When I buy a physical book in a store, why don’t they throw in a certificate that would allow me to download the book to an e-reader? Sure, they’re forgoing the possibility that I might pay separately for both book and e-book; but do people really do that? And moreover: if all the books I bought came with a free download, it would drastically increase the odds that I would buy an e-reader — because with the device, I could have easy access to the book I’m reading when I’m not in the house, without having to carry it around.
(Current system is to have one light paperback that I carry around and a hardback at home, and read in parallel.)
And even moreover: regular Nook users presumably don’t buy the e-book for $10 and then get the paperback for another $15. They just skip buying the paperback. But if they could buy both for $15, mightn’t they?
But maybe the point is that publishers don’t want to sell physical books, except when they’re forced to by virtue of some people not having e-readers yet. So that they actually lose money if their e-customers buy a book instead of an e-book. Is that how it is?
Update: Also, I realized it’s not completely obvious to me how you would sell the customer an e-book in a physical store. You can’t just have a “get your e-book free” code printed in the book — people would just share the codes.