Originally Posted by QuantumIguana
If increased prices result in more people pirating the books, then the publishers will have to take that into account.
Only if there is solid evidence for the relationship. Internet assertions don't really count.
As a ratio, the price difference between a a 99 cent book and a pirated book is the same as the price difference between a 99 dollar book and a pirated book -- infinity. So what's more important, the ratio or the absolute difference? And how's the publisher to know?
It's a little more complicated than that, I know, because convenience and risk factors mean nothing is totally free. You could assign a price to the risk of getting a computer virus from a cyberlocker site. And, in the other direction, you could assign a price to the risk of identify theft when you give your credit card information to a on-line bookseller. I'd personally rate the cyberlocker malware risk higher, but there surely are cyberlocker fans who think differently.
A really big publisher can experimentally approximate the most profitable price points. I can't think of ways the publisher can know why that price works best.