Not long ago I posted about how it surprised me that many 1-star reviews on Amazon were entirely because the reviewer didn’t like the price of the e-book–something that the author often has very little control over.
Today, John Scalzi offers up his opinion on e-book pricing, and I completely agree with him. As he sums up at the end of his post:
The shorter version of this: Complaining about eBook prices on Big Idea threads is a) usually off-topic, b) kind of mean to the author, c) something I’m bored with at this point.
John refers to his Big Idea posts, but you could replace “Big Idea” with “Amazon reviews” and it would work just as well. I agree with all three of John’s points. It’s perfectly within someone’s right to complain about e-book pricing, but doing so in a review that is supposed to be about a book, or a post that is supposed to be about an author makes said complainer come across as a dick. I’ve made it a habit of marking such reviews I’ve come across on Amazon as “unhelpful.” I want the reviews I read to be useful and insightful, not a place for someone to complain about book pricing economics. I, too, am tired of the e-book pricing debate.
While I’m not bored of the open discussion of ebook economics at large, I totally agree that when discussing an author or reviewing a book is not the time to do it. There are plenty of other venues for the discussion, and some very good insights from blogs about it.