Australian author Germaine Greer proclaimed on a recent BBC Radio broadcast that eBooks should only cost pennies and that people have a irrational attachment to print.
Germaine was reflecting on the entire Hachette eBook dispute and was in favor of Amazon. “Amazon wants to sell e-books at less, so they should. They should cost less because they don’t have to be put together, stitched, printed, designed, blah, blah, blah. If you skip all that and all you have got is a ribbon of text on a Kindle then it should cost you pennies frankly.”
Printing a physical book obviously costs more due to the industrial-age process involving paper mills and printing presses manufacturing the title and then its distributed by ships,trains and trucks delivering them your local bookstore.
Should eBooks only cost a few pennies? It costs Amazon almost nothing to make and distribute 100 copies of an ebook file to sell to 100 different customers. Credit cart fees are probably the largest per-ebook cost for each incremental sale. Distributing an eBook has no industrial-era components and no industrial-era advantages for Big Publishing.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.