I had an e-mail from Amazon announcing 80% off popular ebooks yesterday. I saw this included https://www.amazon.com/Lord-Rings-One-J-R-R-Tolkien-ebook/dp/B007978OY6/. This was a one volume edition of Lord of the Rings and was the 50th Anniversary Edition. It was on sale for $1.99 yesterday and I didn’t have to join Amazon Prime to get the discount. Today the price is $16.99 for the ebook version.
I have a paperback version of the Lord of the Rings, but don’t feel like looking them up. In this edition, they tried to clean up some of the mistakes and errors that made it into earlier versions of the books. In some cases, they left some of the errors in because it made sense to do so. It’s explained in the section on the 50th Anniversary Edition.
I downloaded the ebook to my Kindle app on my laptop so I can read it without needing Internet access. I expect similar offers during Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals next month. I don’t normally buy too many ebooks if I already own a paperback or hardback unless I can get a good deal like this one. On the same token, I will sometimes buy a used copy of a book because I find the ebook price to be higher than what I can get a used copy for. I purchased a new copy of a paperback book because it was only $5 more expensive than the ebook version. I know the publisher was overpricing the ebook initially. I checked a few years later and the ebook price was more reasonable. At that time, I purchased the ebook version and gave the paperback to a friend.
What many traditional publishers don’t get is overpricing ebooks. Why should I pay a higher price for an ebook when it first comes out when I get the paperback cheaper than the ebook? I have seen some publishers try to justify higher prices for ebooks based on fixed costs. The problem with this approach is many fixed costs don’t apply to ebooks. You don’t have to print the ebooks, keep them in inventory, or ship them using the Post Office or some other delivery service. For inventory purposes, you just send a copy of the ebook to my device when I purchase it.