Originally Posted by taustin
Common sense may dicatate that, but reality disagrees. At most, 10% of the cost of producing a book goes to putting ink on paper (less on more popular books).
That's the crux of the matter. Everyone assumes that paper, printing/binding, and transportation add up to a large chunk of the cost of books, but it doesn't seem to be the case. It reminds me of the old fact(?) about fountain drinks: the most expensive part of the beverage is actually the ice (electricity), and the cheapest part is the soda itself.
ETA: A quick search revealed a NYT article which identified the cost of printing, storing, and shipping a hypothetical $26 book at $3.25.