It's complicated, but I regularly buy books via Kindle at $3.99 or less (more than a few at 99¢), which to me reflects the fact that we're not part of creating or shipping piles of paper with printing on it around the country.
I'll be interested in seeing how publishers justify those prices - how much is paid to the author, an editor, etc., and how much goes into printing, distribution, and the costs associated with books printed that don't sell - the latter being totally waste.
This take on the story Why E-Books Still Roil the Publishing World
offers some observations:
For example, at the time of writing, Amazon sells Stephen King’s bestseller “11/22/63″ in hardcover for $17.49, with the Kindle e-book version going for $26.91....
...TechCrunch reports that Random House has revised its pricing policy for libraries, raising the price for e-book titles by as much as 300%. Library journal The Digital Shift pointed to the example of a Random House e-book being offered to libraries for $40 being raised to $120. The library is able to buy the print version of that same book for $20. Even some children’s titles — which often cost $10 or under in print — are going for as much as $85 as e-books for libraries.
This isn’t the first case of a publisher lashing out at libraries over e-books, either. Last year, HarperCollins set a limitation of 26 check-outs for its e-books, after which a library would be forced to buy a new copy. Other major publishers either refuse to sell some popular titles to libraries or don’t allow them to lend out their e-books at all.
Keep in mind who the defendants are:
In addition to Apple, the defendants in the DOJ suit are expected to include CBS‘s Simon & Schuster (NYSE:CBS), Hachette Book Group, Pearson (NYSE:PSO), Macmillan, and News Corp‘s HarperCollins (NASDAQ:NWS)
(Pearson owns the Financial Times
and it's Penguin Group segment engages in book publishing business, under the Hamish Hamilton, Putnam, Berkley, Viking, Dorling Kindersley, Puffin, and Ladybird imprints. Hachette Book Group similarly has many "brands" such as Little, Brown and Company, but controls no news outlets.)
This means to me that every story by News Corp's and CBS subsidiaries is suspect, including the one noted in the original post from News Corp's Wall Street Journal
Lastly, I'm an iPad Kindle App user. I have no delusions about Steve Jobs attitude regarding these matters. On the one hand, he thought of himself as a great benefactor just making books available to people. On the other hand, if he could force the price up 50% with most of it going to Apple, he wouldn't hesitate. So Apple's stuck with collusion charges.
Edited by phrelin, 08 March 2012 - 04:16 PM.