When the Kindle first appeared on the market, Amazon guaranteed that all new releases will cost $9.99 or less. Then, publishers realized that digital sales were cutting into their profits from over-priced hardcover editions and started raising Kindle book prices. First it was eleven dollars, then 12, then 14. Recently, they have gone completely nuts and started charging more for a digital copy (which, mind you, you can't share with your family and friends) than you will pay for a hard copy.
On the left you can see Ken Follett's Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy). I've been dying to read it because part of it is set in my country during the time of the revolution. So much garbage is written by English-speaking writers about that period in my country's history that I couldn't wait to see how Follett (famous for his absolutely hilarious books on medieval Europe) would approach the topic. And then I realized that the publishers were charging $19.99 for the Kindle version of the book. This, of course, is pure insanity. Kindle owners have been boycotting the book and posting one-star reviews of it on Amazon to attract the publishers' attention to the sheer idiocy of charging so much for a digital copy of the book.
Today, the price of Follett's book was lowered from $19.99 to $19.39. Obviously, the price will eventually go down a lot more. I have no doubt that in a couple of years I will be able to buy the Kindle version of the novel for as little as $7. If I am still interested, that is. It is very disheartening to observe how recalcitrant publishers are when it comes to giving up on outdated practices and embracing new technologies. One has to be completely clueless not to understand that the future of publishing lies with digital technologies. Early adopters of electronic reading devices are trend-setters in an area that will eventually overtake publishing altogether. Alienating today's Kindle owners and prospective buyers of digital books is a stupidity that, I hope, will cost these publishers dearly. Publishing houses who learn to ride this new wave of technology will end up creating customer loyalty and selling more books in all formats. Those who fail to realize that $30+ hardcovers are a thing of the past will end up going out of business. Good riddance, too.
P.S. None of this, of course, dampened my enthusiasm for my Kindle. If the publishers are idiots, the Kindle is not to blame. In the end, it will come out winning no matter what because it is that good.