No Ink, No Paper: What’s The Value Of An E-Book?

Morning Edition on NPR

The growing popularity of e-books has raised a difficult question in the publishing marketplace that used to have an easy answer: What’s a book worth?

Because they cost less to produce, consumers think e-books should be cheap. But publishers are afraid that if the price goes too low, they may never recover from the diminished expectations.

Some observers wonder if the publishers’ pricing strategy is short-sighted. Jason Epstein, a well-known editor, publisher and author who has worked in the business for more than a half-century, says e-books are “the most exciting event, as far as books are concerned, in 500 years.”

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