To add to the never-ending debate of e-books versus traditional books.


Book publishers are trying hard to defend the pricing of e-books — perhaps in part because they’ve been accused by the Justice Department of rigging prices to keep them artificially high — by arguing that it costs a lot more than most people think to produce the electronic version of a book. But as author Chuck Wendig notes, what e-books cost to manufacture or distribute is irrelevant to everyone but the publishers themselves. All that matters is what book consumers are willing to pay for an e-book — and the same principle applies for any form of digital content.

Hearing the complaints of book buyers must be frustrating for publishers, because they actually have a pretty good case for why e-books cost what they do. Although many see the price of old-fashioned things like paper and printing presses and trucks to ship them as a big cost for printed books,

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About dtgriffith

Writer | Designer | Communicator | eCommerce Pro
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2 Responses to

  1. janecleland says:

    This comment is mine alone, although I will mention that my publisher (Macmillan, of which St. Martin’s Minotaur is an imprint) decided not to settle with the Justice Department. They believe (and I concur) that Amazon is dead wrong and that this is a battle worth fighting. Two points:

    (1) Lots of companies require sellers to promise to NOT discount their products (high-end stereo equipment, for instance, and fashion designers’ handbags and luxury luggage, et al). It’s not price fixing (the Justice department charge), to require that price points be honored; it’s a common business model that’s up to the producer, not the seller, to chooose. If Amazon doesn’t want to sell books on those terms, that’s its choice… but Amazon should not be able to determine pricing if the producer (i.e., publisher) says not to do so.

    (2) Amazon’s goal is not to offer consumers good prices because it’s a “good guy”; it’s to force competitors (i.e., Barnes and Noble) out of business. They then will be the Microsoft of the book-selling world, able to do whatever they want.

  2. Trudy Doyle says:

    I love it; they completely ignore the writer in the equation. As if the content just comes out of thin air. It is the artist who always gets the short end of the stick in any form of creative endeavor. I’m sure Edvard Munch would’ve loved to have 1/100th of the millions his “Scream” just sold for.

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