pricing of ebooks

From: Marcia Yudkin <>
Date: Wed 04 Oct 2000 21:48:10 -0500

I agree with Michael Martinez that the low pricing
of ebooks perpetuates the perception that they are
worth less than paper books. However, I believe
that in many cases this is an accurate perception.

In August I taught at a writers' conference that
concluded in a big book sale. In a festive
atmosphere, both instructors and participants who
had published one or more books displayed and sold
them. Ironically, several people who had been
evangelizing all week for ebooks as a viable
publishing medium were nowhere to be found,
because they had nothing tangible to sell. There
was nothing for them to sign, either, as the other
authors were busily doing.

Many people who buy books do not buy them merely to
have a one-time reading experience. They buy them
to read AND have them on their shelf. This is
something people who are not this type of booklover
do not understand, and I'm not sure I understand it
myself. The last time I moved, I donated 300 books
I had not looked at in 15 years to my local library
for their book sale. It was a wrenching experience.
I'd much rather keep the books.

On the other hand, there is another kind of book
buyer who only wants to have the reading experience
and then be able to zap the book into nonexistence.
This kind of booklover will not value ebooks higher
than paper books for having this advantage, however.

I think that in order to raise the perception of
ebooks they need to be positioned as something other
than books. That is why when I venture into
electronic publishing, I will not be calling my
creation an ebook. I'm going to call it an electronic
seminar, or something like that. People will pay much
more than for paper books for a lesser amount of
pure information if it is positioned as a seminar,
because people know that seminars usually cost $99
and up.

I think Stephen King could have gotten the same
number of people to pay $2 per installment for his
novel in progress, or even more, if he'd called it
a subscription. Note that people pay extra for
premium cable channels to get access to movies on
cable that have not yet been released to video

Marcia Yudkin
ClickZ Forum Moderator
Author, Internet Marketing for Less Than $500/Year
Just published by Maximum Press
Publicity and marketing consultant

Received on Wed Oct 04 2000 - 21:48:10 CDT


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