What were they angry about?
How long do you have? First they were angry about some race (I honestly don't know how I missed this) on Amazon, but 1000 copies were put in a holiday race. Initially it looked like those books would be $50, but I think they ended up being $70. So everyone was mad that, apparently if you pre-ordered the CE, you were ineligible for the race. Then everyone was angry that Amazon was devaluing the entire edition by selling 1% of the edition for less than full price which was also set by Amazon. And then Amazon announced that 35 of those
books would be authographed by JK Rowling, which inspired a good deal more wrath, and a round of letter writing. Many many many of the posters felt that any autographed copies should be randomly distributed to people who had pre-ordered.
Then came the release-day delivery guarantee. Now, I fully remember that Amazon gave me the option of electing release day shipping for a reasonable fee, or getting free shipping but getting the book a couple of days later. Having no discernible financial skills, I opted for release-day delivery, and opted to pay for it. But it was a choice. Amazon didn't require me to make the choice one way or the other. Many felt that release-day delivery should have been free with a pre-order. Also, someone in that thread was from Alaska, which is apparently another kettle of fish entirely.
Then Amazon issued a statement saying that the outside book would be a leather alternative, which satisfied the anti-animal cruelty people, but angered the people with latex allergies.
....It occurs to me that I should put a disclaimer in here right about now, which is this: ALL of this is true. I read the Amazon boards for more than an hour Friday, and it was one of the more entertaining hours I've spent lately. But there's a huge Beedle the Bard discussion board. I would invite those who think I am exaggerating to please check it out. Don't read it while drinking. End disclaimer....
Apparently alternative leather products contain latex. So that led to a discussion of what sort of gloves one would wear to handle a book wiht latex in it. Then Amazon further irritated the fan base (I pre-ordered my book in August. I had no idea about any of this til Friday.) by saying that the inner book in the CE would be bonded leather, which also inspired a great deal of anger, b/c bonded leather is apparently strips of leather bonded together, and not a piece of hide. Apparently, among those favoring leather as a book covering, bonded leather is considered one step below pulp-fiction paper. Apparently. For those not in favor of leather as a book covering, it was insulting.
Most of the anger and arguments boil down to Amazon de-valuing the book before it hit the market. I have a number of thoughts on that, most of which I'll keep to myself, but I would like to address a couple of them:
1. It's impossible to devalue something that has an initial issue of 100,000 copies, none of which are numbered. For that matter, it's impossible to verify how many copies were made, especially since a later story mentioned that there may actually have been 200,000 copies of the CE, 100k in America, and 100k for Amazon.uk.
2. Even if there was a value to these books beyond the intrinsic value of owning something that you love and want to have, most of the people buying it won't live long enough to see a return on it. I used to work for a store that sold Barbie dolls, and I can't tell you how much time I spent explaining to distraught women why their collection wasn't worth a million dollars. A lot
of time. Items become "worth something" when they are scarce. An edition of 200,000 is not scarce. And for that matter, until 2004, Barbie didn't actually have a limit on "limited edition" dolls, unless it was specifically noted on the box (like some of the Bob Mackie Barbies, or other special collections). In 2004, Mattel said that henceforth, a limited edition would be 100,000. which is a lot of dolls. So I am not an advocate at all of buying an item because it will be "worth money one day". Not for dolls, not for books, not for art, not for anything. It's one of my pet peeves. lol, if you have time, I'd be glad to tell you all about it. I worked part time for an art gallery too, and the owner finally got to where he would send people to talk to me, even if I was working at my real job, to discuss whether or not to buy a piece of art because of it's potential value. He said he just liked to see me get irritated at perfect strangers. So he was constantly amused. Of course, he would have been far less amused if it had actually cost him money. Fortunately for him, and for the lady that owned the doll store, very few customers actually believed me. And to this day, many of them cannot understand why they aren't seeing a return of at least the original sale price of "Barbie loves Elvis".
Ah well. I know it's impossible to please everyone, but it appears to me that Amazon has found a market of easily displeased customers, and is just riding that train to the end.