“Why do e-books cost as much or more than paper ones?” is a question that we have had to face many times. And to which, to be honest, we did not have any clear answer. After all, e-books took lesser in terms of paper costs, logistics and transportation, so why did they cost almost as much or more than their paper counterparts? Fortunately, logic seems to be finally triumphing when it comes to e-book pricing in the country. Take the examples of the two bestsellers to have hit the Indian market in the past few days, David Baldacci’s The Hit, and of course, Dan Brown’s Inferno. Both titles are significantly cheaper in e-book format than in their paper avatars. Here’s a comparison
The Hit by David Baldacci
Inferno by Dan Brown
- Paper edition: Rs 750
- E-book edition (Kindle): Rs 512.80
Yes, we know both books will be available at slightly lower rates at many book stores, but even then, these prices are considerably lower than pretty much every paper edition price you would get for these titles. Also, there is the advantage of being able to read the book on multiple devices – so you could start reading on your iPad, continue on your smartphone, grab a quick look on your PC, and then get back to your iPad/Kindle later. Finally, they can downloaded directly to your device: no need to go to a bookstore, which may or may not have the books.
We just hope the trend continues. Not because we have anything against paper books – we grew up on them – but because this does make literature available at lower costs. Which is really what being digital is all about.