Monday, December 15, 2008

How Much for E-Books?

Galleycat just posted an article on the pricing of e-books, which is really just a report on this original article.

It raises some good points. How much should e-books cost the consumer? There's certainly little to no production or holding costs. But it's important for the book price to be a fair assessment of the value.

The article makes a good comparison of used books to e-books, and draws this (accurate) conclusion:
...the sensible reader will know which books get put on a library list and which books they buy—and that won’t be to hardback-priced best-sellers infested with DRM.
Here's my take:
  • E-books cost very little on the publisher's end
  • E-books provide me as a consumer with very little--there's no book on my shelf, in the end
  • E-books are not that convenient; the average person has a laptop, not a e-reader
  • Pirating is much more likely with higher prices
  • DRMs will drive pirating up, not down
  • The easier (in convenience and cost) it is to buy an e-book, the more that will be sold
  • The more e-books sold, the more paper books sold
  • ...therefore, E-book should be sold for no more than $5, and should be as easy to download as technologically possible!
What do you think? How much should e-books cost? Why?
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