Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ebook versus print books when buying from Amazon as a Prime member

Two article that I saw recently that got me thinking about when I buy print books versus when I purchase ebooks.

For Amazon Shareholders, Prime Boosts Costs And Trashes Profits

Amazon: Print Book Unit Sales Up; More Content For Prime

I am a Kindle owner and a Prime subscriber. If I am purchasing a book to read I typically prefer the ebook version. I have gotten really used to reading books in large print and I am able to do that with any book on my Kindle. This may be the height of laziness but I also no longer have to hold books open. I really like the Kindle because I do not have the weight of a regular book and I do not have to hold the book open.

The reason why so many people have to "curl" up with a book is because they are heavy and you need to get in a comfortable position to read the book. I have been doing a great deal of my reading while I am on the treadmill and the Kindle works better for me in that setting.

That said I am still a very price conscious person and recently prices have been driving me to purchase more print books. Several books I have wanted to purchase recently have been more expensive as ebooks than the paper copy. Because I have an Amazon Prime subscription I can get the paper copy to my door within two days for no additional cost. So when I run into a situation where the Kindle copy is $9.99 and the paper copy is $8.99 I have been buying the paper copy.

The article about Prime trashing profits for Amazon is interesting. I am curious to see how long Amazon will continue to subsidize free shipping. Now that Amazon gives other benefits to Prime members such as the Amazon Kindle Lending Library and the Amazon Prime Instant Video they may be able to drop free shipping at some point and still maintain Prime subscribers because these people still find the other features of value.

I think Amazon may also still have free shipping for Prime but only for the slowest method of delivery. Currently two day delivery is free. I think that Prime members will get regular shipping for free and two day delivery will cost $1-$2. This is still a discount for two day shipping but it will reduce some of the loses for Amazon.

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