Readers of eBooks might not be able to turn paper pages, lend their copies to friends, or file them away on living room bookshelves. But until now, they did have the comfort of knowing that they paid less for their eBooks than for hardcovers, reports the New York Times. Last week, on Amazon.com, the price for the eBook version of “Fall of Giants” by Ken Follett—published by Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Group USA—was $19.99; the hardcover edition was $19.39. For  “Don’t Blink,” by James Patterson and Howard Roughan, publisher Little, Brown & Co. charged $14.99 for the eBook, while Amazon priced the hardcover at $14. Customers, unaccustomed to seeing a digital edition more expensive than the hardcover, howled at the price discrepancy and promptly voiced their outrage with negative comments and one-star reviews on Amazon. Several major publishers said those two books were the first they knew of that cost more as eBooks than in hardcover on Amazon. The skirmish over prices is possible because of deals that publishers negotiated with Amazon this year that allowed the publishers to set their own prices on eBooks, while Amazon continues to choose the discount from the list price on hardcovers. That upended a previous understanding by Kindle customers, who were used to paying only $9.99 for an eBook…

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Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura