My eBooks Suck…
OK, yeah, yeah, I heard you…
Everybody hates the anti-theft software and wants me to go back to (unsecured) Adobe .pdf’s. Or, as one eloquent writer told me recently…
“Your digital book sucks! 1 year ago I got one from you and frozen the program every 15 20 pages I can’t close the window I have to restart my computer. For this kind of money I shouldn’t have this aggravation. I hate the whole java program too. And I am not the only one with this problems trust me. And now I got it from you again and it does the same damn thing again And its not my computer its your program!”
(By the way, it’s ALMOST ALWAYS (99% of the time) a setting on your computer or anti-virus software, as it turned out in the case above. (Of course, it would also help if they read the order page BEFORE buying, or the download page, or the auto email sent AFTER buying where typical solutions are explained.)
Everyone wants unsecured .pdf’s. That isn’t realistic in today’s digital world. If you have a product that sells for $5.99, that might be an option, as long as you don’t care that it gets passed around like popcorn, and people are more interested in stealing it than paying for it.
If you have a valuable, one of a kind product, (and I do) it isn’t.
I don’t understand the venom and hostility towards something they encounter everyday, in every store they go into, in the offline world of their lives. From Wal-Mart to Barnes and Noble, From the Dollar-Tree store to Nordstroms. Do they go up to the security personnel in those stores and scream at them for the inconvenience?
How about software? When was the last time ANYONE bought software that didn’t have more intrusive anti-theft devices built in? If I install Microsoft Office on more than 2 computers I have to call them and explain why. Not to mention type in a 25 digit number to get it back. Same with Adobe, Corel, and many others.
Can you think of any offline bookstore that doesn’t safeguard their property? Can you think of ANY business online or offline, that allows rampant theft to go unchecked, period?
How about your personal property? Do you leave your car unlocked and the keys in the ignition? When you go to work, or on vacation, I bet you leave the front doors to your house wide open and unlocked, right?
If you don’t, why should I? My copyright IS my personal property.
What most aren’t getting is digital theft is just too rampant. It’s not a myth or an illusion. One day a few years ago, I had over 5000 hacks and downloads IN ONE DAY. No joke. Do the math. If you have a good product, people want to rip it off. That’s the way the digital world is.
I know you guys think I’m just raking the money in hand over fist.
The truth is a lot different.
The truth is the website break even most years. I say most, because it lost money last year. My consulting work supports this website…not the other way around. Only one year did it actually make a “profit.” At least by the IRS sense of the word. (I have profited by meeting a lot of cool people, though)
I’ve never been compensated for the 1000’s of hours of research and writing that went into these books. This is a labor of love…not profit. If it was all about profit, I would’ve quit years ago. You may think they’re overpriced, but my competitors are selling them for much more. Up to 10-20 times more in some cases. NO ONE ELSE sells this level of quality at my price. No one. Nor have I raised prices in 5 years.
Oh wait…I can hear the comment now….”but eBooks don’t COST you anything.”
They don’t cost anything if you can find graphic designers, web designers, web hosting, book formatters, editors, proof-readers, internet researchers, affiliates, (50% off the top to those guys) publishers, printers, marketers, payment processors, third-party download services, search engine optimization specialists, PPC ad specialists, professional software programmers, internet lawyers, who all work for charity and give away their valuable time and services. And of course, you pay yourself nothing as well. Then you’re right, it doesn’t cost anything. It’s been my experience not too many people offer professional services for free.
But to all the people who think eBooks don’t cost anything to produce, why don’t you A.) give it whirl and I’ll sit at your knee and take notes, or B.) offer ME your services for free in exchange? How long would you be willing to work for free? You know, just because you’re a nice guy and all.
So here’s the deal. I can…
- Keep the anti-theft software in place, and try to keep the prices the same. ( I’ll ignore the whining and complaining)
- I can get rid of the eBooks altogether and just sell paperbacks. (and no supporting bonus material…your loss because they’re needed and necessary.)
- I can add the bonus material as separate paperbacks, but just sell paperbacks…no eBooks. (and the price of the books will have to go up, paperback price will probably double to get the same amount of material.) I can’t find a publisher who will print books of this size and content without adding separate volumes.
- I guess another option is, the minute I get a anti-theft software complaint, I refund them, disable their Ebooks and tell them to move along.
Anyhoo…I’d like to know what you think. This is your chance to weigh in and make a difference. If I don’t get any replies, or enough of them, I’ll simply make the decision without your input. Probably I ‘ll just discontinue the eBooks and go to paperbacks only.
So take a vote below by adding a comment. Choose door number one, two, three, or four.