Should Kindle eBooks be significantly cheaper than traditional paper books?

Home Forums Should Kindle eBooks be significantly cheaper than traditional paper books?

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    I got my wife an Amazon Kindle for Christmas because she loved the idea of being able to download and read books on the go. She tears through books like the Tazmanian Devil tears through countryside, so it makes sense for her to have a device that can access new books on the go.

    While the convenience of the system is staggering, the prices of the Kindle books are a little disappointing. They’re not significantly discounted compared with their paper equivalents.

    For example, the latest George R.R. Martin book, A Dance With Dragons, costs £12.50 for the hardback edition, but £12.99 for the Kindle version. Something’s not right there. I can pay cheaper for over 1,000 pages worth of physical product than I can for a digital version which can be pushed across the Internet in the blink of an eye?

    More helpfully, Kathryn Stockett’s The Help is priced at £14.90 for hardback, but a more reasonable £3.86 for the paperback and £2.99 for the Kindle version.

    The gripe here is that you must buy the Kindle device (or the e-reader version for the iPad/iPhone or other tablets), which means there’s already a hardware cost. On the other hand, the publisher and Amazon benefit in savings on printing, packaging and shipping physical products. What makes it so attractive to the reader is that the books can be downloaded quickly and stored on a digital device instead of requiring acres of shelf space.

    And of course, there’s the environmental benefit that comes with digital distribution – so much less shipping and packaging required.

    But the big question is – shouldn’t Amazon be charging significantly less for digital product to reflect the savings that they make on handling physical products? Would you be more likely to invest in Kindle if the books were more reasonably priced?

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