Barriers to entry seem to be the talk of the day as book publishers are already starting to send out PR specialists to counter the claims that e-books are cheaper to produce, and as a result should carry a cheaper price tag.

The report said that while the average hardcover bestseller is $26, the cost to print, store and ship the book is just $3.25. That cost also includes unsold copies returned to the publisher by booksellers.

Publishers get roughly half — $13 — of the selling price of a book. But after factoring in payments to the author and the cost of cover design and copy editing, only about $4.05 is left. And, the report noted, that doesn’t even include overhead such as office space and electricity. (Apple Insider)

Here’s some rudimentary economics for you: New innovations mean higher prices, despite the savings that are realized. It was cheaper to create tape cassettes than it was vinyl records, prices went up. It was cheaper to create CDs than it was cassette tapes, and still prices went up. It’s cheaper to go directly to digital formats like MP3s, and yet still fat cats are trying to make the prices go up.

No matter how it’s sliced, the latest and greatest will always cost more. The publishers can justify it any which way they want, but even if it was costing them 1/5 the amount, it did before, from writing to distribution, the price would go up. There’s always an excuse.

Here comes the rant…wait for it…

They’re absolutely right. Cheaper e-books would mean more e-book sales, and that would probably mean less paper book sales. That would probably mean less bookstores, and then that would probably mean less warehouse space needed. That would probably mean publishers would be on the hook for the costs. “What costs,” you might ask. The cost of trying to keep a dying sector alive. The cost of clinging to old world ways — the cost of marketing.

Those are all things that nobody cares about. That is, except fat cats in suits. Authors don’t care because they’re already getting gouged by publishers. Consumers don’t care because they just want the cheapest book possible. Librarians might care because they’re out of jobs, but other than that…

No one cares.

So here it is, the proverbial proof in the pudding, it’s not our problem you’re to fat for your own pay cheques. Buy a belt like the rest of us! You’re lucky author’s are still putting up with your crap.

If there’s one thing I hope the iBook Store does, it’s make it easier for writers to publish their own work.

Is anyone else tired of out-of-date businessmen crying about their business models failing? Will the years 2000 to 2010 go down as the years of the corporate cryfest? It’s starting to look that way. Western corporations have spent so much time singing the praises of capitalism that they seem to have forgotten what being a capitalist involves.

Do book publishers really think that consumers aren’t going to be just as pissed at them as we already are of the RIAA and MPAA?

Evolve or get left behind. Better yet, retire, so a college graduate can get a job. If a corporation has the same rights as a person, does that mean they can be fired?

Where’s Donald Trump when we need him?

Article Via New York Times

Photo Credit Jackie Kever

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