasing’.”

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This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.


6 Responses to “In-Book purchases”

  1. Harold Delk Says:

    Very, very clever writing! Loved it. (That’s all you get in my free comment.)

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Harold!

      I’m glad you enjo– [additional material available for three AmazonCoins]. 😉

  2. danny63 Says:

    Funny stuff. For some reason this exchange seemed the funniest:

    Pat: “Got it. I also decided to read Stephen King last week.”

    Kris: “What have you read so far?”

    Pat: “All of them.”

    Kris: “All of them?”

    Pat: “Well, the first three chapters of each one…that’s all that’s free.”

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, danny63!

      Interesting! That is the one which is most true…the samples of many Stephen King books would probably run three chapters or so, because they are so long.

  3. Marvin Says:

    Bufo, you should immediately patent this idea before somebody implements it. And I hope you will not allow it to come into life.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Marvin!

      Hey, I’m all about choices. 🙂 There would be people who liked this if it actually existed…as long as you have the choice to get it in the original version, I’m okay with that. It’s a bit like blocking text-to-speech access. I wouldn’t ban blocking it, although I wish it would just go away. I wouldn’t ban an idea like “in-book purchases” (even though I intend this as a joke, of course)…but I wouldn’t use it.

      I will admit, though, to reading samples with no intent to buy the book…which isn’t that different from the Stephen King example in the story.

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