Friday, October 30, 2009

Next up: free with your paid prescription?

Payday, and thus time to order John Keay's new history of China, which bids fair to be the first-ever general history of China in English not to completely suck. Anticipation!!!!

Amazon saw fit to advise me that Stephen King has a new book coming out, for $9.00. A paperback, I assumed.

Nope. Hardcover. List $35.00. 74% off.

I don't really know that it's such a good idea for publishers to emphasize so heavily how little it costs them to print a 1,088-page hardcover.

This is just the most egregious instance known to me of the reciprocal rise in discounts and list prices for hardcovers. The more chains discount, the more the book costs. With the added bonus that, a month or two later, the discounts vanish (in the brick-and-mortar stores anyway) but the list prices do not.

Still, 74% off? Do that many people in Wal-Mart Walmart still pick up the new Stephen King book automatically? (Online Walmart price: $8.98. Take that, Amazon!)

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