Here’s a bit of speculation:
Soon, there will be three kinds of books on the Kindle.
$1.99 ebooks. This is the clearing price for virtually all ebooks going forward.
$5 ebooks. This is the price for bestsellers, hot titles and books you have no choice but to buy because they were assigned in school.
$10 ebooks. This is the price you will pay to get the book first, to get it fast, to get it before everyone else. There might even be a subset of books for $20 in this category.
For example the new Steve Jobs book. The only reason it wasn’t onsale two weeks ago is that the publisher needed to move tons of molecules from the printer to the store. That means ebook readers have been waiting so that the paper readers could get their copy.
The analogy is paperback and hardcover. You paid extra for the hardcover because it was first and because it was a classy thing to display on the wall. A year later, the very same book is half the price or less as a paperback.
One of the unused features of digital ebooks is that the price can change easily, daily, by volume and by demand.
Starting soon, you’ll pay extra for the hot, fresh ebook (at $20, the publisher can do quite well for two weeks while we wait for the hardcover, thanks very much) and you’ll pay a lot less when it’s on the clearance rack.
- Seth Godin, The Domino Project, Paying For First
I've been working on my bedbug post for the last bit (yes, bedbugs! I'm going to post it in an hour or so) so when I came across this post I thought it was interesting because it talks about how the form of a book -- electronic versus paper -- changes things. And it's Seth Godin, everyone loves Seth Godin!