Sci-Fi Kindlenomics

Sci-Fi Kindlenomics

Summary: Covers from the first editions of Hugo and Nebula award winning Sci-Fi Classics. Photo: AbeBooks.


Covers from the first editions of Hugo and Nebula award winning Sci-Fi Classics. Photo:

One of my industry writer friends, Steven J. Vaughn-Nichols let me in on an interesting item that came up for sale today -- a full collection of Hugo and Nebula award-winning Sci-Fi novels, in their first editions.

Asking price? A mere $116,500.

Click on the "Read the rest of this entry" link below for more.

How many books are we talking here? 82 titles, which includes such greats as Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, Arthur C. Clarke's Rendevous with Rama, Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light, and Walter M. Miller's A Canticle for Leibowitz.

To paraphrase Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof: If I Were a Rich Man... I would buy and read these all day long, if I were a wealthy man.

But I'm not a wealthy man, I'm middle class. Barely, especially given everyone's current economic circumstances. And even if I bought every single one of these in paperback, it would still run me around $800.00, assuming $10.00 per book.

This would seem like a golden opportunity for Amazon to make some money with the Kindle, especially if they could figure out how to offer all of these in compilation collections at a significantly reduced price. While I think the Kindle at $359.00 is pretty steep for a single function device, I might seriously consider picking one up if I could get a special Kindle 2 + Complete Hugo/Nebula collection for $500.00 or less. $450.00 would make it a complete no-brainer.

What do you say, Amazon? Can you put the ultimate SF library in the hands of the middle class nerds everywhere? Talk Back and Let Me Know.

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Topics: Amazon, CXO


Jason Perlow, Sr. Technology Editor at ZDNet, is a technologist with over two decades of experience integrating large heterogeneous multi-vendor computing environments in Fortune 500 companies. Jason is currently a Partner Technology Strategist with Microsoft Corp. His expressed views do not necessarily represent those of his employer.

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  • $450 is still steep...

    at least for my wallet. make it $99 or $150, and then we're talking!

    i think i should be able to get e-books for LESS than a decent condition
    used paperback. Otherwise, why wouldn't I buy the used book?

    for 82 titles at around $4 each, we're talking $328. Undercut that and
    then we're talking.
    • Cheapskate

      82 award-winning SF titles @ US$5.50 each. (Do the math.) [b]You[/b] tell me where you're going to find mass-market copies, in halfway decent condition, regardless of the printing edition, for that kind of price.

      And for this particular argument, let's ignore the price of the Kindle2, 'kay? The presumption is that it's already been purchased.
      M.R. Kennedy
      • Remove the printing and distribution costs ...

        ... from the equation though. eBooks should be cheaper because they are
        much cheaper to produce and essentially free (maybe a penny per unit) to
        "ship" via the Internet. The $6 price you might pay for a paperback at the
        local Barnes and Noble includes the cost of the paper, the ink, the
        shipping, the salaries of everyone involved along the supply chain, the
        rent and utility bills of the book store, etc. as markup.

        All other costs (like paying the editor, and launching a marketing
        campaign) should remain the same, so it stands that we should be able
        to get eBooks for a smaller price, while publishers and authors enjoy the
        same profit.
      • Where?

        Most of them are on my bookshelves.

        There's an order of magnitude error somewhere here.

        JJ Brannon
      • you are right!

        i AM a cheapskate. if i wasn't, i'd probably have a kindle already.

        that doesn't mean you have to be snotty, however...
      • also, just as reference

        i'm not going to go through all 82 books, but as a quick example, the cheapest used price for the ones whose covers are shown on this blog:

        stranger in a strange land: $4.73
        dune: $4.89
        a case of conscience: $1.50
        rendezvous with rama: $2.33
        ender's game: $2.16
        to your scattered bodies go: $3.98
        a canticle for leibowitz: $1.68
        lord of light: $2.89

        on the whole, cheaper than i thought. that's an average price of $3.02 . 82 books at that price would be $247.64 . of course, there would be shipping too.

        regardless, the e-books would have to beat that price to catch my eye.
  • RE: Sci-Fi Kindlenomics

    I suspect that the $116,500 price is for collectors who want to have first edition and/or first edition signed copies of these books. Having them on Kindle would be nice, although I don't own a Kindle, but I agree with another response that I feel if I am going to buy an electronic version it should be roughly half the cost of a print version. Seems only fair as the materials are obviously less expensive.