Originally Posted by rlauzon
When you pay for a paper book, 80% of what you pay for is the physical-ness of the book (paper, printing, distribution, warehousing, etc.). Those costs simply don't exist for an eBook and, therefore, the eBook should cost less - to the tune of 20% of what the paper book costs.
Now that is simply wrong. When you pay for a book, paper or otherwise, 80% (or more) of what you pay goes to pay for the cost of preparing the book. IIRC someone on this forum said that the actual printing cost (paper, ink, distribution, warehousing, etc) of a hypothetical 10,000 copy print run is about $.65/copy. This actually seems low, to me, but don't think the cost of printing the book, as opposed to preparing it for publication, is more than $1/copy-based, of course on at least 10,000 copies.
The cost of preparing the book (including editing, proofreading, royalties, advertising/promotion, etc.) are the same whether it's published as a pbook or as an ebook.
One item that might affect the printing costs, and might therefore be eliminated when publishing as an ebook, is the cost of printing unsold copies. I don't recall anybody giving statistics on that-and I imagine it's negligible for the 'best sellers' that most people seem to focus on. If a book is expected to be a marginal seller then it would probably be more profitable to publish it as an ebook-but I still wouldn't expect the price to be significantly less than if it were published as a pbook.