questionsare ebook prices artificially high?


I wouldn't say a new ebook starts out artificially high by too much (except in Apple's case). The problem is that the prices don't go down. Since there's no physical stock, there's no incentive to reduce the price.

So then you end up with a slightly old book where the mass-market paperback is only half the price of the ebook.

If they were the same price, I'd probably buy the ebook more often than not. The Kindle Paperwhite is a much nicer reading experience than a book with a book light for late night reading. I like reading to slow my brain down for sleep and that can't happen with a bright light to read by.

They really aren't doing their best to capture the long-tail sales. I'll buy a $1.99 or $2.99 ebook much more quickly than I'd buy a physical book for $4.99 that I have to think about storing somewhere.


Admit I did not read the entire link. This case has been going on forever. IIRC, the case was predicated on top publishers colluding w/Apple to keep prices high. I think the publishers settled out of court. Not sure.

Are ebooks priced artificially high? Depends. Difficult for me to answer, I get SO many free e-books. Including Classics. Those on the Best-Seller lists can be high. A lot of people state that you can get a paperback for less. True in many cases. Also, you can pick up a used hard-bound for less.

Again, it depends on your likes/needs. I don't read best sellers much any more. Must say, I love reading ebooks on my Kindle. So convenient, especially when travelling. Also have an extensive hardbound library. They don't conflict w/each other for me.


When the paperback price is less than the ebook price then there's absolutely no denying that something is wrong. In this case, criminally wrong.

For all the Steve Jobs sycophants out there: your boy was a d-bag.


I expect that it won't be too long now before you get an e-book link with a new physical book purchased. It would be a smart move if it were a sealed, one-use code, as it would give added value to buying books new instead of always buying them second hand as I do. It seems to be a good strategy as I am seeing more and more blu-ray/dvd/digital combination editions of movies.


@moondrake: Interesting idea. I suspect that will be a long time coming, though. Not all authors who publish paper copies issue ebooks. And vice versa (sic?). Each process is totally different. Formatting, etc. isn't the same. Not a simple click to change/or add one or the other.

Another possible catch --- Paper copies are sometimes published by publishing houses; ebooks may be self-pubbed. Royalty issues arise in this case.

An aside: Amazon recently gave a gratis copy (to the MP3 cloud) of any CD purchased.

Not saying this can't be worked out for paper books/ebooks. I hope it is for those who want both.


@gmwhit: Just picking a nit: Amazon's offer of a cloud copy when CDs are purchased apparently extends to most but not all of their CDs.


@magic cave: ::Quickly checking head hair for nits that might have jumped on me:: JK

I know I received quite a few MP3 copies. Quite possible that I didn't get a free copy of all of my prior purchases. Totally unaware of any criteria they might have.


@moondrake: I want that, but it probably won't happen. Why? Buy the book with digital copy and sell the paper book right away to someone who doesn't want the digital copy and your digital copy is almost free. They just lost a sale because they're just sure you would have paid more if you didn't have a choice.


@omnichad: The same argument can be made for movies. My friend and I split the cost of a dvd/blu-ray combo and I get the blu-ray, he gets the dvd and the case. I keep my discs in books so I don't need the case, he has a wall of shelves to display his cases so it works out. Even if he and I split a paperback/e-reader combo pack, they'd still make more money off us than they do now, as he and I both pretty exclusively buy our books used. But I have no doubt you are right about the publishers' misconceptions of the market.


I get all my ebooks from the public library, so the price is perfect.


@magic cave: This might be picking a nit from another nit, but I actually have a cloud album I got from purchasing the CD where only some of the songs were given to me free. The whole album is available for purchase in mp3 format but some goofy licensing on individual songs prevented them from giving me the whole thing.


Yes, for the most part ebooks are overpriced. Ebooks have no costs associated with raw goods, inventory, production, among others. Costs of distribution are near zero: ebook files are quite small (they are just text for the most part) and the transaction costs (buying one) is also inexpensive. Owners of ebooks also have no right of first sale: the original buyer cannot sell, lend, give away, or otherwise let somebody else read it. You don't even really "own" a ebook: you have a license to read it. Compare to regular books, which are cost a significant amount to print, have very high warehousing and transportation costs, take up lots or room, and often get returned to the publisher. The owner of a regular book retains right of first sale (see above). So, it is more expensive to produce, and worth more to the owner.


So, that being said, why do we have situations like this:

Game of Thrones Paperback Collection, $20.59
Game of Thrones, Kindle Collection, $29.99


My whole thought is that the publishers don't want ebooks: they were comfortable with their old models and old ways. The only reason that they are catching on is that Amazon (for the most part) is dragging the publishers into the 21st century. Hell, I read that the publishers wanted a price for mass market best sellers ebooks to be 20 bucks or more. That would have effectively killed the concept of ebooks. Which was what they wanted in the first place. It's like when Comcast says "Nobody wants gigabit ethernet, we asked!" What they aren't saying is they asked "Would you want gigabit ethernet service at $500 a month?"


@samstag: AHA! That would explain why a CD I purchased of a cast recording of a favorite stage production didn't include the one song I especially wanted!

Dang! (And thanks for the tip!)


they amazon is going to have "lend a book" and "rent a boot" features that will make getting your textbooks far more affordable. I'm sure more rare texts will still have to be purchased at a healthy margin, but getting the common ones for free will more than offset this.