The Ebook Marketplace Could Definitely Confuse The Average Consumer

This article, by Mike Shatzkin, originally appeared on his The Shatzkin Files blog on The Idea Logical Company site on 9/17/11.

There are no links in this post. I refer to searches done in several ebookstores, but the pages reporting results would be dynamic, so creating a link wouldn’t assure you’d see the same results as I saw. You can replicate the searches and you may or may not see the same thing because the facts might change.

Here’s what the ebook marketplace looks like without agency pricing.


Having just polished off Phil Pepe’s “61″ about Roger Maris’s great home run season of 50 years ago, I was ready for my next read. No book has gotten more press on my radar over the past week than the new memoir from Jacqueline Kennedy, transcriptions of interviews she did with historian Arthur Schlesinger just a few months after JFK’s assassination. That looked like a good next choice for me.

(I have learned through the exercise described herein that the book is actually billed as “by Caroline Kennedy”, who controlled the property, edited it, and contracted for its publication and also “by Michael Beschloss”, the historian who wrote the introduction.)

Although I have several readers loaded on my ereading device (the iPhone), I have found myself recently defaulting to the Kindle store because it is the best place for me to browse. It allows me to search very granularly by category and sub-category (which the others don’t) and to array the choices in inverse order of publication (which the others don’t, or if they do, they don’t make it obvious enough how). That’s how I found “61″ and “The House That Ruth Built”, my two most recent reads in baseball history (my favorite subject.)

However, when you know you want a very specific book, all the ebook services are pretty much equivalent. They all let you search by title or author and deliver what you’re looking for. Since I like to spread my reading around to keep up with what the various experiences are like, I decided to search Nook first for “Jacqueline Kennedy”.

And the search engine found 22 items matching my search, the first two of which were what I was looking for.

Sort of.


Read the rest of the post on Mike Shatzkin‘s The Shatzkin Files.

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