“People who can afford an ereading device can afford all proposed ebook prices.” – That was Michael Cader’s advice to the publishing industry.
What Cader is trying to say here is that consumers are unreasonable in saying that they cannot afford higher prices for ebooks. And where does he derive this from? – well! from the fact that if the same consumers can afford an ebook device ranging anywhere betwen $300-$500 why can’t they afford a $3-$5 hike in the ebook prices. I don’t at all believe in this theory because the truth is that there are a huge set of consumers who actually bought a Kindle or a Nook just to save money over the long term.
Moreover, in my opinion what consumers are paying for an ebook device versus what they are wiling to pay for an ebook is like comparing apples to oranges. (It’s like saying since I bought an expensive book shelf I ave to buy expensive books as well – it doesn’t work that way) But let’s play the devil’s advocate here and see how the other side looks.
Even if a consumer can afford a higher price for a digital book, I don’t see any reason why he should. I think most of the value of the e-book format comes primarily from the device and not the publisher. Accessibility, reading experience, ability to share across multiple registered devices, mobility- all of it is provided by the device and the retailer’s back end (Amazon, B&N). Moreover, it is reduced overheads for the publisher. Why? – No additional content over the print version, no custom formatting required, (may be typos) no additional printing cost. So why won’t a consumer want all these cost savings to be passed on to the them?
High time publishers should actually listen to the consumers and price their ebooks with certain considerations.