Adsense

More On Selling Ebooks

Last Friday I expanded my "new" ebook business by publishing updated versions of two of my existing titles. This includes a PDF version of Print-on-Demand Book Publishing for $9.95, but it's absolutely not worth getting if you already own the paperback. The updates are very minor and consist largely of removing descriptive material about Internet sites and functions that are no longer available.

My main complaint about e-junkie fulfillment to date remains the process of e-mailing a download link to the customer rather than presenting one on screen. I've looked at a half dozen ebook selling sites by now, and they all use e-mail to send a download link to the customer. Bryan Rosner suggested Yahoo! stores on my last ebook sales post, but I can't see setting up yet another new account and paying their fees while still using PayPal as the processor.

What I'm really looking for is an ebook download site that acts as the merchant processor and provides an immediate download at the time of the transaction rather than e-mailing a link. Otherwise, I'll just stay with e-junkie for the time being and send out reminder e-mails to anybody who pays for an e-book and doesn't download it. If a few days go by without a download, I'll just issue a refund, since I'm in business to sell ebooks, not to collect payments from people who don't quite get the process.

I'm reminded of an incident from four or five years ago when I received an angry e-mail from some guy who'd purchased an ebook about PC hardware and was threatening to sue me, since he felt it was a waste of $6.00. The only problem was that I wasn't selling any ebooks at the time, so after exchanging a couple e-mails, it sounded like somebody had stolen material from my website and was selling it as an ebook. When I looked into it further, it turned out that nobody had stolen anything, the ebook he'd purchased simply contained a link to my site which had led this individual to believe I must have been involved. My sympathy at this point shifted to the guy who was selling the ebook, because even though he'd refunded the $6.00, the loopy buyer was threatening to sue him for fraud. I'm not going to pass judgment on the ebook he was selling, but I believe he quit the ebook business because he didn't feel it was worth the aggravation.

It's important for people new to small business to unlearn the old adage about the customer always being right. Sometimes the customer is wrong and sometimes the customer is a lunatic. My customer service ends at issuing refunds I think a refund is in order. I've always suspected the instant gratification element of ebooks leads customers to make more impulse buys, which can lead to buyer's regret. But it's no longer clear to me that impulse buying is a major factor in selling ebooks, especially after I checked my e-mail this morning and saw that somebody had purchased an ebook from me using an e-check. Since the download isn't available until the e-check clears, the buyer will wait longer to read the book than if it had been ordered as a paperback with 2nd day shipping!

6 comments:

Morris Rosenthal said...

OK, I'm an idiot, It turns out that the reason my customers were only getting the download link by e-mail is because I was using my own Thank You page rather e-junkie's. When I enabled the e-junkie Thank You page (thanks to their tech support), the end of the order process provides a simple "click here" link for the download, in addition to the e-mail.

Morris

Lisa Cremer said...

Hi Morris,

I just wanted to let you know that Oronjo.com is a new alternative to E-Junkie that is a 100% free.

Everyone can now sell their own music, thesis, novel, photos, weblog articles or movies, all from their own webpage.

This even works for weblog articles - without changing their design (a feature E-Junkie doesn't offer). Also, you don’t need to have a PayPal or Google Checkout account to start selling content.

With kind regards,



Lisa Cremer
Oronjo.com

Robin said...

@Lisa, E-junkie can be used to sell articles or anything, pretty much anywhere without chaning design. Also, in a free solution .. when a merchant is using 50-100GB bandwidth per month .. who will cover the cost of that bandwidth?

Morris Rosenthal said...

Robin,

I ended up using e-junkie, very happy with them. I can't imagine getting to 50+ GB a month on ebooks, either they'd have to be huge, or sales would have to be so high that a custom solution would be practical. You could always turn to somebody like Ingram Digital with that kind of volume.

Morris

Robin said...

Glad to head that Morris. I was responding to Lisa's comment about Cerizmo being free alternative to E-junkie .. and I was saying that its not really possible to provide a "free" alternative .. as you do need a revenue stream to cover the collective bandwidth usage of all the clients. E-junkie's bandwidth usage is in TBs.

Morris Rosenthal said...

Robin,

I'll be doing a full post on e-junkie one of these days, probably call it a testimonial. Once I stopped using my own "Thank You" page and started using e-junkie's (which provides a download link) all the problems cleared up.

Morris