Not because it’s a secret, but because it’s not the sort of thing writers talk about online, and it’s faintly ridiculous to be upset about it. Also: unseemly to feel neglected by people who are friendly enough but do not owe me anything.
So I’m going to talk about ebooks instead. Lots of people talk about the disadvantages of ebooks: you can’t loan them (usually, right?), can’t resell them, they feel ephemeral, some systems don’t even let you own it outright.
But many people obviously prefer them over physical books–they certainly rhapsodize about them online. You’d think that, with readers switching in large numbers, they’d be willing to pay more for those features.
I know I know. Ebook readers have all sorts of justifications for why they think they should be paying less. I just listed a bunch two paragraphs above. Still, it’s about demand, right? What price people will pay?
This jumped out at me while reading this article. The author starts with the assumption that all these features should lead to higher price points, which is very much the opposite of the usual set of assumptions I’ve found so far.
Anyway, it’s not going to happen right away, not while readers are agitating for price reductions. At some point, though, I suspect the price of ebooks will split off from the price of paper books, and ebooks will either cost the same as they do now (or increase slightly in price) but include ads or will come with upgradeable options that cost a little extra. (“Is the plottable map in the new Rothfuss worth an extra 99 cents?”)
End obligatory useless ebook prophecy.