Selling ebooks when the same information is available for free


I see some people making money from selling ebooks and they doing pretty good. When I look at the titles, I know I can easily get the same information by doing some research & reading using Google in a few hours. It can be just like clicking on 5 links!

It seems there's a large segment of people who are lazy or incompetent or don't know how to search or just don't know better. I guess the sellers are selling convenience.

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asked May 22 '10 at 02:28
Tony Henrich
85 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

2 Answers


Was there a question in there? I'm going to assume it was: How can people sell eBooks when the same information is available from a few hours of searching?

  1. Because paying $10 for the answers instead of 2 hours of searching means you value your time greater than minimum wage.
  2. Because you can't trust random info you find on the Internet, but generally eBooks are backed by someone with some kind of reputation to protect.
  3. Because eBooks are often written better and more complete than random stuff on the Internet.
  4. Because collating and interpreting information is useful too, not just searching and finding lots of information.
  5. Because once a blogger has a lot of readers who like them and trust them, even just packaging up the "same old stuff" as an eBook is an opportunity for their readers to give back.
answered May 22 '10 at 10:33
16,231 points
  • The book ReWork from 37Signals applies very much to #5. It's a collection of ideas all mentioned earlier in their blog. (BTW, not a real question. That's why I used the 'discussion' tag) – Tony Henrich 14 years ago
  • Sort of, except that with the number of copies they've sold, the vast majority of the readers have NOT read their blog. Also that's not a mere eBook but a real book with an established publishing house and real PR/marketing. I don't think you were referring to that sort of thing... – Jason 14 years ago
  • The format of the book, paper or electronic, doesn't matter. It's the repacking of available information and selling it. I am not sure about ReWork. I bet their blog readers thought they might be getting new information in the book. Unless those readers checked out the book before buying it. I know some people were disappointed the book didn't contain anything new. – Tony Henrich 14 years ago


They make better gifts (maybe in the form of an Amazon card) than a bunch of links to free information.

answered May 23 '10 at 04:57
Jeff O
6,169 points
  • I desperately want to test this theory, but am afraid I'll alienate friends & family. ;-) – John Mac Intyre 13 years ago

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