Setting a fair price for our books − The right balance between culture and speculation

With hardcopy book sales, logistic complexity coupled with printing and book handling costs generally kept the excessive behaviour of isolated players to a minimum (although, in some cases,…); ebooks, however, have taken us into the realm of the intangible — a world where retailers quite often “morph” into financial speculators, plain and simple.

Some major gamblers have established a presence in the book world over the past few years. They are very good at what they do and offer innovative services that appeal to consumers. Apple, Amazon, Kobo, Google and others can, undoubtedly, help develop the book market and expand the reach of local literary creations to the four corners of the globe. We have to learn to work with them, but we should not be naive.

When you’re told that letting publishers impose a retail price is outrageous, you can always reply that the entire apps market for iPhones, iPads and other tablets and smartphones is structured exactly that way… they don’t seem to have any problem adapting to that, since it’s now one of the IT industry’s main sources of profit. So we shouldn’t be afraid of vexing anyone while we stand up for what we believe in.

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