Today I decided I’d like to buy a Lonely Planet travel guide. I’m looking at the Japan guide. At Amazon I can get it for $19.13. I have an iPod Touch now so I though, maybe since they have all those snazy phrase books as apps for the iPhone / Touch they have PDF’s of their books. They do, but they dropped the ball completely. The PDF’s cost the same as the suggested retail price of the physical book— almost $30. Considering how much cheaper it is to sell an electronic file it should be at least as cheap as the physical book on Amazon. Or even better, those buying the book should get free PDF’s. I’d sign up for either of those, but who in their right mind would pay more for something that should cost much much less?
As a result I’m going to look elsewhere. I may end up buying the paperback, but I’ll freeze in hell before being squeezed for some jacked up PDF.
It is also worth noting that the aforementioned iTunes Apps have received somewhat poor reviews. To me this is a signal that Lonely Planet is not ready to make the next digital leap and that a smarter more savvy company has a golden opportunity laying in front of them.