While there are some real jewels of cookbooks available as ebooks, their publication is so sporadic and their pricing is so inconsistent that they aren’t likely to solve British domestic goddess Nigella Lawson’s storage problem.
After I recently purged a fair number of cookbooks, I thought it might be time to replace some of my favorite print copies with ebooks. I thought that at the least I would begin purchasing any new books in ebook format.
I took a look at what was available in ebook format and was pretty discouraged that many of my favorite classics are not available as ebooks. Neither The Joy of Cooking nor The Good Housekeeping Cookbook is available. However, Mastering the Art of French Cooking is, for a few dollars less than the hardcover.
In general, it seems there are no great bargains to be had in choosing ebook format over print when it comes to cookbooks. For most of the titles I checked, the difference is less than a dollar. I was surprised to find that Martha Stewart’s ebooks were discounted the most heavily – her latest Baking Handbook has a savings of about $6.50 when purchased as an ebook.
No wonder Amazon has a note under most Kindle copy prices indicating that the purchase price has been set by the publisher. I can’t imagine that the cost of producing a back title as an ebook allows much profit for a publisher.
The one real bargain I found in ecookbooks is Cooks Illustrated’s How-to-Cook Library at $9.99. The publisher must have produced it just to play around with the format. He can’t be making much money sales of it.