Who came up with eBook pricing

Seriously… Who decided how to price eBooks?

A friend at work recently recommended I read Richard Morgan’s Altered Carbon. The Kindle app on android allowed me to find it quickly and download the first 3 chapters free to read – I loved it and decided I wanted to read the rest of it… However when checking the prices I was left the feeling that eBooks are just too expensive for what they are

Play.com £5.99
Amazon UK £5.19
Kindle (Amazon UK) £4.88

I went with Play as their free delivery normally takes about 2 days, so that was great. But seriously, nearly the same price for Kindle? For a book I cannot resell, lend or give away?

Digital books should be much, much cheaper – There is no printing cost involved, so the book should be significantly cheaper, but this is not what I am seeing.

If I choose to keep the book and reread it again in a few years, the price may be fine. But I am more likely to read it once, and then give it to a friend to read. Why should i pay nearly the same price for something I cannot lend, sell, or give to a charity shop?

Also, how on earth does a paper book qualify for no VAT, yet as soon as that book has no paper involved I have to pay VAT?!?

There are lots of Kindle books for £3 or less, and for these I will probably just buy it digitally as its incredibly cheap. But if I wanted to buy a recent release, then I really am paying a lot more for a digital book just to have it early? Why?
I can understand pricing getting lower for older books as they have to compete with people lending books, libraries and second-hand sales, however none of that is possible for DRM protected eBooks, so they should all be priced the same as older releases

About Anton Piatek

Professional bit herder, amateur photographer. Linux and tech geek
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