Warning: Controversial statements here. Also note, that there will be a Kindle version, which is a kind of e-book.

In the forums, I’ve been asked why I don’t sell the ERE book as an e-book. This is a longer response to that thread.

Well, it may simply come down to me putting the same stigma on e-books as book publishers do to self-publishers. I have never bought an e-book. For those I’ve seen, in 95% of the cases I have been pretty glad I hadn’t had to spend anything on them.

Of course there’s the standard problem of expectations. Suppose there was a book out there which upon reading it would save you $10,000 dollars. Certainly such books exists. Would you pay, say, $1,000 for such a book? It would indeed by a very rational thing to do, since you just netted $9,000. Odds are high, though, that since books usually cost $10-50, you would not pay more than that. E-books have somewhat the same problem: They typically cost 2–4 times as much as regular books and if we scale by content, they may be 10–20 times as expensive.

For me an e-book is something one spends 3 months writing 20000 words to sell for $50+ in an affiliate marketing launch having all one’s blogging friends hype it (maybe because they get a 30% cut of the sales price). It’s a beautiful business model, but I wonder how long people will keep buying into it. Indeed do most affiliates buy from each other with only a few being able to sell to the masses? Let’s see some sales numbers, eh?

Conversely, this [ERE] book is 100000 words (150000 cut down to 100000) which took 2 years to write and close to 6 months to edit and it will sell for less than half of the price of your typical e-book. If you buy it and hate it or don’t want to keep it, you can sell it again and recover most of your cost. This will make it even cheaper to get. (Also if you get cold, you can burn it for fuel.)

To profit, I therefore need to be able to keep selling it. I think if I released a pdf, this would not happen. It is not just about profit of course. I also have to consider the strategy I operate with. To me e-books is like earned income. You earn as you write: 3 months writing, launch, get money, write again, launch, get money again, …

A [good] book is more like an asset. It will keep selling. Of course there may be good e-books as well that share similar qualities.

Now, equally important, I don’t work well on the hype cycle [which colors my perception of it] and neither do you guys (my intended audience)—at least that’s my strong impression. Hence, splitting the book out in 5 fifty dollar e-books and selling them off as a $250 “system”… I think it wouldn’t work. If I had a different audience, it would work. It is all about “matching the product to the consumer”, right 😉

Originally posted 2010-08-04 09:46:34.