There’s an truly stellar discussion group from Charlie Stross who’s authored ‘The Rapture of the Nerds‘ with Cory Doctorow. Charlie Stross has answered one of my major questions about the price differences between eBooks and hardcovers on Amazon:
> Except: Dear Macmillan, why would I pay $11.99 for a digital copy when the hardcover’s $13.70 (plus delivery)?
The hardcover isn’t $13.70. It’s priced for an SRP of $24. However,
Amazon are deep-discounting, forgoing most of their profit on it so
that they can drive customers towards the ebook edition (which gives
them a bigger profit and cuts their fulfilment costs by an order of
Incidentally, when Amazon deep-discount like that, they’re also
extorting a huge discount from the publisher. Who shares the pain with
the author. Nobody makes much of a profit on a hardback sold via
amazon, compared to one sold via an old-fashioned local retailer (who
gets a 40-50% discount off SRP rather than 70%).
So they don’t over inflate eBooks – they slash the price of the hardcover. They wreck the profits of publishers and authors to sell loss leader hardcovers which are now just cheese in the Kindle mouse trap.
Note that Kobo allow you to buy the proper DRM free ePub version of the ebook (i.e. can be read by any eReader application).