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Paranormal Romance > Why is A Touch of Dead so freaking expensive??

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message 1: by michelle+8 (new)

michelle+8 (michelleplus8) I just found out about the collection of Sookie short stories, A Touch of Dead. I'm a big Sookie fan, but I've never read any of the short stories, so I put it on my wish list. Then I noticed that the ebook is $19! For 5 short stories in 192 pages! What's really crazy is that the hardcover edition is *cheaper* than the ebook!

This isn't even a new book; it was published in 2009. The brand new full length Sookie novel, Dead Reckoning, is only $13 for the ebook, and the older ones are only $8.

Does anyone have any insight into why this book is so expensive? Is it really amazingly good? Does it come with free chocolate, or get red wine stains out of the carpet?

message 2: by Robyn (new)

Robyn Sadler (robsad79) You know I was wondering the same thing.I bought it when it first came out and then I got my Nook. I was thinking about starting it finally and thought since I'm trying to get rid of my print books to make room in my tiny living space, I could buy that one and sell the hard copy. I was shocked at the price. I don't even think the books in the series are that expensive.

message 3: by Brenna (new)

Brenna Lyons (BrennaLyons) | 177 comments My first thoughts are...

Amazon and other outlets routinely use hard cover as what's called a "loss leader." That means they mark down hard bound books from bestsellers to a break even point or below to encourage sales and (they hope) sales of other items (where they make the money back) while you're already shopping for the loss leaders. They do NOT do this with trade paperback, in most cases. So, the hard bound with a "cover price" of $26 or $22 is discounted to less than the price of the trade paperback with the "cover price" of $19.

eBooks are priced to match mass market pricing by anyone that knows how to price. The $13 is based on hard bound pricing models, as is NY conglomerate's ebook plan. The $8 is reasonable.

Technically speaking, I'd say the reasons above are causing your problems.


Mlpmom (Book Reviewer) (mlpmombookreviewer) | 839 comments Actually for Kindle books Amazon can't price them like they use to, they have to go with the publishers pricing now so in essence it is so expensive because Penguin wants it that way. :(

message 5: by Brenna (new)

Brenna Lyons (BrennaLyons) | 177 comments Which, MIpmom, is what I said. NY conglomerate insists on that pricing scheme to price ebook at closer to hard bound pricing. Some are smart enough to drop the ebook price when mass market releases. Some aren't.

However, in print, Amazon can and does use loss leaders, which affects print prices you pay from them.


message 6: by Missyb (new)

Missyb | 493 comments Michelle wrote: "I just found out about the collection of Sookie short stories, A Touch of Dead. I'm a big Sookie fan, but I've never read any of the short stories, so I put it on my wish list. Then ..."

If that's the one I'm thinking of, the stories were previously released as well. I had the same response as you. I felt so ripped off, but then again as soon as the series really took off the books started being released in hard cover instead of paperback. Which was disapointing. I purchased a box set of the first 7 for about $32, that same box set now sells for about $60. If a book is released as hardcover I wait until I have a coupon from B & N and/or it's really marked down, or I rent it from the library then buy it when it comes out as paperback a year later.

message 7: by Brenna (new)

Brenna Lyons (BrennaLyons) | 177 comments Missyb wrote: "Which was disapointing. I purchased a box set of the first 7 for about $32, that same box set now sells for about $60."

Remember, this is often not the fault of either Amazon or the publisher. What happens is...the publisher stops making that book/set, and the individual sellers that have purchased it sell it new or used for outrageous prices, because now it's "rare" to find a new or like new copy. For instance, one of my old OOP (out of print) books sold for about $15 in trade paperback and $6 in ebook. Now that it's OOP (it is re-released in ebook for $6 but not print yet), you can find print copies out there for $200+. That is the fault of the resellers...not me, not my former publisher, and not Amazon.


message 8: by AH (new)

AH | 123 comments In a case like this, vote with your wallet. You don't need to buy the book if it is overpriced. Get a used copy from a used book store, go to the library, borrow from a friend. $19 for an ebook is excessive. No sales = price drop eventually. All sellers need to move their merchandise.

