I can remember the excitement of buying my first downloadable-book. It was back in the latter 1990′s and though I will not remember the title of the ebook I do recall the seller lived in Georgia, USA and within ten minutes of buying it I was printing it out in rustic Wiltshire in the West of Britain.
Since those early days I must have purchased lots of such books. I have had everything from 300+ page manuals all the way down to 2 or 3 page “reports”. But the difficulty is that over half of them end up either part or fully unread.
I suspect that for the majority there are 2 basic Problems with ebooks, they aren't easy to read on screen and if you print them out this will take time and be costly on ink.
Notwithstanding all the dire predictions profits of doom I suspect the future for e-books and information products generally is superb. But writers must grasp the requirements of their readers. To be truthful if a subject needs more than 100 pages to get its message across maybe a downloadable file isn't the right way to supply the information.
eBay is a great example, there are hundreds or perhaps thousands of e-books on the topic varying in price from a couple of cents up to some costing hundreds of bucks, The average price for a “How to Make Money on eBay” type book appears to be around $67 but go to Amazon or Barns and Nobel and you will find print books with much more information for around $20. So why do we pay extra for less?
The answer is “immediacy”. We need it and we need it now.
And if the reader wants the electronic book now, she also wants the data right away. What they don't want to is to be forced to wade through hundreds of pages to find what they are attempting to find. In other words the perfect ebook should hold the basic facts or methods with as little padding as practical. Ideally a person should be able to read the contents of an ebook at one sitting And in my opinion the ideal length for an e-book is around 30 pages but anywhere between 20 and forty is fine. For most subjects the important points can be included within that page range.
The benefit for the author is that it is far simpler to draft a 40-page book than one with 200 pages. There is also a bigger prospect of the reader actually clicking on your affiliate or other links in your book if she or he really reads it all. If the writer feels that it will take 200 pages to cover the subject why not cut it down to 5 or 6 smaller e-books selling at say $15 each.
The current trend of pile it high sell it cheaply is driving many individuals out of the information market and some might say that's not a distressing thing. But there'll always be a market for excellent value and simply digestible information products on subjects of interest to the shopper. So if you are a writer please cut the padding, just give me the facts, just the facts.
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