Tag Archives: Electronic

Are e-books a waste of your time and money?

A few days ago I was listening to a mentor whom I admire deeply talk about ebooks and how to use them as a marketing tool. She said something that made my blood run cold, confirming my suspicions about e-books often being a waste of both your time and money.

What did she say?

She said, “Don’t put too much information in your ebook, just enough to whet their appetite so that they come back for more! Besides, if you give too much information up front you’ll overwhelm them.”

Personally I totally disagree.  I think marketers have no right to play god by deciding how much information people can handle. When you buy an ebook you expect to get all the information you need, not just a tease.

Actually ebooks are a very strange phenomena. People are willing to pay more than double for a ebook than the printed variety because it can be accessed immediately. At the same time you still have to print them out yourself or attempt to read them on the computer screen.

Research shows that people remember far less information when it is read on a screen rather than off a printed page.

Why is this?

Because the human eye is designed for reflected rather than radiant light.

Long term we need to come up with a way for computer screens to reflect light rather than radiate it.  When this is achieved it will be a massive leap for humankind.

Back to immediate gratification. I was shocked to learn from another source that more than 80% of the people who buy an ebook will never actually get round to reading it.

Why not?

Because buying an ebook feels like you are taking action on a pain. You don’t feel that pain as sharply once you’ve bought the book.  Your mind tells you you’ve solved the problem. So then the tendency is to put off reading it, until you forget you actually bought it and soon you’re back to square one and ripe again to buy another ebook on the same topic.

Another problem with ebooks is the pricing. These days unscrupulous online marketers have access to highly sophisticated research based on cutting edge psychological testing.

What do they know that you don’t?

They know that you are more likely to buy an ebook if it is priced as $97 than if it is priced much lower. Say, $22.


Partly because of perceived value.  You’ve been trained to believe that if it is more expensive it must be better value. (This isn’t always true!)

Also, numbers are mysterious. There is a whole ‘science’ about this called numerology (which, like palm reading is another whole minefield of debate. But, just because theories conflict, doesn’t mean you should throw the baby out with the bathwater.) Fact is, an awful lot of money has been invested on researching which prices work and which don’t.

So people who don’t know about this are highly vulnerable to abuse.

Is this you? Are you downloading lots of over priced ebooks without actually reading them?

Or are you a marketer laughing all the way to the bank because people are so gullible or easily distracted? And, if it’s so easy to take candy from children does that mean you should do it?

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