Originally Posted by HarryT
"gouge" is an unpleasant accusation to make. If the publisher knows that the book is only going to sell a very limited number of copies in an academic field, then the price has to be high to repay the cost of production. As a former textbook author myself, I know only too well the very high costs that can be associated with the production of such a book,
Harry, are you saying a publisher sets the price just to cover their costs? That if they could charge a higher price for a popular book, while maintaining the sales numbers, they would choose to forego the extra profit? That seems very altruistic of them.
I think a more realistic view is publishers charge whatever price they expect will maximise their profit and for certain types of books, like textbooks, there is less competition (or trapped customers) so they can set a higher price.
I don't like the term "gouging" because it suggests that publishers are behaving differently than other producers in a market economy. In reality, all producers charge the highest price they can which will maximise profit. If people don't like the outcome in an industry they should look for ways to promote competition rather than attacking the producers for doing what profit motive dictates they should do.