I've noticed at my local book store (Chapters) they generally sell off hard cover books at a huge discount around the time a paperback is expected. I've gotten hard cover books for as little as $5 and paperbacks for $2 when this happens.

message 9: by Keryl (new)

Keryl Raist (kerylraist) | 37 comments I don't know if your local library does this, but mine offers ebooks and mp3 player compatible audio books.

The reason I mention this now is that at least at my local library A Touch of Dead was available as a downloadable ebook. Yours might have it as an ebook as well.

I liked the stories, but there was nothing in there I would have been willing to pay 19.00 for.

message 10: by Regina (new)

Regina (reginar) I bought this as a kindle ebook in late 10/31/2009 for 9.99 and I thought that was expensive when I bought it! I am not sure what Penguin is thinking, by the way these short stories are not worth buying the book for and my library has these in both audio, ePub, and hardcover. Definitely go the library route.

I also noticed that Amazon tells all of its customers that Penguin set this price, this is on its website:

Sold by: Penguin Publishing
This price was set by the publisher

message 11: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) I got a touch of dead from the library as well, but it only had 3 stories in it...this one is saying it has 5...but I got the CD and listened to it on my commute into work

all the prices on books significantly jumped in April/May 2010 when the agency model went into effect...this stopped Amazon/B&N etc from setting the prices on ebooks, and the publisher sets the price...whereas the sellers can set the price for the hardcover/paperback.

if you look at the hardcover version of a touch of dead, the PLP (print list price) is $24 which is what would you pay if you were to go into a borders etc and didn't apply any offers it for $13 (IIRC). The PLP is the same for the ebook, but the publisher is selling, so they have only discounted it a few dollars

message 12: by Regina (new)

Regina (reginar) Maybe you got an abridged one? Mine has 5. Yes, the agency modle and agreement really screws both readers and vendors.

message 13: by AH (new)

AH | 123 comments Just say no! Get it at the library, buy it used. If people continue to pay ridiculous prices for ebooks, the prices will continue to be high.

Really, this book was not worth that price.

message 14: by Regina (new)

Regina (reginar) Yup I agree.

message 15: by Missyb (new)

Missyb | 493 comments Brenna wrote: "Missyb wrote: "Which was disapointing. I purchased a box set of the first 7 for about $32, that same box set now sells for about $60."

Remember, this is often not the fault of either Amazon or the..."

I purchased the box set at Barnes & Noble instead of the individual books from them, and after the series went big at the same store the price was hiked.

message 16: by AlbertaJenn (new)

AlbertaJenn Another example is the hardcover of Death's Excellent Vacation by Charlaine Harris was $32 Can (or $29.99 US, I think). I had never heard of an anthology selling for so much! Just because there is one new Sookie story in it? It wasn't even the Sookie story I wanted to read the most.

Just ridiculous.

message 17: by michelle+8 (new)

michelle+8 (michelleplus8) Thanks for the input. I still think it is ridiculous and bizarre, especially in light of the fact that the other Sookie ebooks (same author, same series, same publisher, same seller, same format, same everything -- only longer and, by the reviews, better!) are half the price.

I think I'll definitely go the library route. My grandmother told me the other day that my local library has ebooks, which I did not know, so I'll have to find out how to go about getting one!

message 18: by Sandra J (new)

Sandra J Weaver (sandraweaver) | 451 comments My library had Death's Excellent Vacation by Charlaine Harris , so I borrowed it. I thought the cover price was ridiculous, especially since I tend to only like a couple of the stories in an anthology.

message 19: by Susan (new)

Susan | 196 comments I was wondering about the cost of this book myself. I love Sookie stories, but I have put off buying this one so far as well.

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