View Full Version : What to do before you buy an e-book
April 24, 2011 @, 10:02 AM
There's things you should do before buying an e-book?
Yes, there are.
Check the reviews.
If the majority of reviewers reckon the story is rubbish or badly written or badly formatted , chances are they're right and you'd be buying a lemon.
If the majority of reviewers reckon all of the above is up to scratch then at least you can have some confidence that the quality of the book is sound.
Next compare the price with similiar e-books. Most Indie e-books are much cheaper than major publishing houses e-books.
The cover isn't really that important to me, but a decent cover shows the author was at least making an effort to produce a nicely rounded product.
If I'm happy with the plot and storyline, happy with the reviews, then I go ahead and download the sample chapters. If I enjoy them I'll go ahead and order the complete e-book.
April 24, 2011 @, 10:23 PM
Essentially, I buy ebooks the same way I but dead-tree books.
If I know the writer, or someone recommends the work, that's a big bonus. Reviews are a substitute, but not a perfect one.
Price doesn't enter into the equation, really. If it's an indie writer I don't know, then I'll be certain to download the sample before buying. But there are indie writers out there who are as good as the best New York publishes. Especially with established pros putting up their backlist - sometimes at indie prices - independant publishing means less now than at any time in the last half century.
The cover can be surprisingly important, not to the story, but to how likely you are to have a proper look at it. Check out the different covers for "He Could Have Coped With Dragons" (http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?p=3973). Every time I saw the old cover I just looked past it, but I'm tempted to download it with the new cover.
Sampling is priceless. Nearly everyone used to read the first few lines in the bookstore, but now you can read chapters on the bus before you decide to buy or not.
Look at the writer's profile to see if there are short stories, too. Some writers give a couple of shorts away for free or sell them for a buck. Also an excellent way to sample.
April 25, 2011 @, 7:58 AM
Thanks, guys, that's very interesting.
I'm seriously thinking of self-publishing at the moment. Had a not so good experience with an agency (quit the contract a year ago), and I have a whole series that nobody will look at since the first part of it was rejected by all major German publishers. I have someone who can typeset it for me so the result should look good. I also run a website and am a member of a fairly large author group where I could get reviews. The other alternative would be small press - and then I'd have to move on to self-publishing anyway, because their print runs are so small.
Thanks for making it clear that sample chapters are THE most important part of marketing. I might really give it a try.
April 25, 2011 @, 8:36 AM
Having been researching e-book self-publishing for a while now I've come to the conclusion that I'd be likely to make more money and gain a wider following than if I was published by a small press.
The small press pays you a pittance and if you're lucky, a royalty. Everything else is their profit. With your own e-book, all the profits are yours. Minus whatever the online seller deducts as a fee. That's a big factor for me.
Small press books seldom make it into book stores anyway. Most only seem to be sold through their own websites or via an online bookseller. And many of them are producing e-book versions now as well.
April 25, 2011 @, 9:17 AM
yeah, that's what I've been thinking. I'm getting a novel published with small press in fall, if all goes well (not the series I mentioned). They actually pay royalties and a small advance, but with a print run of 500, that's just ... going to be over really quick. PoD and ebooks will just keep going, even if my sales methods are the same as small press.
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