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Using eBooks as a Dynamic Download

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by Zero Angel, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    Hi Guys,

    I have been busy writing dozens of short stories for my multiverse with several different collections/series-of-shorts planned. One thing I am planning on doing is offering the collection eBook before all of the shorts are out.

    For instance, the first collection will be of prequels for the first novel of my series. Once I have the first two shorts out, I will offer them as a collection for $0.99 and leave it at this price until I have a few more to upload. With the eventual "full" book consisting of 10 shorts and shifting the price up to $2.99 sometime in the middle. The stories will be available individually as well.

    This way it offers an incentive to early adopters while taking advantage of the ebook format. I'll probably do more than 10 stories eventually, and plan to have some extras in there too. I will definitely make it clear in the description exactly what is contained in the ebook and what will be contained in it and when each update is planned for release.

    This isn't exactly an original idea I know, since it's similar to Amazon's own serial pricing model (discounted for buying in early, then full-price after the entire series is released), but it's what I am planning. What are your thoughts on this? Is this a way to reward loyal fans while simultaneously preventing people from having to wait for the collection (also eventually enabling the 70% royalty price mark of $2.99) or is there some negative I am overlooking?
     
  2. PaulineMRoss

    PaulineMRoss Inkling

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    I can see two potential problems.

    One is consumer resistance to buying anything 'unfinished'. Buy with just a couple of stories or wait for all ten? Personally, I'd wait, even with a higher price.

    The other is practicalities. How do customers get the updates? Even with Amazon's automatic updates switched on, customers have to remember to reopen the book, find the new material and read it. Without automatic updates, or reading on a different device, requires the customer to manually download and (perhaps) convert to a different format and import. Eight times. There's no way I would sign up for that, I'm too lazy :)

    Why not sell the first 3/4/5 as one book (depending on size), then a second book, then (if necessary) a third. Then sell in omnibus form at a discount. Or give away the first few as free downloads from your website, with an email list for people to sign up for, to be notified of new downloads, then sell the book with all ten.
     
    Zero Angel likes this.
  3. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    I suppose it would be more convenient if Amazon made their serial versions of ebooks available to everyone so I wouldn't have to rely on updates and manually redownloading. I'm not trying to appeal to everyone, but I thought it would appeal to fans of my works that don't want to have to wait for the entire collection. If it doesn't appeal to someone because of being unfinished or too much work, then they don't have to buy it. Or they can just wait and buy it if that's what they want, which is fine too.

    I'd be surprised if people updated it all the time, but even if they purchased it with only a few stories, read those, and then waited for the remainder to come out before redownloading, they'd be saving money and having the complete version whenever they wanted it. Redownloading it really isn't much more work than buying a new story, is it? I regularly delete and redownload books on my Kindle devices, but that may just be me.

    The multiple collections isn't a bad idea, but I'd be afraid of seeming like I was nickle-and-dime'ing people releasing a collection every 3-5 stories. If I end up not doing the serial idea, then I'd probably just wait for all the stories to come out before releasing a collection, but then that penalizes the fans I have that will buy everything as soon as it comes out. The main motivation for me to do this is that I had always eventually planned collections for my shorts, etc, but as someone that waits to buy a series until a collection is out (usually movies), I always hated buying one or two and then finding out a collection was available for a fraction of the cost. I definitely don't want the few people that actually support me to feel ripped off by a collection released down the line.

    And to be fair to the cons of this approach, another drawback is that I have to be careful with the descriptions because Amazon does not allow you to release "unfinished works", but I would be releasing a finished work and then continue to add extras on to it.
     
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