Ok, I’m not in the publishing business so I may be completely wrong but here’s my views.
I use an Ipad now. I love the screen and the fact that ‘books’ are far more readable on them than they are as ‘books’. I also love the fact that I can store lots of them without having to shuffle stuff round on bookcases all the time. I also, form a professional viewpoint, thin that the ebook is a great solution to resource problems in schools – either as purchases, or as home produced materials.
Now I ‘think’ that the days of manual typesetting went out decade ago, I may be wrong. I assume these days that the books are set up on some software which then ‘talks’ to the printer and off the process goes.
So, why do books cost a lot of money?
- Paper costs
- Labour costs
- Ink costs
- Marketing costs
- Transport costs
- Admin costs
- Royalties to writer
Now of the list above only 6 & 7 really count when it comes to ebooks. The digital ‘print’ already exists, you have to stick the ebook out in the marketplace somehow and then as there is no additional cost per sale, everything you sell is profit and goes towards your ‘bottom line’.
A good detailed breakdown of all this can be found here http://ireaderreview.com/2009/05/03/book-cost-analysis-cost-of-physical-book-…
So, my questions.
Why are ebooks almost the same price, the same price, more expensive than ‘real books? (all of the pricing structures seem to apply) The one that does not apply is an ebook is significantly cheaper than a ‘real book’.
Why are so few books available as ebooks? I looked yesterday at the number of books published by an author I liked – wanting to buy some as ebooks, he has written over 20, and yet less than a third were available as ebooks!
Either I am very stupid (and have not understood the costs of publishing at all), or there is extreme lethargy in the publishing industry (yet they could make significant profits here), or there is a fixed pricing policy here that makes sure that printed books and ebooks have an equivalence of cost in order to ‘support’ the printed book industry.
I’d love some answers people!