So, authors don't want to have a large price gap between a real book and an ebook? Do they NOT realize that with the real book you get an actual real book. With the ebook you get a limited, revocable license to read the book but only in the format you purchased your license for.
I'm still wondering why the price gap isn't larger.
I think some publishers and authors "get it." Lucius Shepard's last two hardcover books were published by Subterranean Press, and came out with boutique retail pricing (~$40, if I recall). I bought *both* of them, because, well, it's Lucius Shepard, and every word is golden. Amazon.com offered both at quite nice discounts from MSRP, so that's where I made my purchase.
THEN, I spotted that Amazon has also released Kindle ebooks of both, at $5.99 and $6.99. This is, to me, a stunning example of price elasticity. These prices are so outrageously low that I happily bought the ebooks IN ADDITION TO the pbooks.
I have the best of both worlds. My treasured paper copies won't have to suffer from being thrown around on a car seat or taken to the beach, and I have the reassuring solidity of a real copy that isn't subject to licensing.
So, in some cases, increasing the price gap even further can lead to that most elusive thing in the publishing world: repeat sales.