By Dennis Abrams
Here at Publishing Perspectives, we’ve more than once looked at the impact that low-priced and free e-books have had on publishing. But there’s a whole other world as well — that of ebooks priced at levels (some seriously, others not so much) that really have to be seen to be believed.
Writing about “This Month’s Most Expensive E-Books” for The Paris Review, Dan Piepenbring notes that “If you’re flush, you could spend your days schlepping from one rare-book room to another, hoping to stumble upon a first edition that’s both a worthy investment an aesthetic treasure. Or you could just go to Amazon and buy one of these recently published ebooks, which will, given their pedigree and initial cost, most certainly appreciate in value.
Among Piepenbring’s favorite titles:
- Proceedings of 2013 4th International Asia Conference on Industrial Engineering and Management Innovation ($319.20)
- Quay Walls, Second Edition ($247.96)
- Moroccan Math Secrets (French edition) ($200.00)
- TRANSHUMAN (Screenplay) ($200.00)
- Miscellaneous Thoughts, Volume I ($200.00)
And my personal favorite:
The Amazon’s Most Expensive Book (Arabic Edition) ($200.00), which has the following product description:
“This book is one of the most expensive available on Amazon in Kindle version. It does not exist on paper version. It caters to the richest people. Those who can buy without flinching. It is not for the poor, stingy, or for those who count their money. Therefore, please do not buy this book if you do not have enough money on your bank account. If you were not wealthy but think you can read this book and ask for a refund afterwards, give up immediately, you are not the readership target. Any unusual thing is expensive! This is the law of supply and demand. Only a privileged few can buy and read this book. The others: go your way. Many free books are available for your long winter evenings. However, if you have a lot of money, and if the price of this book does not disturb you more than that, welcome and good reading.”
That kind of chutzpah can only be admired.