I have to say though, it makes me a little grumpy that the kindle versions of some books are more expensive than the paperback. How does that make any sense?
For that, I would talk to the boys and girls at the publishers. You'll notice on almost all the Kindle books the page on Amazon will say "Price set by Publisher". That's Amazon's way of letting you know that the gouging isn't coming from them. In fact, they had a big ass battle with several big groups like Penguin a few years back over that which lead to the pubs pulling their e-books from Amazon for several months.
A very sore spot with me!
It's all data. No paper. No presses and printing or ink. No binding. No workers packing books in boxes. No shipping. No trucking or fuel costs. Brick and mortar? Gone. Titles in a database where they can produce copies for practically nothing. YET they are MORE expensive!
Years ago I complained about it on the Amazon forum and was succinctly relayed a mantra that the "costs" in making traditional "books" are irrelevant and that the digital versions are treated like commodities subject to supply and demand of the market. I say don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining! The publishers must be seeing profits like they never have before. Hopefully the authors are getting a bigger share too. If the publishers are trying to make their profits up front and are worried about digital piracy, I must say that I haven't found a program to strip DRM yet. Not that I would attempt this; and the vast majority wouldn't either.
As I see it, the savings are in the new releases which if bought in hardcover would be $30+. Often the kindle versions are less than $20, so if one can't wait six months for a trade paperback then this is where the real savings can be seen.
So while the device has enhanced my reading, I actually read less because of the expense and my principles. I used to drop about $100 a month at Borders for titles I could hold in my hand and loan out to my friends. Now I'm much more picky in my choices. Balanced by this is that one can get a book anytime without getting up from the chair- even at 3am...
The fact publishers don't think their customers understand the costs they aren't incurring irks me quite a bit.
I've been reading a fair number, of what can only be, self published, books that sell in the $1-$3 range. These are books that would never get printed and stocked in a brick and mortar store. Some of them are pretty good reads for very little dough. They could use some basic editing now and then but I haven't run into anything much worse than the big houses are letting getting through these days. Nothing makes more upset than paying $20 or $30 for a new release and having to guess at the missing words and look up misspelled words just to make sure I don't have gaps in my vocabulary. The same is true for printed periodicals. Where have all the print editors gone?
Take a stroll through the cheep books, you may find some interesting reads. (This isn't shameless self promotion, no one would read any book I wrote even if it was free.