Books Worth Reading posted an interesting article on why ebooks shouldn’t be dramatically cheaper than physical books. My main disagreement with the article is that many of the things he mentions seem to be increasingly only for bestselling authors. Many writers nowadays are finding that they must do their own marketing and their own editing. Unless the publisher knows you’re going to make money for them, they don’t want the risk. I can’t blame them. Read a bit about the state of publishing nowadays and their actions make a frightening amount of sense. (I hope they manage to overcome because I’d hate to see New York die. I think they still have quite a bit to offer.)
And when he talks about the value of the text itself…well, that’s something that’s purely subjective. I might be willing to pay $12 for a book that another person doesn’t even think is worth $1. I wouldn’t think anything of spending $50 on a dictionary. I know of at least one person who thinks I’m crazy. However, I think it’s a rip-off when I see textbooks at double or triple the price I paid when I was in college. Even the ebooks are more expensive.* And yet there are people who think it’s more than worth the money.
Anyway, please read both the article and the comments (the back and forth is very thought-provoking).
*Now that I’ve formatted my own story, I can see where a textbook with lots of pictures would require professional hands. And that’s going to cost a bit. It still shouldn’t be as expensive as it currently is, though.