When Kindles (and all the other e-reader marketplaces) came into the world one of the big selling points was that books would now be cheaper! And how could they not be cheaper, there was no physical book to manufacture or ship! All the various e-reader marketplaces do showcase many lower priced books, but more and more I'm seeing the Kindle version of books priced much higher than the physical books (BOTH hardcover and paperback)!
Take this recent example, the paperless Kindle version of "The Art of Innovation" is 13% more expensive than the hardcover and 70% more than the paperback!
The original logic of "it costs less to publish an ebook so we'll charge less and the consumer will then buy more e-books" has now given way to "let's charge the consumer more for the convenience of an e-book, bank the extra profit, and who cares if they buy more e-books". I'm not saying publishers can't do what they like, shouldn't do what they like, I'm just a little tired of being white lied to. If the ultimate goal is to screw us into paying more for books, don't butter us up and suggest the future will be the complete opposite.
I've always been a big fan of Amazon, not only have they defined the best of the best in cutting edge, consumer-focused internet commerce, but they've developed marvelously innovative tangential products and services (e.g., mechanical turk, Amazon S3 and Elastic Cloud servers, and their Kindle e-reader. So it is against that legacy of fondness and respect that I discovered my first real beef with Amazon. Last night I discovered that Amazon now sells Kindle Edition books which do not actually work on the Kindle devices they sell. And, as if that weren't infuriating enough, they do almost nothing to disclose this unexpected, monster caveat on their kindle edition product pages. The key phrase to watch for is "Print Replica" which indicates the e-book is merely a page-by-page scan of the original book, which for user experience reasons (not technical reasons) they refuse to let you download to your Amazon Kindle device. The only devices which are compatible with these "Print Replica" Kindle Editions are desktop PCs and an iPad running the Kindle app. It is not that I don't understand the logic behind this decision, I do, but I see it as a dangerously frustrating precident. I can no longer feel all that safe buying a Kindle Edition of any book. If they are willing to sell this incompatible version giving as the reason its incompatible format, what is to stop them from selling another Kindle Edition which is incompatible because of some other feature such as embedded interactivity or video clips? Making matters worse there is no text anywhere which truly discloses this huge issue. The page does indicate the Kindle Edition is compatible with PC, Mac, and iPad but that is a very long way from saying it is NOT compatible with their own Kindle devices, which is our default assumption. Further frustrating the issue, there is no way to get a refund via the "actions" menu of the Manage Your Kindle page, as the help documents states. I contacted support only to have all this confirmed. They have as yet not refunded the item, only telling me to download the PC version of the software. To see an example of an incompatible Kindle Edition, check out Campbell Biology.