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Do e-books sell or not?:-)
Makaveli2007

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3433736 posted 10:41 pm on Aug 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

The other day I said on here that I thought of e-books as a good product to sell b/c they have such an enormous profit margin.

Somebody else said that the profit margin might be high, but the sales/conversion rate might be low and something along the lines "why would you buy an e-book most of which are crap anyways, if you can get Harry Potter for only xyz$"?

Before I had heard that e-books were a great product to sell online. However I'm wondering if many people think like that WebmasterWorld user - associating e-books with low quality content.

Because if that's true then I guess conversion rates would be very low.

Are e-books good products to sell online? Does it only work in very particular (very few) niches or are e-books generally a good product to sell online...unless the market for them is hypersaturated in the first place, of course.

 

Quadrille

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Msg#: 3433736 posted 7:03 am on Aug 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've never bought an ebook, and have never heard of anyone else who has.

Have you? (other than for resale)

I'm the fella who says 'how many people would pay $49.98 for an ebook when they can get millions of hardcover books at $15.00 a time'

We had this discussion before ... why are we having it again :)

But it can't hurt to try; you can get most of them for free, so why not try and sell one or two, and see what happens ... and let us know ;)

King_Fisher

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3433736 posted 7:25 am on Aug 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Probably one of the most profitable products sold on line, if you wrote it and
had a good sales spiel. Old hands (like the dwellers on this forum) don't buy them, but the hordes of newbies that come on to the net every year are their main market. They are sold by the thousands worthless or not...KF

Quadrille

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Msg#: 3433736 posted 10:57 am on Aug 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

They are sold by the thousands worthless or not

I certainly wouldn't argue that ... probably in the hundreds of thousands.

But there are also hundreds of thousands of sites selling them.

Is there anyone out there (other than a certain SEO author who I know has got rich on them), who makes a living on these things ... or is it just an occasional 10000% profit sale?

Habtom

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3433736 posted 11:28 am on Aug 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Do e-books sell or not?:-)

Probably not, if it is available in printed format.

I have to admit I never bought one, but I am always tempted in buying one of those which are not available in printed format, geographically targeted, and directly related to any of my researches in progress.

You might sell well if you find the right market, and come up with one which you think people might not want to live without. If you are trying to resell something which is all over the internet, then you might want to think about it twice.

Habtom

[edited by: Habtom at 11:31 am (utc) on Aug. 28, 2007]

Philosopher

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3433736 posted 12:39 pm on Aug 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

They sell very well.

More recently though they are used as an uber-cheap front-end product used to get customers into a sales funnel to begin marketing much higher-ticket items to.

ccDan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3433736 posted 3:29 pm on Aug 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

FWIW, I've bought plenty of eBooks.

On the other hand, I've sold only one (not my own; one with an affiliate program). And, by "one," I mean one copy not one title.

Makaveli2007

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3433736 posted 6:45 pm on Aug 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

As for the certain SEO author hehe obviously an e-book fits his business model better than a normal book, especially with everybody saying on forums "books on SEO are crap because they're all outdated". An e-book that's updated when something in the SEs algorithms changes (drastically) is a perfect business model for an SEO book.

Actually I have bought one e-book myself that I did ask a refund for, though, because I had to realize that I couldn't use it as it was mostly useful for Americans and not for somebody in a different country (Im from Germany). But I actually did buy it and wouldnt have asked a refund if I lived in the US.

It was something not available as a paper book, though (or actually, maybe I didnt really check if it was available as a paper book, but only assumed that?)...my guess is that e-books can sell if they're unique enough (not tons of other books on the same subject available in normal paper form).

Quadrille

WebmasterWorld Senior Member quadrille us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3433736 posted 7:27 pm on Aug 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

But what about price?

Philosopher suggests that some realism - even value! - may be creeping in; but the vast majority I have seen sell at $37.99 - $99.98; and I know for a fact that many are no more than a couple of dozen pages.

And most can be obtained free, once you know what you are Googling for.

Makaveli2007

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3433736 posted 3:28 am on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

the vast majority Ive seen sell for 10-20$ (I assume you were looking at mostly web/marketing books that are in this price range?).

Another point would be that time is money. I could have found all the information I got from that one author's book on SEO, too if I had Googled for it. However I'm sure I would have easily spent 10 hours more doing so (probably more than 10 hours) and if my time is worth 7.9$/hour or more buying his book was a good option to me as it saved me a lot of time.

