Resource Shelf posted a link to an article on the production cost of scholarly journals. I haven't read it yet but I bet it raises issues releavent to ebook production. From the abstract:
Journal literature has long played a prominent role in the scholarly communication chain. In recent decades, however, the scholarly communication system has been facing a crisis due to the ever-escalating costs of journals. This paper examines the reasons for the high costs of scholarly journals. A brief review of literature on journal publishing costs was carried out. The paper focuses on the economics of scholarly English language journals published mainly in the United States and Europe, but which are sold worldwide, largely to academic and research libraries. Two of the features of the journal publishing industry cited a decade ago and still valid today are a “lack of competition” and “perverse incentives.” The “first-copy cost” is reported to be the main reason for high journal prices both in print and electronic publishing.