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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Hunt for the Best Available Price Tag

I have been reading some old titles. Such titles are available free of cost in pdf format from different websites. However, I have bought their Kindle edition from the Kindle bookstore. It was not a well thought out approach. I knew about the title. I did not care to acquire such books. However, when I located them in Kindle bookstore, I tried to explore the contents of such books. I found the price quite cheap. I knew that it was available free of cost from other different sources like Internet Archives or Google books. Such books are available in pdf format. However, I have found the Kindle software more user-friendly interface. Therefore, I opted to pay a small amount to acquire it.

Gradually I learned that the same title was available for a more lesser price on the Kindle bookstore itself. The old titles are published by different publishers on the Kindle bookstore with different price tags. Some publishers charge more than the other. The contents are same, but there is a big difference in prices from publisher to publisher. It is all there in Kindle bookstore. For a single author, whose work has come out of copyright clauses and now available as open source, are being recycled by different publishers as digital books. The new thing which they bring in is the formatting of the content of the book. The price is very less. However, from publisher to publisher, there is a difference in price tag. The main feature is that they try to format the content in digital format. One publisher will make an index of the chapter in a way that it becomes easier to navigate through the subject matter. The other publisher may format them in some different way. Probably, that may be the reason for the difference in prices.

However, such a price difference for the same title has become a cause of dissatisfaction also. I bought a book of an author for a particular price. Gradually, I learn that the same title is available in a lesser amount but with better formatting that helps me more to navigate through the contents of the title. In case of a cheaper book, the format is more functional and practical. Now, this brings in the dissatisfaction. I present below two case studies to show my point.

Case Study One

Second Purchase: ₹38/-

Name of the title:

Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda

Length of Pages: 452

Publisher: Oregan Publishing (26 June, 2017)

Kindle ASIN: B073GYW7W2

I bought this edition on September 30, 2017. I had this title in my Kindle library already. However, I bought it because it was formatted differently. Navigating between the chapters of 9 volumes was easy.

On the other hand, the first bought of the same title had following particulars.

Name of the title:

Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda

First Purchase: ₹ 349/-

Length of Pages: 4361

Publisher: The name of the Publisher is not given but in the description on the Kindle website, it is stated the proceed from the sale would go to the Advaita Ashrama founded by Swami Vivekananda.

Kindle ASIN: B004NIFSQ6

A Commentary:

The titles are same. However, there is the difference in prices. The difference in price is quite vast. Secondly, The first purchase claims that it has 4361 pages. The second purchase claims that it has 452 pages. However, Kindle software is not displaying the page numbers. It shows only the location and the total count of location in the following purchase is 63829. In case of the first purchase, it is 63837. The difference in the quantity of the content is caused by the editorial notes. However, both the editorials are claimed to have been written on July 4, 1907.

In short, I bought the same title for different prices. The contents are same, but there is a considerable difference in price and published dates.

There are many more issues concerning this title. However, presently, I am here to present my point on the difference of rates on the same title which is available on Kindle Book Store. The contents are virtually identical, but there is a vast difference in price. One can access the whole content on different websites. Some of them allow free download. However, to use Kindle software I bought it directly from the Kindle bookstore. However, when I find that there is a considerable price difference for the same content, then I have every reason to express my dissatisfaction.

Case Study Two.

Second Purchase:

Name of the title:

The Complete Works of William Walker Atkinson (Unabridged)

Price: ₹ 48/-

Length of pages: 7920

Publisher: e-artnow; 2 edition (March 3, 2016)


Date of Bought: December 28, 2016.

It is a vast volume. It contains a large number of titles published by W. W. Atkinson. It includes the title 'Lessons in Yogi Philosophy and Oriental Occultism'. In this title, the author keeps on repeating that many more things will be explained in the next volume and that is titled as "Advanced Course in Yogi Philosophy and Oriental Occultism. The compilation includes that title also. I bought it for ₹ 48/-

First Purchase:

Name of the Title:

Fourteen Lessons in Yogi Philosophy and Oriental Occultism.

Length of pages: 270


Publisher: Not specified

Kindle ASIN: B007PF9C9S

Date of Bought: December 26, 2016.

The Commentary:

The contents of this title are same as it is given in Lessons in Yogi Philosophy and Oriental Occultism. The only difference is in the use of the term Fourteen.

Now here also, the price difference is quite vast. If you observe the details, I had bought these two titles within a gap of two days. The cause was that the writer therein, who claims himself to be Yogi Ramacharaka kept on repeating in the book that he would explain many more things in his Advance course.

In the compilation published under the name of W. W. Atkinson, I found both the titles. I paid far less. I received far more on W. W. Atkinson in my second purchase.

Secondly, in case of publisher e-artnow, the date of publication of each title is not mentioned. However, the different titles published by W. W. Atkinson are published by various publishers with different price tags. However, in case of e-artnow, I believe, I have received virtually all the available titles. The only shortcoming is that the publisher has not mentioned the date of publication of each title. I have reviewed a large number of his titles on this very blog. I had mentioned this shortcoming in case of one or two reviews.

In short, at different prices, you purchase the same content. All these titles and purchases can be made at Kindle bookstore.

My Argument:

In case of some titles, which have come out of copyright clause, different publishers are republishing those titles. The contents are same. However, the various publishers charge different rates.

The Kindle store, as well as in its Feedback links which are given at the end of each display of the book, meant for selling, provides the purchasers to share their dissatisfaction with the product. In case of books, they allow reporting inappropriate claims, copyright issues, and wrong formatting. It is quite fair. I have found and observed that in case of one publisher, who had overstated his claim, the Kindle had stopped the sale of title by that publisher. However, being a reader, you are more motivated towards the content and the author. You do not want to spend time in raising issues and getting involved in such contentions which may strain your resources. I leave to the Kindle and Amazon people to consider the issues raised in this post if they happen to come across it. If I write to Amazon people, then I will prefer to spend time in writing the reviews than to act like a whistleblower.

For the general readers, I have this message for them. If you are interested in some title, then explore the various options provided there. Do not take quick decisions to buy at the spur of the wimps. This approach can be adopted in case of those titles which are now out of copyright clauses and available free of cost. If you prefer, Amazon and Kindle backed titles, even then, have the patience to explore the Kindle site. You may get a better prize for the same title.

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