Why Do Real Books Cost Less?

I'm really just curious. As I look at eBook prices, they seem to be a buck or two more than the same book in paperback, and that doesn't account for the cost of the eReader itself, no matter which one you choose.

So why is this? The publishers already have the text in electronic form. Formatting it for an eReader is surely a rather small effort.

Then, to get it to me costs them very near nothing.

To get me a paperback has to cost more. First, they have to MAKE it. Then someone has to ship it to somewhere I can get my hands on it. So how can that be cheaper than just sending me a file over the Net?

And once I have the eBook file, can I lend it to my friends?

It seems to me that there might be something wrong with this pricing model.

0 thoughts on “Why Do Real Books Cost Less?”

  1. Supply and Demand are the usual determinates of price. In this case it would appear supply has nothing to do with it and demand is driving the pricing model. People are willing to pay it and so the publishers will charge it. Personally the cookbook I've got my eye on is available in hard cover or pdf format and the pdf format is cheaper by far. I guess it's not ment for an eReader.

  2. Yeah, the price of a hardcover is generally quite a bit more… but I expect that someone who is buying a hardcover either isn't considering an eReader version, or just can't wait for it to come out in paperback.

    I think a paperback is a better comparison, as it's more portable and really just meant for reading rather than collecting. A hardcover is a whole other entity.

    Incidentally, for a cookbook, I'd prefer having an actual book that I can have open on the counter while I'm referencing it and not worry about stuff spilling on it. I don't expect an eReader will take well to being covered in flour or egg or whatever else I'm in the process of botching up in the kitchen. 🙂

  3. Hmm… I admit, I haven't looked at ebooks much (the ma-in-law snags them off newsgroups, so if I really really really want one, I can always ask her to hunt 😉 )… but last week I was looking at some at Chapters and kobobooks (go fig… partnership there). The kobo ebooks were the same price as the non-iRewards price. Of course, I've got the iRewards membership, so I can't quite grasp the notion of paying an extra 10%, PLUS the reader price. Which is probably why there's so many ebooks available on newsgroups… because other people don't 'get it' either.

    The appeal of purchasing and immediately having for perusal without having to actually go to the store just doesn't make up for the price difference to me.

    But then… I'm weird… I like bookstores 😉

  4. Yup… my hubby isn't overly fond of them… but that might be 'cuz I tend to spend too much money there *laugh* I have another friend who gets really twitchy about book stores… says they remind her too much of school libraries. Strange *shrug*

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