The Value of e-Books
What is the value of an e-book? The perception is that the same title in e-book format doesn’t cost as much to produce and should cost less. This is true only to a point; while publishers avoid the costs of printing and physical distribution of e-books, behind the scenes are still countless hours of editing, validating, page layout, cover design, and a myriad of other tasks.
One of the largest such tasks is ensuring that content is correct and useful to readers. That involves coaching authors on writing techniques on one end of the spectrum and checking up on the manuscript’s electronic formatting on the other, while also upholding general editorial standards of style and accuracy. All of this processing is organized and paid for by the publisher. Publishing a book needs to be viewed holistically, as a piece of business with total costs and total sales. While e-books contribute to the bottom line, they also take away from sales of print books. Publishers still have to print and ship, etc., so the costs of maintaining those facilities don’t really go away. They simply have to give e-books a "fair" price so people don’t balk at choosing that format.