I love Bruce Sterling. At first glance, he just throws things at the wall to see what sticks; but there’s really a LOT more going on than that. Sterling groks this stuff…his comments are usually deeply relevant about 4 steps ahead of the pack. For example (excerpt from Wired Gadget article, then commented on (((like this))) by Bruce:
The Electronic-Book “Readers” Who Refuse To Sit Still As an “Audience”
For the last few days, O’Brien has spent a few minutes every day in the Kindle book store tagging the more expensive digital books with the ‘9 99 boycott’ tag and removing it once the price drops below the threshold. (((Why not .99 cents, or, even, get paid to read the book. I fail to see why a 9.99 price point is remotely stable — especially if, thanks to electronic global financing, the *currency itself* is radically destabilized.)))
Hell. Yes. This is the meat of the matter, and few people seem to get it. These prices for digital
versions of physical products are presently COMPLETELY divorced from Real Reality, because they’re joined at the hip to the faux world where they’re
just like the real product, but DIGITAL, like that’s some magic phrase. These are products with no distribution cost, folks. (spare me the hand-waving requirement of fractional cents, especially when we’re talking non-video, today. And that’ll get taken care of soon enough.) It’s not what it costs, it’s what it’s worth, and what it’s worth is related to the size of your audience, which is related to your availability, which is related to what it costs…headspin time. I’m not (necessarily) saying it should be free…but picking $9.99 out of the ether like it has a basis is not sustainable, in my opinion.
Thanks, Bruce. Keep ’em coming.