Ten reasons why ebooks cost as much as paperbacks

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Summary: People keep asking why various ebook publishers think that $12.99 to $14.99 are a good price for ebooks (and those people apparently have no idea that up until recently, ebooks were released equally priced with the hardcovers). I have decided to give ten reasons to see them through...

BLOT: (25 Apr 2011 - 01:18:02 PM)

Ten reasons why ebooks cost as much as paperbacks

Despite having other people distribute the books and do the pesky things like watermark them and, by the nature of copying computer files, make them, publishers are flexing more and more muscle to get ebooks set at a standard price: a standard price some find to be a bit high. End users are getting frustrated because waiting for an unchanging-in-quality ebook to come down just so a couple more hardcovers can sell feels a little like playing some jackass's game. And it used to be worse: until the Kindle came out, it was regularly for new ebooks to be the hardcover price. Official reasons of competitiveness and the cost to just make a book feel a little cheap and unresearched, so here are my ten reasons why ebooks regularly cost the same as trade paperbacks (well, before trade paperbacks got a price bump up and above the $16 mark):

  1. High medical premiums associated with XML lung.
  2. How else are they going to pull a profit after Apple takes its 30% cut?
  3. Publishers are secretly hoping the ebook market fails so they can take up their dream to be ballet dancers.
  4. By redefining supply as "As many as we can possible sell", the demand is shown to have an exacting toll. They can only just keep the supply up to match it, for goodness sakes.
  5. Unlike paper pulp, stylesheets don't grow on trees.
  6. Takes a lot of lawyers to keep drafting all of those restrictive EULAs.
  7. $2.99 a copy isn't going to keep the mansions running.*
  8. Little known fact: every single copy of an ebook is typed by hand.
  9. Massive research & development costs trying to give ebooks a smell.
  10. Because it would feel silly to charge you more...

You're welcome.

* This is a reference to this, which you really should watch: Dave Grohl on how to write a hit song



Written by Doug Bolden

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