Why exactly do ebooks cost more than regular books?

Yet another example of an industry involved in the distribution of protected content just doesn’t get it. Yes, like the music industry, which makes you pay more for less quality.

I wanted to buy the David Allen book, “Getting Things Done”. Here were my options:

  • $15 for the eBook – a PDF file – for download
  • $8.99 for the actual book – free 2-day shipping from Amazon (via Amazon Prime)

Hmm…..  to store a 3MB file (one of the easiest to prepare from just about any document format) and distribute it via http download costs almost double a hard copy of the book, printed on paper, bound, shipped to Amazon’s warehouses, and then to me.

Then, to read the ebook, you can sit in your chair, if you have a desktop, put it on a laptop (really easy to read as you stand on BART, clutching the handrail with one hand), or read it awkwardly on a PDA or smartphone. Or you can read it on a “paperlike” Sony ebook reader, a $230 gadget.

To read the regular book, well, you just read the “paper” wherever or however you want.

What did I do? Downloaded the ebook from some of my friends because I wanted the immediacy of the read, and I’m considering ordering the book on Amazon (will see if reading the ebook on my laptop on BART is too much of a pain in the ass).

Sounds like the folks at Penguin Publishing need to check their math.

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  1. […] with o…Or you can read it on a paperlike Sony ebook reader, a $230 gadget…. source: Why exactly do ebooks cost more than regular books?, Daily […]

    Pingback by Why exactly do ebooks cost more than regular books? — A Book Readers blog — October 17, 2007 @ 10:17 am

  2. They don’t usually. Not what I read. My ebooks are only 5.99, and the paperbacks of my genre are about 12-16 bucks. I guess it depends on what you’re reading.

    I suspect it also has to do with publishers wanting to turn people off to ebooks, as there is more money to be made in print.

    Comment by isabella snow — October 21, 2007 @ 1:39 pm

  3. I just got my Kindle a week ago and have already read 2 books. I am an avid reader and have toyed with the idea of this purchase for about a year. I am glad I waited because the price has really dropped but the convenience is well worth the money. The buttons are easy to use and I love the sleek design. Highly recommend to anyone who loves to read. Sunlight is no problem at all.

    Comment by S. French — December 13, 2009 @ 7:10 pm

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