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While I agree that your $80 Kindle doesn't have the same build quality as your $600 iPhone, I have to take issue with your comment about book pricing. Book pricing is not set by Amazon, it is set by the publishers, who tell Amazon o sell the book at that price or they won't sell to Amazon. There's an FTC price-fixing investigation going on right now about this. Even if the price was set by Amazon, the cost of manufacture is a small part of the total cost. The author (who has to pay their accountant and agent, as well as buy food and clothing) wants their share. The publisher (who pays the editors, advertisers and sales dept.) wants their share. And Amazon (who pays for those big always-available server farms, hardware R&D and software R&D) wants their share. Each one of these entities gets a piece of the pie. Taking manufacture out of the equation modes not lower the cost to zero. In fact, one of the issues that publishers have with the ebook model is that readers EXPECT the cost to be much lower since they're losing utility -- as you pointed out, you can no longer loan the book to a friend (unless that friend has a Kindle). Don't confuse the "marginal cost" of the book (which approaches but does not equal zero) with the actual cost based on the expected sales. Of course, this all changes once you stop reading what the publishers want you to read, and go out on your own, finding those self-published gems that are in the $1-$5 range on Amazon. You cut out the publisher and costs go way down. Of course, quality is variable and you're not getting the big-name authors who became big because a publisher helped them along. But you will save money. I am not an author, but I am a Kindle fan -- every member of my family has o NE and we regularly loan books to each other. And I'm not killing trees to feed my reading habit.
Toggle Commented Dec 27, 2011 on Amazon Kindle Touch 3G at GearFlogger
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Dec 27, 2011