Paper vs. Digital Books

by Eric Price on September 12, 2011

We’ve heard about the usual differences. An e-book device might be heavier than the real book. The glare on the screen might be bad for your eyes. Lugging a bunch of books around is solved with the e-book device. But, what of the pricing of e-books vs. real books?

I can go to a used book store and find a book for $1. Brick and mortar (physical) book stores have large clearance or discounted sections for better pricing on books. But, e-books aren’t physical. There’s no need to discount them to clear up shelf space. So, it’s rare to find them “on sale.” You might find them at a discount vs. the physical book – but that’s only for new books. The used physical books can still be found for even less.

While it’s true that some authors have discovered that marking their e-books down to 99 cents right from the start can increase sales – most authors can’t do this as their books don’t sell that much in volume in the first place.

And the irony, of course, is that since e-books aren’t physical – there are no costs to recoup for printing, paper, shipping and taking up shelf space.

So, for now, I’ll still buy that $1 physical book in a used book store because the digital version is at it’s regular price. And there’s another bonus! After I’m done reading it, I can donate it or sell it back to the used book store!

For more info, read: Amazon in Talks to Launch Digital-Book Library , E-Book Prices Prop Up Print Siblings

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