Sunday, September 9, 2012

Is free strategy practicable in eBooks promotion?

Compare to traditional paper books, eBook publishing's marginal cost can be ignored because of it doesn't need the practical paper, it needn't to be printed out, there is no transportation and warehousing costs, while eBook publishing has a very high marginal revenue. These are the reasons why eBooks are much cheaper than traditional paper books.

Small profit by quick turnover is the simplest rule in business game,  eBooks publishers obviously know this well, they enter the game with those cheaper eBooks to take advantages in publishing market, and the long-tail strategy works perfect on eBooks marketing.

The birth of eBooks direct publishing platform has given authors much more rights to control their works, like how many copies the books are going to be published, with how much price, lock the works with or without DRM protection, etc. Based on the fact above, if the author has the willing to give up his vested interest and lower the price or even make it free for a limited time, will he get more revenue by such a promotion campaign?

There is an author called Tim Hawken, his copy got 4,000 times downloading in 5 days on Amazon by making it free on KDP Select, while the same book failed to be downloaded 4,000 times in the entire last year. Even if the limited time free finished, his book's downloading amount is 4 times more than last month.

Seems that this case has proved the free strategy works well in eBooks publishing, can it be widespreaded  in the burgeoning eBooks market?

First of all, the principal issue for self-publishing eBooks authors is how to catch eye-sights, Hawken's success owed to Amazon's recommendation, his book ranked #1 in Amazon's Fantasy category, but there is only one "#1" in one category. And with the extensively use of free strategy, to get the triumph is more and more difficult.

Let's face the truth, according to NY Times' data, the majority of self-publishing eBooks can only sell 100-150 copies. After getting a considerable sale amount with a low price, many authors turns back to traditional publishing channel. A reverse for digital publishing, isn't it?

Even if the marginal cost for digital publishing is less than traditional publishing, a lower price for eBook is not  necessary. The fundamental difference between two kinds of publishing channels is the material, paper or screen, but what readers care most is the content, which won't change no matter you choose paper book or eBook.

In another word, are we buying the content or buying the material?

Reading is nothing but a habit, for the REAL readers, they won't buy your book just for a low price. What they care about is your content,  is it worth buying?

If you are going to hold an eBook promotion campaign, there is a link called "20 Sites for authors to publish & promote eBooks" in the right sidebar. I believe it is helpful for you.