Tuesday, 27 December 2011

An open letter to Random House

Dear Random House,

Thank you for your e-mail advising me of your book sale – UP TO 30% OFF - at your website http://www.rbooks.co.uk/.

I was intrigued to learn that the price of Robert Harris’ latest hardback book, The Fear Index, is £18.99 – reduced to £13.20 with the discount, and that the paperback price is £12.99 reduced to £9.09. But please tell me: how do you justify the e-book price, a whopping £19.81 – reduced to £13.86 with the discount? Further, your website informs me that it is available in one format – epub – and that this is not compatible with mobile devices such as iPhone, iTouch, iPad and Google's Android.

A scary price for an e-book - plus lies!

Are your marketing department people dim, incompetent or intentionally misleading the public in order to slow or stop the onslaught of e-books? First you price the electronic version higher than both the paper editions, then you tell people it is not compatible with their devices!

The native format for iBooks (used on iPhone/iPad/iPod) is actually epub . E-book fans can download readers for Android that will take just about any format (there may be limitations on some).

Incidentally, customers can buy the epub version from Kobo for  £6.99, and for Kindle at £5.59.

And you wonder why the publishing industry is in such a dire condition!

Kindest regards,

Kevin Bennett


  1. Note: I have e-mailed Random House a copy of this post.

  2. Good for you Kevin... 'Tis the season for madness.... Oops no thats the summer hols. Perhaps too much mulled wine at Random?

  3. I honestly think that major publishers are trying to suppress e-books. Many are more expensive than their paperback cousins.

    Probably it's about protecting their industry, but things change. With their thinking we'd still have kids climbing up chimneys!

  4. And still they haven't replied, and still they advertise it at £19.81!


Please keep it clean!