E-book Giveaway!

Greetings to our e-book authors,

Many authors have asked about doing a giveaway of their e-book on a particular outlet for a short period of time. I would like to take this opportunity to explain why we do not have such a program with our MFEs (Multi-Format E-books).

First, Let me start by saying that we have done some trials of giving away “Free” e-books, to see how well it helped the overall sales. In those trials we found that the number of downloads went up while the e-books were free, but once the price was put back on them, the sales dropped right back down to previous levels. The end results being that we just gave away some free copies with no real measurable return on them.

However, the larger issue with doing a “Free” giveaway on any one outlet is that many of our outlets, like Amazon’s Kindle, have price-matching rules where web bots search the internet for lower prices on any of their titles, and when they are found, they automatically lower their price to match it. This means that if we make it free on one outlet, it may end up being free on many of them. Then, trying to get all the prices back up to the original becomes very difficult because each outlet requires proof that all the other outlets are at that original price before raising their price back up. As you may imagine, that is difficult to do with many dozens of outlets all around the world.

Also, our contracts with the different outlets require us to offer titles at the same price to them that we offer anywhere else. If we start providing a discount or “Free” title to one outlet, we are violating our contracts with other outlets, putting our entire accounts in jeopardy of being terminated.

So, in conclusion, between the contracts we have with the outlets, the difficulty in retuning prices to their original levels, and the fact that trials have not proved giveaways to be that effective, we have decided to not do discounts or giveaways with our MFE program.

That said, we do allow a price change that would change it on all our outlets at the same time. Of course, as you may understand by now, to change the price on all our many outlets and catalogs to foreign-rights companies in restricted countries around the world requires a lot of work, so we have to have some guidelines on the price changes to help us not get bogged down in endless price changing. If you are considering doing a price change for your e-book, please contact us for a complete list of guidelines.

Sincerely,

Roger Hayes
E-book General Manager
Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Co.

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