I may not know anything about the publishing business, but I know bullshit when I read it.
In the emerging world of e-books, many consumers assume it is only logical that publishers are saving vast amounts by not having to print or distribute paper books, leaving room to pass along those savings to their customers.
Publishers largely agree, which is why in negotiations with Apple, five of the six largest publishers of trade books have said they would price most digital editions of new fiction and nonfiction books from $12.99 to $14.99 on the forthcoming iPad tablet — significantly lower than the average $26 price for a hardcover book.
See what they did there? “…a hardcover book.”
Because ALL the books sold in bookstores and WalMart are hardcovers, right?
How about that paperback that has the EXACT SAME WORDS in it that sells for $8 or less? How is it that publishers can’t possibly make a profit on a $9 ebook with no printing costs yet somehow manage to make money off an $8 paperback?
The NYT article goes on with lengthy breakdowns of the costs involved in making a hardcover book, all of which means precisely nothing.
Sure costs matter, but that’s not how you price things. You sell a book or a widget, for whatever you can get for it. If your costs are less than the price, you make money. If not, you go out of business.
Publishers want to save money they would otherwise spend on printing and keep the price high so they make more money.
More power to them, I have no problem with that.
But let’s not throw out a bunch of BS to try to hide that, OK?