Most of us have been there: you’re considering buying an ebook, but it seems a little pricy. You have two choices: wait in the hope that it will go on sale (and you won’t miss the sale or forget about the book entirely in the meantime), or buy it anyway. If you choose the latter option, Murphy’s law of book buying practically dictates that before you’ve even had a chance to read it, you’ll see the book on sale for a much more reasonable price. Of course, if you HAD waited, you probably would have missed the sale entirely. It’s like the Scylla and Charybdis of book buying.
Now that publishers can no longer employ agency pricing, the frequency and lure of ebook price discounts are stronger than ever; but so is readers’ fear of missing out on a good deal. Fortunately a relatively new site, eReaderIQ, is available to help people make smarter buying decisions when it comes to ebooks.
The downside to eReaderIQ is that it only works with Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and Amazon.ca; so unless you have a Kindle, Kindle app, or savvy conversion tools like Calibre, it’s of no use to you. If you’re a regular Amazon ebook shopper, however, eReaderIQ is an awesome tool you should definitely check out.
eReaderIQ helps you track ebook bargains three ways: by following an individual ebook, an author, or tracking a print-only book you’d like to see on Kindle.
Signing up for eReaderIQ is ridiculously easy. If you’re one of those people who hates creating accounts, don’t worry—you don’t need to create an account, share a lot of personal info, or remember another ludicrously complicated password to start using eReaderIQ. You just enter an email address and you’re ready to go.
While you can manually enter books or authors you’d like to track on the site itself, there are several tools to make using eReaderIQ faster and more convenient:
1. You can import your public Amazon wish lists and immediately start tracking the books on your lists. Again, this is very easy to do—from the eReaderIQ site, you simply enter the email address associated with your Amazon account under the “Import Your Wish List” tab, then select the lists you want to import.
You can even import group wish lists, although you have to have the email address of everyone in the group to do so.
2. An eReaderIQ browser extension called eReaderIQ Integrator (for Chrome only) lets you see an ebook’s price history and mark it for discount tracking from its Amazon page. You don’t have to open a new tab and manually enter the book into eReaderIQ; just click, set the price, hit “Track this book now,” and continue shopping.
3. If you don’t have Chrome or want to use more eReaderIQ features, there are bookmarklets that allow you to track an ebook, author, or paper-only book from an Amazon page with one click. Here’s a short video demonstrating how the bookmarklets work:
Unfortunately, when you click on the bookmarklets you’re redirected to the eReaderIQ site, which doesn’t open in a new tab. So if you want to go back to Amazon, you have to hit the back button. But that’s a minor annoyance.
Another bookmarklet called 1-Click Viewer will take you directly from an ebook’s Amazon page to its page on eReaderIQ, where you can see a graph of the book’s price history. eReaderIQ will use the book’s price history to recommend whether or not you should buy now or wait for a better sale. If you want to be notified of a price drop, you can set a price at which you want eReaderIQ to email you. The default notification price is one cent less than the current price, but you can set it for whatever amount you wish, or use a percentage (50% off as opposed to $1.99, for example).
To manage your notifications, go to “My Watch Lists.” You can find, filter, and organize the books you’re tracking by keyword, price, lending (enabled or not), publisher, author, title, date added, and discount amount. You can then create a “view,” or saved search, based on the criteria; or organize your watched books any way you like by using the “buckets” feature.
I’ve only been using eReaderIQ for a few days, but it’s already notified me of several great ebook deals that I would have missed out on if I hadn’t signed up. Although the site’s interface could benefit from some streamlining, it’s easy to get the hang of using it once you sign up. Plus, the bookmarklets and browser extension make adding books and authors to your watch lists very convenient. For Kindle users in the US, UK, and Canada, eReaderIQ is a great, multi-purpose shopping tool.
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