Originally Posted by Kumabjorn
Can you see a similar development taking place within eBooks? Is it possible to create a more differentiated market?
Anything is possible, and I can't predict the future...but I can't really imagine what they would offer that would be a significant qualitative inducement to buy a "better" version. Hardback and trade paperbacks look better on your shelves...but there's no way to address this with e-books. Hardbacks and trade paperbacks have tended to be a little easier to read because of larger type and more whitespace on the page...but e-books take care of this already. I don't think that people would pay more, generally, for fancy fixed fonts; they'd rather be able to change them themselves.
It's important to keep in mind that hardback, trade PB, and PB are general formats that you can apply to *all* books. And I don't see that there is any similar general enhancement you can do to *all* books in the same way. You can offer *specific* enhancements for *specific* books (author interview, etc.), but that can't be generalized to all books in the same way. Some authors are dead. Some authors have written 20 books in a series...are they going to have a different interview for each book?
But most importantly, I don't think that things like author interviews are generally very important to readers, who mostly want to just read the book in question and don't care enough about author interviews to pay and extra, say, $5 for it. But I think enhancements like that are more of a one-off: readers might pay more for an interview by a certain author, but not for an interview from any author.
My penguin copy of Pride and Prejudice from the mid-80's has a 40 page(!) scholarly introduction by Tony Tanner. I might well have been induced to pay more for something like that. But that's pretty uncommon.