Wouldn't it be nice if we could purchase the things we want at cost (below wholesale). Just imagine paying only the cost of the materials for a new house. However, the reality is we pay for the craftsmanship, the general expenses for the business to build said house, in addition to the lumber, the location, and we rarely think twice.
But my goodness, expect to be paid for the craft of writing an engaging story or the research and knowledge to publish a credible non-fiction, that is simply absurd. After all, books cost little to produce and ebooks even less, and we shouldn't expect to pay for the expertise to make a manuscript into a publish-worthy book, nor should we expect writers to be paid for their craft after all the hours they put into the manuscript.
An ebook is simply a digital file, so why should it cost more than a few pennies?
For one thing, the format is not the same as the manuscript or the print book, so there is time and expertise to format the book. The line editor has to look through it. The publisher has the expenses of running a business, or there is no business to publish the ebook. Besides, the author should get paid for writing the story -- every time that it sells.
The host site, such as Amazon Kindle should get some money -- maintaining their website isn't free (neither is maintaining my website free; domain name, hosting, web designer.) Some of the publishing expenses, besides the staff time to format it, include the cost of the ISBN, copyrights, graphic artists, computers and other business machines, space rent, plus the business licenses to put the "officalness" on the work, and more. You get the picture.
We expect to pay when we attend the theatre, cinema, concert, ballet, museum, and so much more that we have nothing tangible when we leave. Or do we? I still remember books that I read as a child and that was a very long time ago. I don't remember all of them, of course, but the ones that resonated are remembered. One of my co-workers and I quote lines from moves in our verbal interactions. Surely, we did take something away from the experience.
Nonetheless, I still get asked about Cactus Rain Publishing's position on the pricing of ebooks. Go figure.
Actually, go write your best work.