We are in the process of creating an eBook. Now we are contemplating to release this ebook in two versions, full and lite. 'Lite' version would be created to reach the extensive Amazon audience. The reasons we are not willing to sell our 'full' version from Amazon are -
1) We won't be creating the full version in pdf or word format (piracy concerns) rather it will be a flash file stored behind our secured website. Also, as per our understanding Amazon doesn't allow any digital version other than ePub (Kindle's proprietary format)
2) Amazon keeps about 65% revenue on every ebook sold.
Lite version will contain highlights from the full version and will be available at a fraction of a cost. At places within this lite version, we plan to put promos(ads) of the full version so that people can 'upgrade' to the full version.
Do you think this would be a good approach? or can we make our approach better? Any ideas would be appreciated.
I think in this situation piracy is your friend. Tony Hsieh gave away free copies of his book delivering happiness which was sent out by amazon. I think even with free copies it counts as a sale. Your sales go up, and you have a BESTSELLER. Then you stop giving away the free ones and make up your losses on free copies.
Free pdf. Give the full version.
I think other than that its JUST A HALF ASS MARKETING SCAM.
Trust me, if its in PDF you will find it on sites like wow-ebook.com. Emrace it.
I personally think all literature should be free, and if appreciated then purchased.
Are you sure about the rev share? As of 2011 there is a 35% and a 70% program.
That said, you can also create a "lite" version by using the kindle singles avenue. Also, Amazon now allows kindle subscribers to "loan" books to friends for a short time - expanding your reach beyond a single purchase.
The "flash behind a protected site" approach is late '90's and I doubt it would work today - you can create a site with updates, and work towards a web based upsell product by embedding links in the ebook if you'd like.
I like your notion of a freemium book.
A unique approach maybe to adopt some of the strategies from http://www.flatworldknowledge.com/. In short, the approach is focused on college textbooks. Registered users can browse for free online and pay to take the book offline. There are also a number of additional payment triggers built in (study aids for example). The content may have a longer tail to its value since pieces of content can be remixed or excerpts for future curricula. I don't know the contents of your book, but hope you can find this to be relevant.
Appears that 'A Child al Confino' has had recent success on Amazon with a short-term promotion as a free book. I don't know if they experimented with a lite version, but maybe a case study you dig deeper on...http://bit.ly/dFZHSk
O'Reilly does or did something like this. They they included a long introduction of each chapter and then described what the reader was missing. I would like to come with one idea for inspiration. You could include ALL sections in the book so the Lite version has the same length as the Full version. You could just replace sections with something like:
Meaning that numbers are kept, but the text is missing. This will clearly show the reader what he/she is missing, and make them curious. Because it is an eBook, it does not matter that you ship a lot of info that is useless. I would also include all figures and graphs.
*** ***** **** ****** 4% ***** **** * ******* ** *** ** 20th ** ***** 1998 *****
eReader requires you credit card # to be used as a password. Usually people won't pass this on to 'share' with others.
I know 65% using Amazon seems high, but you may end up selling more books (You would have to do the math to decide.). You didn't mention who your readers are, so I don't know if being available on Kindle is a benefit.
Not knowing what your book is about or who would read it, are you being too concerned with piracy?
Put out the light version and get some feedback on what people are willing to pay for in a full version.
If I have to go to your site to read the book (I'm not familiar with the technology you propose.), I'm out.
You want to profit from easily distributing your knowledge, but without giving away that knowledge in a form that can be readily distributed.
Sounds like a fool's errand. The more hoops you make your customers jump through, the more they'll resent you for it. It just makes it easier for a competitor to offer a comparable product with less hassle.
Your fear of plagiarism and piracy is misguided. Use piracy to your advantage, to distribute your work to many and use that reputation to sell something more tangible.
If all a customer needs is this knowledge and nothing further from you, there will eventually be an outlet where this information can be acquired for free. Fighting that is a waste of time.