Lord of the Rings, Kindle Edition at half price

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InklingBooks
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Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:22 am Post

I just discovered that Amazon is selling the Kindle edition of The Lord of the Rings for half price: $9.99 rather than $20. I'm not sure when the discount began nor how long it will last. Here's the U.S. link:

http://www.amazon.com/Lord-Rings-One-Co ... 007978OY6/

Amazon refers to it as the "Collector's Ed." I've been waiting for it to go on sale, so I grabbed it. It's the 50th Anniversary edition of May 2004, so the text should be clean. There's a working table of contents and text-to-speech is permitted. There's no functioning index though.

The Hobbit is also on sale, reduced from $13.95 to $7.59, which not quite as great a discount.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Hobbit-ebook/dp/B0079KT81G/

I checked and the UK discount doesn't seem to be as great, just 35%, but maybe my U.S. IP address is hiding something from me.

It's a great way to read through the book, tagging passages you particularly like for later. Again, I emphasize that I don't know how long this offer will last. Also, if you have a Kindle Fire, a fancier KF8 version may be in the works. And you don't need a Kindle device to read it. There are Kindle apps for Macs, Windows, iPhones and Android devices, as well as an online reader.

--Michael W. Perry, Untangling Tolkien (a book-length, day-by-day chronology of LOTR)

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InklingBooks
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Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:36 am Post

One addendum. Amazon, with their all too common slovenliness, seems to have two editions of LOTR at the $9.99 price. You'll find the other here:

http://www.amazon.com/Lord-Rings-ebook/dp/B0026REBFK

It seems to be a different edition from a different publisher. That may be why, as odd as it seems, the page claims "This title is not available for customers from: United States. An ebook on Amazon's U.S. website that can't be sold here. Figure that one out.

Anyway, the purpose of this post is to tell you that if you hit that webpage using Amazon's often bizarre search engine, either use the link I provided or use "collector" in your search.

Also, if you're outside the U.S., you might see if the link above would let you buy that edition at a dollar-based price that's significantly better than the UK price. Some sort of weird Amazon price-matching robot may be active here, creating this confusion.

--Mike

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vic-k
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Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:00 pm Post

InklingBooks wrote: price-matching robot may be active here
Yeah there is. :shock: It's the same one that works for Apple.It's probably moonlighting over at Amazon. :(
Vic
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Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:02 pm Post

I suspect it's more likely that some of Amazon's software is moonlighting for Apple. Amazon's real expertise is in running huge server farms. At that they are world-class. Apple hasn't had that much success there, hence their MobileMe woes.

There are rumors that Apple hired experts from both Amazon and Microsoft to set up their huge NC server farm. If I were an Apple exec, I'd run part of my system on Amazon's stuff and part on Microsoft's, test it for a year or two, and then go with the one that worked best.

I wonder if anyone outside the U.S. has had success buying that other edition of LOTR, the one on Amazon US that is not for sale here. I suspect the price difference between it and the UK edition is due to the VAT. Buying a outside-the-US edition from the US might be a way to avoid that awful VAT.

Low-income people in the U.S. don't know how good we have it compared to Europe. With my modest writer's income, I pay no income taxes and my business income hasn't risen to the level that requires me to pay high Washington State business taxes. The only area where I get dunned is my state's high, almost 9% sales tax, but food is exempt from that. I'm not sure how much income tax I'd pay in Europe, but there I'd be paying over twice as much when I buy, over 20% in hidden VATs. Taxes in Europe do appear more regressive than here, particularly if you are poor.

Costs are often higher under the European model too. I saw an interesting article just a few days ago. In the Pacific NW, there's a little Canadian peninsular that juts below the 49th parallel and thus has a tiny, cut-off enclave of the U.S. Canadians who live nearby cross the border to buy cheap American food. Why is it cheaper, given that the food has to cross two borders to get there? I've been told its because our food distribution system is much more efficient. Canada requires a longer chain of wholesale distributors, probably in some sort of job-protection scheme.

How does that apply to writing? Some 80-90 years ago, American writers often immigrated to Europe because living in Spain, Italy or even Paris was cheaper than here. I'd love to make that change of scenery, but there doesn't seem to be anyway I could live in Europe as cheaply as even in pricey Seattle. That's particularly true of London and Oxford, where I'd most want to live.

And of course, even that probably isn't as bad as Japan. I've got a friend from there who lived here for a couple of years here, easily moving from apartment to apartment to save money. In Tokyo she rarely moves because with each move there are a horde of agents and advance fees you have to pay before you move in. Renting an apartment in Tokyo is almost as much hassle as buying a home here.

Too bad. I'd also love to live for a time in Tokyo, although she tells me it's crowded, noisy, and incredibly hot and humid in the summer.

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Jaysen
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Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:12 pm Post

Careful in the US v World comparisons. The total cost of living is rarely examined. I would suggest a slightly broader range of comparisons before determining where the poor are treated poorly.

Crap. I thought I was a republican.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 24 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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