Dear e-book publishers: stop gouging us.
Look, I'm your biggest fan. I've been reading digitally distributed fiction and non-fiction since the early days of the PalmPilot.
The most frequently used apps on my iPhone, bar none, are Kindle, eReader, and Stanza.
But I'm getting increasingly frustrated with e-book prices, which rarely represent a savings over their print (aka dead-tree) counterparts.
Case in point: I just read a glowing review of Jonathan Tropper's "This is Where I Leave You." I'm sold; I want it. But something's amiss here: Amazon's hardcover price is $15.57, while the Kindle edition sells for $14.01.
Now, I understand books cost money. There's editing, publishing, and distribution. Paper, ink, trucks, gasoline. Storage, shipping, shelf space, sales staff. And the countless people involved in all those transactions.
E-books, on the other hand, consume zero trees. They weigh nothing, occupy no physical space, and don't get shipped in the traditional sense. Middlemen are few and far between. So you're left with, what, editing costs and the pittance you pay the authors?
Explain to me, then, why the e-book edition of "This is Where I Leave You" sells for $14.01. The $.01 suggests there must be some calculation at work, some formula you use to determine that Kindle and iPhone owners get to save all of a buck-fifty-six when they read green.… Read more