Last week I ordered a book by Kurt Vonnegut. He’s one of my all-time favorites. When the oversized brown package came in the mail, it was so light weight, I thought maybe Amazon had made a mistake and forgotten to enclose the book. But it was there – A tiny little paperback, hardly bigger than … well … my iPod Touch …

Seems like this says something about the economics of publishing — Doing the math — The cost of the book was $7.99 + 2.99 shipping, total $10.98. The Kindle version costs $7.19 (I didn’t buy it, the screenshot below is from the free sample ;-)) … Hmmm … How to compare the prices? Paying more for an insubstantial paperback, much of what I pay goes for the process of producing and transporting the physical thing, and these sorts of costs are certainly going to continue to go up in the future. Compare this with the Kindle eBook version, for which there’s no “physical stuff processing” involved, and the price is likely to drop, especially with competition for the eBook market. … The digital future of publishing looms …

020a017dp47

Eric Rumsey is at: eric-rumsey AttSign uiowa dott edu and on Twitter @ericrumsey

Comments are closed.