Whoever Heard of a $75 Audiobook?

glowing mp3 playerSeveral friends have reported getting emails from Amazon urging them to buy audio books from Henning Mankell and Peter Robinson. Nothing odd about that, but it seems something at Amazon’s marketing department has gone horribly wrong. They’ve failed.

Here’s the key text from one of the emails:

“As someone who has purchased or rated books by John Marsden, you might like to know that The White Lioness: A Kurt Wallander Mystery will be released on August 1, 2009.  You can pre-order yours by following the link below.

The White Lioness: A Kurt Wallander Mystery
Henning Mankell
Release Date: August 1, 2009”

Extra-Value Gone Wrong

I checked, and this is an old book. The paperback came out in 2003 and is available on Amazon for only $10.

I looked at the links and the audiobook is pre-loaded on some sort of player (no clue what kind). There’s nothing that tells you anything about the player, who makes it, or even whether you can add additional books.

It appears that Amazon is either trying to sell the book as an add-on for “extra value” to the player or thinks the player is an extra incentive to buy the book.

In either case, it’s clearly not working. Several pretty smart people think someone’s trying to sell them a $10 book for up to $120! No sale.

Anyone with any sense would skip the whole thing, get an older ipod shuffle for $45, and have plenty left over to download audiobooks elsewhere.

Add Value That’s Clearly Valuable

Adding extras is a great way to get more (or larger) sales.

Selling an e-book? Add extra bonuses (an audio version) for free, or add both an audio and a DVD for only $10 more. An audiobook/ebook combination can be worth $75 if it contains information you can’t find elsewhere or find easily. An ordinary reissue of a six-year-old book doesn’t count, unless it glows in the dark!

Photo: halighalie