Amazon Kindle: Anatomy of an E-Reader - What Geoff Spends

by Geoff Gannon

Amazon Kindle came out November 2007. I didn’t get mine till January 2008. Since then I’ve spent $1,672.91 on 170 e-books. That means I spend $50.69 a month on e-books. I also spend $49.97 on three newspapers and $16.94 on six short story mags. My total spending on e-reading material is $117.60 a month.

The average price per e-book is $9.84. That’s deceptive. Those 170 books include stuff that has never been printed as a book and could never sell that way. I bought some short stories for $1 and $2 each. You can’t sell them in a bookstore that way. Maybe you can put 10 together and sell them for $20. Maybe. But not to me. I bought short stories by Elmore Leonard and Ross MacDonald. They wrote novels. And those novels sell for $10. I’d rather buy their novels than a short story collection. I’ll pay $3 for a good short story. I’ll never pay $30 for 10 of them.

The lowest price I paid for an e-book was $0. I got a couple that way. All of them were published in the 1800s. Most were fiction. Can you sell them in bookstores? Depends. What’s the market for Disraeli’s fiction?

The most I paid for an e-book was $74.84 for An Analysis and History of Inflation. I bought A History of Interest Rates for $53.55 and Essentials of Neuropsychological Assessment for $25.25.

I pity the Amazon engine that has to make recommendations based on that.