I'm an educator and a lifelong reader. I have often bought, read, and taught Penguin books. I couldn't be more disgusted with Penguin's price gouging. Penguin doesn't care about their readers. Penguin cares only about padding their pockets. Everyone has the right to make a profit but gouging is wrong. Charging such prices for ebooks when there are no printing, shipping, or warehousing costs is just unforgivable. There isn't even a hedge against publishing too many unsold copies! It's my hope that Butcher and others will stand up and seek a better publisher. Nobody needs the big six in this new ebook economy. If Penguin can't use its size and market influence to offer better prices and better service, then Penguin needs to be left in the dustbin of publishing history. The brutally unfair aspect of this is Penguin's monopoly control over so many great authors and editions. Butcher could walk tomorrow and probably sell MORE books, if he could offer a fair price.
Further proof of Penguin's insidious pricing scam is the fact that its prices for new books has risen significantly every year. What did the last Dresden book sell for? Was it $13.99? The year before that a brand new Dresden book (Changes) was $12.99 if I'm not mistaken. Nowhere in this economy is that inflation rate justified.