That's the last time you will hear the magic word Free.
I downloaded Vince Flynn's ebook version of Extreme Measures. At Waterstones it cost me £11.95 after a 20% discount. This is a book they don't have to print or post.
At Amazon.co.uk Extreme Measures as a paperback would cost me £4.89 with free delivery in the UK. And they had to print that one and post it.
Look to Amazon's merchant sellers and you can get Extreme Measures, the same book new, for £2.45 plus post.
That's £9.50 difference!
My Sony Reader holds 350 books as standard. Multiply Extreme Measures by 350 and the Reader will cost me £4,182,50 to fill. Add to that the horrendous cost of buying it.
If I go to Amazon merchant sellers, 350 books will cost me £857.50 plus post.
That's a saving of £3,325! So, Sony and Waterstones are relying on the power of owning a brand new toy to make them a fortune. They want to be the iPod and ITunes of print but that's not how iTunes does it. They do it by being cheap. (Beyonce album £6.87).
And that guarantees they will eventually fail to do so.
ps. I sell the downloads of my books for £4.81 ($7.95 €5.59). I don't have the overheads of a bookshop or a manufacturer. I make enough to be happy.