E-Books as Airplane Seats: What They Should Cost

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In the Columbia Journalism Review, Ryan Chittum makes the argument that e-books should cost more than $0.99 (What’s the right price for ebooks?):

Marginal costs in the ebooks industry aren’t even really about what it costs to produce a copy. In ebooks and other digital media they’re actually about what it costs to produce the next entirely new ebook, not what it costs to send out one more copy of Harry Potter. The marginal cost to an airline, for example, of putting one more person on a plane is almost nothing, but it would go broke (or broker) if it did that. The real marginal cost is what it takes to get the next plane in the air, not the next passenger.

Read much more at CJR.org.

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2 thoughts on “E-Books as Airplane Seats: What They Should Cost

  1. ???? This hardly makes sense. Is the eBook the passenger, the seat or the plane? Or is the plane the publisher? Where does the author fit in???
    I guess I’m too dull-witted to follow this.

  2. By that logic, backlist titles should be cheaper and shouldn’t cost as much as or more than a paperback. With e-books, there’s no excuse for something ever going out-of-print.

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