The Age and other repeating-newspapers claim it's $13.99 for books in Australia and a 40% increase while the product page says $11.99 unless marked otherwise. Whatever happened to first-level fact checking?
Meanwhile MediaBistro understandably picked it up and reports that "Jeremy Fisher, executive director of the 3,000-member Society, thinks Australian writers should avoid the Kindle for these pricey reasons."
Main blog entry from Oct. 10
Well, a column by writer Bobbie Johnson that I briefly referenced yesterday for citing an unreasonably-high pricing calculation for the cost of providing a book for UK residents via 'roaming' mechanisms (at the same time that a sibling Guardian-column quoted an Amazon spokesperson saying there would be "no" roaming fees for UK residents in the UK) was updated by Johnson to report that, per a conversation he had with an Amazon rep, Amazon "confirmed" they will be charging a "premium" for UK residents and then he linked us to another column of his that said "International Buyers to be charged 40% more per book" than U.S. customers are - an alarmist column that did anger readers who believed it.
I bring this up because today Twitter is alive with 'tweets' about other newspapers picking it up, one after the other, and just repeating it as fact. That's nothing new but it's unnecessary and definitely misleading.
Ironically, that was an update to a column in which Johnson originally opined that American customers were subsidizing the UK customers' higher costs for Amazon.
Johnson cited the one UK price of $13.99 despite the Amazon product page for the UK Kindle specifically saying, from the announcement day:
' Free Wireless: ... No monthly fees, service plans, or hunting for Wi-Fi hotspots. For non-U.S. customers, there are also no additional charges for wireless delivery in or outside your home country...First, Value Added Tax charged by Great Britain is *included* in the book price. That's not an Amazon premium charge.
Low Book Prices: New York Times® Best Sellers and New Releases are $11.99 to $13.99 (prices include VAT), unless marked otherwise. You'll also find many books for less - over 70,000 titles are priced under $5.99. '
As of January the VAT will be nearly 17% over the cost of the book.
And the base price of the range is $11.99, not $13.99. In the U.S. bestsellers are $9.99 and up.
So, no, it's not generally 40% over the cost in the U.S. Even at the $13.99 range, U.S. Kindle owners are aware some bestsellers are not selling for only $9.99, too often going for as much as $15 And, again, the int'l pricing includes the government's value-added tax and is not a charge for the book. (Edited per correction by Jim.)
However, the UK will not have the experimental web browser, which some of us value having. And I guess they won't have it unless or until the wireless-provider pricing is low enough in affected countries to cover the cost of that as Sprint does here in the U.S. Countries which WILL have the web-browser enabled are Mexico, Hong Kong, and Tokyo.
For added irony, Johnson linked us to another Guardian article, this one by Charles Arthur, who spoke with Amazon's SVP in charge of the Kindle, Stephen Kessel, who reiterated Amazon's policy (I quoted this yesterday) that UK residents won't be paying roaming charges at home nor in the U.S. This was why Johnson's first focus was that it seemed to him that U.S. residents would be subsidizing UK Kindle users.
The problem for those in the UK is that they can buy books for now only from the U.S. Amazon store. This means a possible import/customs fee -- these don't apply to hard-cover books but somehow appear to be in the mix for e-books (which the government can change). However, those also are not Amazon book charges. But prospective buyers will need to factor that in.
So, as this 40% added Amazon-charge for UK customers rumor percolates around the globe, maybe some will know it's not true, even if repeated by 50 newpapers and online sites.
The basic price difference in the bestseller price-range for both U.S. and U.K. is 17% - near the cost of the Value Added Tax charged over there. And here are additions from knowledgeable people commenting to the article.
"Pricing sounds quite logical, VAT will be 15% or 17.5% from 1 January which does explain part of the price differential vs. a print book. Why is this?
Surely the EU should be promoting E-books from a green perspective and allow no VAT like the paper format?
It would also make sense that from a scale perspective that costs in the other countries will be more than the US where there is a bigger market."
[ by jimbob70 ]
"On the pricing thing. A lot of it has to do with UK publishers charging higher list price for their ebooks than US publishers.
For example Audrey Niffenegger's new book Her Fearful Symmetry...
US list price $26.99 (approx 17.02)
UK list price 21.84 (approx $34.63) "
[ by BrianEb ]
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