Here’s yet another story of a lost sale. These are starting to pile up. Book publishers take note. I heard an interview with Gary Taubes on episode #153 of Skepticality and I was interested in his new book Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It. I went to see if it was available for the Kindle and what the price was and guess what, it’s yet another one where the Kindle version is priced higher than the paper edition. I know some of my friends say that when that happens, they just buy the paper edition. Not so for me. It makes me angry enough that I buy neither one.
Let me reiterate that Gary Taubes did this podcast interview, I heard it and got interested in his product which is part of why he would spend his time doing the interview. I got all the way to the purchase page and I have a surplus of credit in my Amazon account. The only thing that stood between me and the “Buy it Now” button was Knopf’s pricing policy, and they fucked it up. As always, I’m not jonesing for things to read. I have over 100 unread books on my Kindle. I didn’t buy this book and really, I’ll never miss it. Instead I’ll read something else, and in all likelihood, I will never think about this book again.
Publishers need to understand how tenuous this window is where they have my attention, they have my willingness to buy, they have me where they need me. If you don’t convert at that point, you won’t forever. In some cases, you’ll do worse than not convert – you’ll begin to build up brand contempt. Knopf didn’t just not get my money, they twigged on my radar as a vendor to be avoided. Think of the last few books you read. How many of them could you even name what publisher put it out? The only recognition individual publishers are getting from me lately is as bad actors. That’s not what you want.
Also, to head off the highly predictable asshole comments (like, 100% of the time I’ve made these lost sale posts) this book is not available from anywhere in my county’s library system. People always reply with “just check it out of the library” which I find dickish and aggressive when you don’t have any idea whether a book is actually available for any individual. If you have a well stocked library system with all of these books, good for you. Horry County, South Carolina isn’t as well stocked as you.