This fascinating article about the creation and history of the paperback novel is a great illustration of how everything old is new again.
Note how the paperback was created to be affordable compared to hardcover books of its day. Also note how profit was made on these books based on sales volume.
Hmm ... anything sounding familiar here?
Decades later, we have ebooks being sold at lower prices than their print counterparts. The lower the price on fiction books, the better, though publishers are balking. However, low price and high sales volume are what publishers should shoot for.
Hey, if you don't believe me, check out my informal study on this matter.
Any questions? :)