When flat-screen TV:s started to appear, they were much better than old cathode-ray tube TVs. You’d think customers would be happy with a TV which was more convenient, had better picture and took less space than the old ones, but no, soon those overblown, ignorant bastards started demanding even more. They wanted flat-screen TV:s with more functions, like built-in media players. They wanted even better and bigger pictures. They wanted them cheaper!
And the customers got what they wanted. Why? Because producers could make even better and cheaper TVs, thanks to technological progress, and if they didn’t sell their customers better and cheaper TVs, their competitors would. And instead of giving the producers a break, those selfish customers chose to buy the best and cheapest TVs they could find.
The same thing is happening to books. Lots of people think e-books are more convenient than print books, and STILL those ignorant, selfish bastards want e-books to be cheaper and without the hassle of DRM, just because they can be, with no regard to the writer/publisher’s ability to support themselves.
And the worst thing is, they’ll get what they want. If a writer/publisher doesn’t offer the best and cheapest product they can to the customer, someone else will. The customer doesn’t just compare your e-book to your paper book; they also compare your e-book to someone else’s e-book, and if you’re not already one of their favourite authors, they’re likely to let price and convenience affect their choice.
Customer is king. As a writer/publisher, you’re just a humble servant.