An eReader.com Rant

I love to read. This wasn’t always true but many years ago my wife showed me the light and I’ve been an avid reader ever since. Probably the biggest revelation in my reading history was my discovery of eBooks about four years ago. I had a Palm PDA at the time and a wonderful web site named Peanut Press offered commercial eBooks in a proprietary format for the Palm. Peanut Press offered their own software for reading these books in both a free and an enhanced commercial version. Both were quite acceptable for the job but I bought the Pro version. Along the way support was added for the Pocket PC and I bought the Pro version of that too.

Most eBooks on Peanut Press were in the $4 to $6 dollar range although Mary Higgins Clark always seemed to be pricey. Life was good and I was happy.

One day the adorable Peanut Press was purchased by Palm and renamed Palm Digital Media. I expected the worst and thought Palm would run the site into the ground. This didn’t happen. With incredible insight Palm management seemed to sense that Peanut Press “got it right” and aside from the name change left them pretty much unchanged. Life remained good.

One day Palm sold Palm Digital Media to Motricity the giant behind PalmGear.com and PocketGear.com. Again I waited for the axe to fall and just as I was thinking that I should stop being such a pessimist, it did. The site was renamed eReader.com and started putting out a newsletter which contained a promo code that would garner an extra 10% off any eBook over $3. Awesome.

Of late however Motricity is making their presence known. New releases that used to cost about $6 now cost $25 but are often discounted to about $18. Now I still love eBooks but honestly, these prices are up there with the cost of the same books in hardcover. Sure eBooks are convenient but a hardcover offers many more options:

  • I can donate it to my library after reading.
  • I can sell it at a used book store and recoup some of my investment.
  • I can give it to a friend.

None of these options are viable with an eBook.

Here’s just an example of what I mean from todays eReader.com and Amazon.com. For eReader.com I’ll list the newsletter price (which was reduced recently from 10% to 5% discount) and the Amazon.com price for the same book in hardcover. I’ll omit shipping costs for Amazon which can be avoided if your order is over $25.

Rusty Nail by J.A. Konrath
eReader: $16.10
Amazon: $15.57

Judge & Jury by James Patterson
eReader: $17.05
Amazon: $16.79

The Power Broker by Stephen Frey
eReader: $17.05
Amazon: $15.72

And, of course, pricey as ever:
Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark
eReader: $24.65
Amazon: $16.35

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One Response to An eReader.com Rant

  1. […] Loyal readers both know that I have, in the past, taken eReader.com to task for their high prices and reductions in their newsletter coupon code, Well a while back eReader.com restored their discount code back to 10% from the paltry 5% previously offered. This, no doubt, is a direct response to pressure generated by my blog post. […]

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