So You Say You Want to Buy an E-Book Locally?


Thank you, thank you! I have been waiting for independents to offer me ebooks. And you are right - curation is their whole reason for (still) being here.
Great idea BUT you may pay quite a premium for shopping locally, maybe even more than with actual paper books.

Based on a test case of one book (Operation Mincemeat).
Directly from Google: $9.36

From Elliott Bay: $25.99

Third Place, Queen Anne: $25.99

Sorry folks, there's a limit to how far loyalty goes.

(OK maybe the Google price is an intro offer. Wait and see)
FWIW it's even cheaper on a Kindle:
What I would love is for these independent stores (or even amazon! or google!) to be able to give me a code (or sell me one at a discount) to download an electronic version of a book when I buy the print version.
@Josh Yes! Just like buying records.
Why would I care where an eBook comes from? I'd care about format, DRM, price and convenience, but not about whether I'm buying from somewhere down the street or across the country.

The Autobiography of Mark Twain is $9.79 for Kindle, $19.22 Amazon hardcover, $9.79 Google eBooks, $28 Elliot Bay branded Google eBooks, and $34.95 Elliot Bay hardcover.

The difference in hardcover prices is worth it if I can putter around the bookstore, reading bits of a couple of books, and then walk out with one. It's something that an online bookstore just cannot provide, at least not as well. There's a physical beauty to the book, and the immediate gratification.

The difference in eBook prices... well, let's hope that's some horrific pricing error otherwise this is completely stillborn. But, even if it is also $9.79, and Elliot Bay gets a sliver of the sale, there's still the question of why would I go to them for a nearly identical purchase experience compared to Amazon, Google, or anywhere else (and whether there is really enough of a sliver of the sale for the book store to get anything worthwhile).

Being nearby isn't enough. Being nearby is actually irrelevant.

Curating and recommending eBooks doesn't require a physical presence, or a nearby location. There's probably a spot for the niche sellers, but I would expect the niche to be based on subject matter and the seller's expertise and recommendations, rather than being six blocks away -- someone who has an awesome knowledge of mystery books for children featuring porcupines or what not.

(Also, if I want to buy locally, my local book store *IS* Amazon -- it's only a few miles further away than the other options, and I know more people who work there than work for any other bookstore.)