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Kindle vs Nook – Do All Books Cost $9.99?

by Robert Seth on May 4, 2011

Is there a difference in the cost of books between Kindle and Nook?  Do all books cost around $9.99?  In my search for the perfect e-reader, I decided to answer this question once and for all.  I started by checking a bunch of identical titles on Barnes & Noble.com, Amazon.com, and Apple.com.  I then verified my findings with owners of the various products and some sales people.  What I found was surprising.

First of all, I found that most sales people had no idea what the answer to this question was.  Almost all of them thought there was no difference in price.  What got me thinking about this was a comment that a passing customer made to me in Best Buy while I was doing research for the review.  While looking over e-readers she said that I should buy the Kindle because the Nook book prices were higher.  I really found the comment puzzling because I had thought everybody's prices would be the same.  Especially since no price advantages are ever mentioned in any advertising.  I would think if one was lower than the others this would be mentioned as a selling point.

What I found is there can be big price differences between the three services.  The greatest differences seemed to be with specialty items like technical books.  For example, the most significant price difference I found was on a book called "Professional WordPress – Design and Development." It was nearly $9.00 more on Barnes & Noble than on Amazon.  It was not available in the Apple Store.  Most books varied by a dollar or two with Amazon being almost always the lowest.  For main stream books like popular novels and New York Times Best Sellers, Amazon's price was generally around a dollar less than the other two services.

I was unable to find an instance when Amazon was more than the other two.  However, it would be nearly impossible for one person to check out all the offerings available on all the services.  I did however manage to find a couple of sales people that were aware of pricing differences.  They said that it depends on the type of the book in question.  Each service seems to specialize in certain types of books.  I was told for example, that Amazon would generally have lower prices on technical books. Another very important consideration in my opinion is that all books are not available on all services.  I found some books on Barnes & Noble that served a specialty programming niche but were not available on the other services.  So tying yourself to one service could cause you to miss out on some good offerings.

The moral of the story is to check for yourself.  If you haven't purchased an e-reader yet and your library focuses on a certain type of book, you might want to see who's got the best prices.  If your library is more varied (like mine) you might want an e-reader that is not tied to just one service.  I tested all the leading e-readers and settled on the iPad for just that reason; it can download books from all the services.  This allows me to find the best price regardless of where it's from and have every possible title available.

In summary, all books do not cost $9.99.  The prices vary all over the place, just like in the bookstore.  Also, just like in bookstores, the prices can be very different between competing services.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Jarry May 9, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Not only Nook e-reader can read free Nook eBooks but also can support kindle free eBooks. So, you can have two choices among them. Kindle books either purchased or free are also popular with most of eBook fans. If only you finish the work of kindle eBooks’ DRM decryption, then you will read kindle books on your Nook. That sounds so cool.

Reference Source : http://www.epubor.com/read-kindle-books-on-nook.html

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thuy February 20, 2013 at 8:49 am

i have the nexus 7 tablet, and have both the nook and kindle app. i have found that nook was cheaper for most of the books i cared to read. i’m sure prices change all the time. examples today “inside out and back again”, “memoirs of an imaginary friend”. anything i buy, i don’t like being bound to one retailer. i suggest getting an independent tab and have all reader apps, so you can price shop your books, just like you would physical books

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Robert Seth February 20, 2013 at 9:19 am

Hi Thuy,
Thanks for your comment! I agree that a person should have a device where all services can be used. That’s why I like the iPad. Just like your Nexus, it can use everyone’s services. I also have found that if you shop around, you can often get a better price on one of the services. Thanks again for you comment and for visiting!

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DJF February 8, 2013 at 6:29 am

There is another reason for your findings.

It has to do with Amazon’s contract with its ebook authors, and the attractive (and perhaps meretricious) KDP promotional efforts etc. One part of that contract states that (paraphrasing) if you offer the book for less than at Amazon, they will just cancel your contract. Coming from the major ebook vendor, that is a chilling threat, especially to newbie authors like me.

