army of thieves

I tend to read all over the shop: SF, literature, history, linguistics and so on and I love a good thriller. I grew up on Clive Cussler, Craig Thomas, Robert Ludlum and a few others. I attempted Dan Brown…once, and never again, but love Matthew Reilly. I have been eagerly anticipating his new book, Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves, which was released in October. At that point, however, I refused to buy as I was nearing the end of the 10 book Malazan saga. That proved to be a fatal error.

Scarecrow on Amazon

As you can see from the above screenshot, at the time of release, it was available, via Amazon, for kindle for about $10, discounted from $23. Nothing unusual about that on Amazon and I’ve benefited from such discounts in the past. At the same time, it was released locally in hardcover for about $45 I think. Once Malazan was out of the way, I was going to see if I could pick up the hardcover cheaper somewhere to keep, and buy the e version to read.

A couple of weeks later, as I finished off Malazan, it was released locally on the recently launched Australian edition of Google ebooks…for $25. Looking at the reviews on the google page, there’s a few folk complaining about the price difference between it and Amazon…and lo, the publisher noticed and pulled the title from Amazon altogether. For a few weeks, the only e version available was for non kindle devices and folk with kindles had no avenue to get a copy.

I actually have both a kindle and a Sony ereader but I object to paying such a high price for an ebook to which I have so little rights. especially given how expensive books are in this country to begin with. Anyway, I noticed last week, that Army of Thieves had returned to the Amazon Kindle store. This time, it was listed for $26 with no discounting. Keeping in mind, this is with geographic restrictions ie this book is available for Australians only. There is a US version but it has a different name (Scarecrow Returns) and is due for release early 2012.

Needless to say, I am distinctly unimpressed. Moreso when, a couple of weeks back, I was able to buy the hardcover in my local Kmart for $23! I bought two: one for mum and one for me :-) I ended up paying less for the p than what the e currently sells for. I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than $12 or so for an ebook and I don’t intend to change that any time soon. As a friend suggested, it would be nice if the hardcover included a free version of the e so I wouldn’t have to buy the same book in each format: one for the shelf and one to read. The other disappointing factor here, is that the publisher is fine with folk discounting the p, but totally against folk discounting the e.

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