I've been doing quite a bit of background reading about eBooks, pricing and the like over the weekend, and found a few interesting extracts in articles that I thought I'd dump here so I can find them again...
A common complaint is that eBook prices are too expensive compared with paper books – do you think this is a fair criticism and what needs to happen before eBook prices come down?The savings to publishers, retailers and other stakeholders that result form a digital transition are real, but not as large as consumers think. After all, it can cost as little as 10% of the cover price to print a best-seller. Thus the savings in print cost arising from an ebook might only be 10%. On the other hand eBooks attract 17.5% VAT, while physical books are zero rated for purposes of VAT (at least in the UK).
The only major difference between the UK and US is that in the UK we tax eBooks more heavily than physical books, which is nonsense.
About the life of an eBook vs a book, piracy, lending etc
From the article Your time is up, publishers. Book piracy is about to arrive on a massive scale amongst the Telegraph Technology Blog
After Christmas, tens of millions of people will have the motive, the means, and the opportunity to perform book piracy on a massive scale. It won’t happen immediately, but it will happen. It’ll begin with people downloading electronic copies of books they already own, just for convenience’s sake (and hey, the New York Times says it’s ethical!). This will of course handily introduce them to the world of ebook torrents.
If you own a physical book, in much of the world you may sell it, lend it—even burn or bury it. You may also keep the book forever.
With a physical book, the afterlife of a disposable read is to hand it off to another party: a library sale, a friend or relative, or the free bin outside a used bookstore. Such books are also purchased in the millions and sold for one penny plus shipping online partly as a marketing effort by booksellers who can then include their own catalogs with each sale. An e-book, however, lives in limbo. Neither moving on to the next life, nor returning to this one, it can never be freed.