Here’s what confuses me: How can a publisher charge the same price for a digital copy of a book that requires no printing, binding or significant distribution costs as they do for an actual hardcopy of the book? The same thing goes for the music industy. The cost of pop music has not dropped at all with digital downloads even though a massive cost element is no longer present.
While I understand the desire to keep up your profit margin imagine how many more copies of a book might be sold digitially if it was priced like at impulse-buy levels. People buy iPhone apps all the time at 99-cents just to try them out. Imagine how many new “copies” of backtitles no longer even available in most bookstores could suddenly become profit-drivers for publishers.
Potential digital-book readers aren’t going to shell out $10-$20 for most eBooks but I think thousands would a buck-a-book to, say, get handful of old Stephen King title’s on their iPhone.
I believe one way to profit in the digital age is to take advantage of the massive numbers of potential customers. With no hard cost associated with e-publishing a book, it is just a matter of sell A LOT of copies at a low price.
Just think aloud…
Good related post on this at Futurismic