Are we cheapening eBooks? Setting The Publishing Industry For Failure?
First, we heard of cheap eBooks, then there was the flurry of £0.99p books followed by free books. Ok, whilst some are cheap(er) for a limited time, some remain so as a ploy to sell more books. But I wonder is this the best way forward.
According to John Locke, author of ‘How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months‘, he believes this is the best way to position his self-published eBook titles against traditional and/or big publishing houses although his paperback versions are within the regular price bracket.
In years past, book sellers have relied on people walking into their shops to buy books. But sadly, the numbers of such have been diminishing through the years as we see the rise of online retailers, aided by modern technology, who not only offer physical books but digital books too. This means customers don’t have to leave the comforts of their offices, homes or even beds to purchase a book. The biggest, as we know, is Amazon which offers physical, eBooks and audio books. So, can booksellers afford not to join in?
Well, we have all seen the figures flying about over the past few years, as how eBooks have overtaken the sale of physical books. My last few years visiting the London Book Fair have seen an explosion of companies offering to either create eBooks or sell them for you.
Today, Publisher weekly published an article announcing Amazons intent regarding Kindle Serials. Though the concept of serials is not new, Amazons proposes what I refer to as a pay-now-buy-later model (actually, they call it a pay-once model). In simple terms, it means you pay once and get the rest of the serial free when the new titles in the series are published.
I think the concept of serials is a good marketing ploy that can be used for both new titles and old titles. In the case of the latter, these titles could be could be ‘revived’ back to life especially those not even in electronic form, much less Kindle.