Ebook Price Debate: Too Expensive?

I like to hold a book in my hands when I read and I refust to spend $300 on a portable reader. But, when it comes to price and my appreciation for immediate gratification, I’ll buy an ebook. Hey, I’ve got too many books on my book cases anyway.

However, I’m finding, all too often now, that ebooks aren’t less expensive than printed books. Whoa! What happened there?

One argument is that a printed book and an ebook costs the same amount of money to create. But, shouldn’t there be additional costs that make the printed book more expensive than the ebook, which would help ebooks be less expensive?

Another argument is that the price of an ebook is not only based on the cost of production, but on the value of the content. Maybe that’s reasonable when talking about textbooks, but what other books (mysteries, science fiction, biographies, romances, etc…)? The cost of those printed books is usually based on the format of the book (pages, size, cover, etc…), instead of their content. Why should something other than format cause you to pay more for an ebook?

A third argument is that there should be no difference in price between printed books and ebooks, because its a business and a profit has to be made by authors and publishers. Sure, and health insurance companies have to make a profit and car manufacturers and finance companies and banks and…

What do you think? Is it greed or just good business?

Read a Times article about the price of ebooks here. And, a Techdirt article here.

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