Give the people what they want…

When you create a reasonably frictionless retail system, customers begin to expect that it be frictionless. And that includes access to the things that they want to buy. For ebook users, the biggest complaint has been the range of titles available for download from their ebook store of choice. As an Australian kindle user, the cupboard is pretty bare, but Amazon is still the best of a pretty limited bunch. The trouble is, digital consumers want to be able to access *everything* and get extremely frustrated when they can’t. You can protest that it’s an unreasonable expectation, and it may well be. But it’s real. And users will make their feelings known. Check out this techcrunch post which explains how kindle users are using the review section of a p-book to complain about its non-availability as an e-book. Dragging down the ratings of the p-book in the process:

… less than half of those one star reviews are actually reviewing the book.

Instead, most of the reviewers’ ire relates to the fact that publishers WW Norton have decided not to release a Kindle version of the book at the same time as its hardback release. Writes one (pretty representative) reviewer by the name of Ben Kaplan:

“I’d like to add my name to the list of people who are very disappointed that this book does not have a Kindle edition. No, I haven’t read the book, but I want to — on my Kindle! If all these one star reviews lead to fewer sales, I think that would be a great result and an excellent lesson for the author/publisher.”

Of course it may not be the best place to complain, but as a frustrated wannabe purchaser, it’s as good a place as any…


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