Let's put things in perspective. HarperStudio is arguing that the same production costs should apply to eBooks because they say so. Not because it makes sense or because it sounds right, but because they say so. Most, if not all, of the books being put into eBook form by major publishers are already being printed in dead-tree form as well (or already have been printed that way some time ago).
This intentionally ignores all the money they are saving/making by selling eBooks: no (or lesser) distribution costs, no loss for unsold books, access to a new market, etc. The list really can go on. Essentially, the publisher is saving a lot of money by printing eBooks, and yet those who buy them are still being shafted. Why? I don't know. Maybe because publishers want to make a quick buck off of a new technology? Or maybe because there's something else they're not telling us.
It should be noted that eBook enthusiasts aren't asking that eBooks be priced for pennies on the dollar; far from it. In fact, all eBook readers are asking is for a price tag that makes some sort of sense, and paying dead-tree prices for a book that essentially has none of the following is stupid:
- No tangibility
- No sell back potential (i.e. you can't sell it used)
- DRMed (usually)
- *insert other viable reason here*
And before anyone comments that I just don't understand how it all works: I understand that there are editors and what not, each with a specific job and each that has to get paid for a service. But I don't find that as a valid excuse for overcharging for eBooks. That seems like a cop out to me, as if to say, "Well, we paid for the dead-tree version, let's punish the electronic folks."
What does everyone else think about this? Am I just flat out wrong? Why? Is there more to this that publishers aren't telling us? Are eBook prices going to go down, or do you think they'll remain high until the market dies? Leave a comment with your thoughts!