But then again this wasnt supposed to be a why should people buy e-books thread, but a do they buy e-books hehe..in other words I dont really care about my opinion or somebody else's opinion if people *should* buy e-books, I only care if they do or do not sell

Quadrille

WebmasterWorld Senior Member quadrille us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3433736 posted 10:23 am on Aug 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Me too - and we still don't have any clear idea.

When I say 'Google for it', I don't mean Google for the information; I mean google for the content of the e-book. In most cases, they are there to be found.

Also price is relevant; if you are selling at 79.94, then you don't need to sell so many as the person selling at 9.99.

So does anyone have any info other than "They Sell?"

MichaelBluejay

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3433736 posted 4:36 am on Sep 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Though the question posted was, "Do e-books sell well?", I think there's a better question: "Is selling e-books the best way to make money from my information?"

Because if the info is really good, I think you could make more money by making it freely available on a website, and then including relevant advertising on that site.

And if the info *isn't* really good -- then why are you trying to sell it? :)

Grandmas Cookies

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3433736 posted 12:37 pm on Sep 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I guess that the only e-books that sell are the ones that deal with blackhat SEO since there are loads of people wanting to make a quick buck these days.

topr8

WebmasterWorld Senior Member topr8 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3433736 posted 1:00 pm on Sep 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>I guess that the only e-books that sell are the ones that deal with blackhat SEO

hehe, i don't think so ...

thought i'd chip in here and say that my parents have bought e-books online and they are typical pensioners ...

the e-books they have bought are certainly niche and related to interests of theirs ... i've also looked at them and i think they were actually good value for what they were ... doubtless the info was available online in various sources or by buying magazines in the same niche, but the info was collected together and was readable.

piatkow

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3433736 posted 1:11 pm on Sep 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

I would consider buying an ebook for technical content but never for leisure reading. Print is just such a convenient medium, no cables, no batteries, can be read in the bath (with care) or on a train.

farmboy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member farmboy us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3433736 posted 3:03 pm on Sep 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Are e-books good products to sell online? Does it only work in very particular (very few) niches or are e-books generally a good product to sell online.

I wrote and began selling my first ebook about 4 years ago. I have written a number of others since. To answer your question with a direct answer, "Yes", they sell.

But to ask the question of whether they sell or not is like asking, "Does food taste good?" It depends on the food and the person doing the tasting.

Somebody else said that the profit margin might be high, but the sales/conversion rate might be low and something along the lines "why would you buy an e-book most of which are crap anyways, if you can get Harry Potter for only xyz$"?

To ask that question in a different way, suppose an ebook on widget making is $30 and a Harry Potter ink on paper book is $15. You want to learn how to make widgets. Why would you pay $15 for a book of fiction that won't teach you how to make widgets?

If you are trying to resell something which is all over the internet, then you might want to think about it twice.

There is a certain task that almost every business must undertake. There is a large free website that provides lots of information. Magazines focus on this topic. Books have been written. Seminars are presented on the topic all over the country.

I wrote an ebook on the topic and it sells well.

More recently though they are used as an uber-cheap front-end product used to get customers into a sales funnel to begin marketing much higher-ticket items to.

That's a broad generalization. Maybe it's based on what you have experienced or the niche which has your interest. That's not my approach. And I purchase ebooks fairly often and haven't experienced that.

But what about price?

Lots of words have been written on that topic. My experience seems to suggest that selling for a bit more than I think I can seems to work best.

And most can be obtained free, once you know what you are Googling for.

And you can get bicycles for free if you know when the hardware store owner puts one outside on display and then gets busy inside the store. :)

Seriously though, a number of tips and techniques have been developed to address this problem...and from a number of angles.

Because if the info is really good, I think you could make more money by making it freely available on a website, and then including relevant advertising on that site.

You can do that, but then you're putting all your eggs in the advertising income basket.

I employ a mix of selling information and getting advertising revenue.

There's also another factor. There are some things that you can't hardly give away for free or sell if you price it really low, but it suddenly becomes in demand if you offer it for sale at a premium price.

Print is just such a convenient medium, no cables, no batteries, can be read in the bath (with care) or on a train.

I seldom read the ebooks I have purchased on my computer screen. I print them out, often a chapter or two at a time, and read them in the bath, outside under the shade tree, etc.

FarmBoy

piatkow

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3433736 posted 9:58 am on Sep 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>There's also another factor. There are some things that you can't hardly give away for free or sell if you price it really low, but it suddenly becomes in demand if you offer it for sale at a premium price. <<

I am sure that some theorist must have a fancy name for this but it crops up in many sectors. A little off topic but many years ago I took over as organiser for a music club that was getting pretty near zero custom at concerts. I raised admission prices and the public equated price with quality and started coming back.

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