While we're talking about ebooks, let's talk about what those electrons cost our readers.
A couple of months ago, Amazon.com practically went to war with Macmillan over the sale price of e-books. I think a lot of publishers were unhappy with the $9.99 price point that Amazon established fore-books, thinking it was too low. They didn't want book buyers getting used to such a low price for literature. And this was when Amazon paid those publishers half the hardcover price for each sale. Why wouldAmazon set themselves up to take such a loss? One can only guess that they had their eye on Kindle sales.
On the other hand, publishers set the price for books on the iPad, and publishers get a 70/30 split. When Amazon took down the buy buttons for nearly all Macmillan titles. That's harsh.
Presumably Amazon wants e-book prices to be as low as possible to lure more people to buy Kindles. The more people who buy Kindles, the more people who won't buy e-books in other formats. And if you look at sales figures, it appears that the less expensive an e-book is the more copies sell. So, since, Amazon AND readers want e-books to be cheaper, smart publishers are pushing farther and farther in that direction.
Echelon Press is one of those smart publishers. I've been talking to them and it appears that in the very near future they will drop the price of my ebook of Blood and Bone to $3.00 for a couple months to see how it might impact sales. I think this is a good experiment that more publishers, particularly small publishers, should try.