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Paula January 14, 2012 at 9:31 am

Great article! I just wanted to add that I looked at three biographies that were published within the past 4 months (Condoleezza Rice, Steve Jobs and George Kennan) and the prices for these books on B&N were in fact cheaper. By about $5 if not more. Just wanted to share!

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Spade January 11, 2012 at 6:28 am

I loved my Kindle when the books were under $10. Now that they have jumped in price to around $14, I’m ready to get a divorce. I have changed my reading habits to used books and the library. They got me hooked back on reading and now I’m in re-hab trying to break my habit.

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Diane January 30, 2012 at 7:46 am

I so agree with you, Spade. I love my Kindle, and I’m glad I loaded it with books back when they were all under $10 and always less than the paper version. I find it disgusting that an e-book can be $12.99 while the paperback is $1.90. It costs nothing to produce an electronic version of a book (once it’s been edited and proof-read). It’s pure profit (more for the publishing company than the author, sadly). So, I, too, have gone to used books and library books and borrowed books, but I love my Kindle still.

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Jacob July 23, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Thanks for the post, Robert 🙂 m girlfriends birthday is coming up soon, and I’m coaxing her into thinking that I’m buying all of her favorite books in paper back form (as we speak, actually). I was thinking about the nook, but from reading your post, and the following comments, I’ve decided to definably go with the Kindle.

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Bob Francis June 1, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Good article Robert. I am purchasing at least one ereader in the next short while. The new Kobo has a very comparable unit to the Kindle coming very soon and for the same price. The Nook also is coming out, but I haven’t done any research on that yet. I usually feel kind of “rubbed” when manufacturers monopolize their products, but on the other hand I understand that there are many benefits in doing so. I held and read a page or two on a Kindle last year on a plane. It was excellent and cool – it was the first one I had seen.

My pick today would be the Kindle, but I think that may change when the Kobo is released, just because of the various format availability.

I have both of them available via my website – you can read all about them there!

Blessings and peace and love and joy to all! Bob.

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Robert Seth June 1, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Thanks for the comment Bob! I agree with you that the Kindle is the way to go at the moment. I too am looking forward to some of the newer releases though. Thanks for the heads up on the Kobo!

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Sadie May 6, 2011 at 4:40 am

I Love my Kindle!  At the time we compared it to the Nook (not Nook Color) and found it to be much faster.  I also love the fact that it's easy on the eyes versus a backlight. Great comparison – thanks.

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Olga Hermans May 5, 2011 at 7:30 pm

I haven't bought any of the reading devices YET! Canada has its own..corba…did you know that? Thanks for all the great information!

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Robert Seth May 6, 2011 at 4:57 am

Hi Olga! No, I did not know that Canada had it’s own device. I’ll have to take a look at that. Thanks for commenting and for the tip!

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Lori May 4, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Thanks for the research.  Always good to price check before you buy.

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Jandi Theis May 4, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Great article Robert!  I haven't purchased an e-reader yet but have been looking.  I'm leaning toward an iPad, so appreciate knowing that the iPad can download books from all services.  This wasn't even something I had even thought about before.  Thank you!

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Stacey May 4, 2011 at 2:26 pm

I love my kindle!!!  I actually have not heard of a nook, but I would still love my kindle more.

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Robert Seth May 4, 2011 at 3:47 pm

I don’t blame you for loving your Kindle. That seem to be the universal sentiment amongst Kindle users. I only got the iPad because of all the other stuff it can do and because you can get books from any service. Also, since it’s got an LED backlight, you can read it at night. That being said however, I will probably get a Kindle too because I think they are easier on the eyes. Thanks for commenting Stacey!

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Paul Crowson May 4, 2011 at 5:48 am

Great article Robert, I have the kindle, just because, didn't get the luxury of researching price differences, it was an author that attracted me to begin wih that drew me to the kindle.

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