This week's Writer's Weekly newsletter has a GREAT article from Angela Hoy (Publisher and co-owner of Booklocker.com) regarding the dustup between Amazon and some of the big-league publishers over pricing of e-Book titles.
The core of her argument is this:
"The price of just a printed book, even a hardcover edition, is nil compared to the costs associated with bringing that book to market. The publisher has to pay the author (the advance, when applicable, and royalties), the design team (for those awesome covers that scream "read me!"), the editors, the entire secondary support staff (secretaries, marketing department, and more), advertising expenses (when applicable), overhead expenses (office supplies, electricity, Internet connections, warehousing, etc., etc.) and more. The human and physical resources required to produce a traditionally published book are FAR more than just paper, ink, and glue (for a printed book), or bytes (for an ebook)."
Many people who do not write do not understand the amount of sweat, blood, time and stress go into ANY good writing.
Publishers have to be able to turn a profit in order for new books to be released and enjoyed. And I agree with her. No one company should establish the pricing for everyone. It is not good for the publisher or the writer. And with the arrival of new devices like the Kindle and the Nook, e-Books have a higher profile now than ever. While it is important that authors, publishers and retailers need to keep up with the times and technology, it should never be to the detriment of the craft.
And if you haven't subscribed to Angela's FANTASTIC free weekly newsletter, you owe it to yourself to subscribe: http://www.writersweekly.com/