E-book publishing will never succeed until…

E-book publishing will never succeed until an electronic book version costs less than the printed paper costs, including shipping. That’s all.

Sorry, Amazon, or clueless publisher, or whoever’s at fault. I will not pay $14.89 for a bunch of bits and bytes when you’re selling a nice trade paperback version for $9.89 with free shipping. Seems like elementary economics to me. You can either buy the intellectual property only, or you can buy the intellectual property PLUS a tangible carrier, and the former should be cheaper than the latter.

Probably somebody at Amazon or at the publisher is having a big meeting this Monday morning to figure out why ebook sales are so slow, and I just thought I’d save them some time.

Quick rule for pricing: New-release hardback should cost more than trade paperback, which should cost more than mass-market paperback, which should cost more than electronic version. I’m OK with you charging 50% of the hardback price for the ebook version when the hardback is the only tangible paper version available, but once the paperback comes out, then you need to lower the ebook price so it’s less than the cheapest paper version.

There you go, I won’t even charge you a consulting fee for that one.

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