Originally Posted by BeccaPrice
Why spend $20 for a book when tv and movies are so (relatively) inexpensive, to rent or to buy?
Why did people ever buy books, other than reference? Ever since the government made lending libraries free, about (in the US) 120 years ago, there's been no real reason to do it. And ever since 1960 or so, people could watch TV (including movies) for free in return for viewing commercials. eBooks change none of this.
There are two things that eBooks change in the price equation I can see:
1. The library copy is essentially brand new. A lot of people prefer new over used. Paper library books are slightly dirty, and thus less desirable than new ones. The only exception to the new-paper-is-cleaner rule is when you are the first borrower. There is a bit of a nice feeling you get when you realize no one ever borrowed the paper library book you are reading before. An Overdrive library eBook is just like that first-loan paper book experience.
2. Competition from self-published books. This is mostly a factor with the minority of the book market devoted to fiction. Yes, I know that you are mostly interested in fiction
So I can see reasons why the economically optimum selling price for an eBook would be less than for a new paper book, but it's has nothing to do with TV or movies.