Friday, June 3, 2011

Ebook Prices - Variations across countries

I recently noticed something appalling - yet strangely, not shocking. Amazon differentially prizes items across different countries (not news, I knew they did this).
But an ebook I was trying to pre-order *ahem* Ilona Andrews *I've been raving about this series, Magic Slays FTW* was $2 more expensive when I tried to buy it vs. my husband purchasing it. We both have accounts registered in different countries, which probably accounts for this price change. But it burns anyway!

Related situation in France: Les Echos in France says that the French Parliament has unanimously voted to price all ebooks sold in France (whether imported or otherwise) at a fixed, standard price. Since France has already placed a fixed price on all paper books, this is a simple extension of their existing law.

Why are ebook laws so complicated? Shouldn't this be easier than selling a paper book?
If I'm buying a book on my laptop, paying taxes toward a given country, and the publisher in that country, at what point is the price difference too much?
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  1. It should be definitely easier to buy an ebook than a normal, paper book and the price should be ALWAYS lower, no matter what country. I can understand different prices of ebooks in different countries as the level of taxes (VAT and other duties) varies across the Europe and America but I simply can't understand why I have to pay MORE for an ebook than for an paperback.

  2. I don't get it either :(
    Thanks for the VAT point, that might be one explanation, but I know that isn't the case for the Kindle.
    IMO, the reason for an extra $1 is the cost of international delivery wirelessly to my Kindle.
    My suggestion here is that I have an option to waive the $1 and get the book via email, and then it is up to me to download it to my kindle when I am at a wifi point.


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