Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Are Ebooks a Scam?

There are hundreds of millions of web pages on tens of thousands of subjects from "the structure of DNA" to "How to make a teddy bear". Most of this information is freely available and yours to access at leisure so why would you pay for it and buy an ebook?

Ebooks come in three categories - free, low cost and what I'm going to call premium (ebooks costing more than a few dollars or pounds)

Free ebook are widely used to encourage mailing lists subscriptions. These fee samples are sometimes extracts from larger works and are given away as part of a longer term selling process. On other sites they are just random ebook titles given away to encourage sign up. Often, but not always, they have previously been sold commanding high prices but now are widely available having been on sale for months or sometimes years.

Low cost ebooks - those now selling for between $0.01 and $4.99 have often been for sale previously at much higher prices. Most sold well at a higher price but as they have become available from more sources the price has dropped. A few failed to sell at a higher price, often because they were marketed poorly. Most have excellent content and they do, however, sell well at a lower price

Premium priced ebooks tend to fall into one of two groups. They are either new to the market and as such command a higher price, or the publisher has retained all publication rights and they cannot be sold by anyone other than the publisher and his affiliates. Whilst these publications may be newer they often do not have newer content and can be simply a re-hash of other ebooks.

Are all Subjects Covered?

There are a large number of ebooks on internet selling and marketing and it is tempting to think that is all that's available. This is far from the case as there can be few areas where ebooks have yet to make an impression.

Are they value for money?

As with most things this depends on the quality of the ebook and the price.

Free ebooks should offer the best deal. They are not normally totally free - often you're required to sign up for a newsletter to qualify for one or many free ebooks. Sometimes you will receive just one ebook however you can get multiple ebooks every month.

Are free ebooks worth it? If the product is not to your liking or is of poor quality you can just delete it - you have lost nothing. If you wish you can also easily remove your details from a mailing list by clicking on the obligatory unsubscribe link in any email from the site.

Low cost ebooks have often been on sale previously at a much higher price. The information they contain is up-to-date and well worth the low price charged. In addition they come with a money back guarantee, anything from 7 days to 30 days.

Premium or high cost ebooks (anything from $5.00 upwards) pose a more complex question. They invariably carry a 60 to 90 day money back guarantee which, as far as I'm aware is honored by all publishers. You therefore are not risking your money and you can get your money back.

Many buyers however, fail to claim their money back. This may be because of forgetfulness, indecision, fear or embarrassment but I'm certain that it is something the more unscrupulous publisher relies upon.

I personally have bought a number of expensive ebooks and, I must admit for the most part, I have been happy with the content. Where I have been disappointed I have always claimed and received a full refund. I have never found a publisher who questions my decision although a small number have asked the reason after the payment has been refunded. This allows them to improve their product and I am happy to help them.

Why should you buy ebooks?

For me the best reasons are convenience and curiosity. Finding information on the Internet can be hard. Sifting through millions of web pages is impossible and most get through 1 or 2 search engine results pages before searching again. Much of the information is not easily accessible as most on-topic sites won't be optimized for your search phrase. The result is that, although the information is there, finding it is virtually impossible. It is convenient to buy the information in an easy to read format.

As for curiosity, well that's just me. If I am curious enough I sometimes buy but I am always prepared to ask for my money back if it doesn't meet my expectations. I must admit I'm rarely disappointed.

About the Author
John writes for various websites and runs his own low cost ebook website at New ebooks are being added all the time. Subscribe to his Newsletter to find out the latest editions and get your 5 Free Ebooks every Month.

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