I’m continually asked if I’m going to jump on the ebook bandwagon. It’s easy to distribute, the author gets more money if you sell through Amazon, and because the Kindle is so prominent (even the Kindle app on the i-devices), it’s so easy to tap into a huge audience of people who can purchase very, very easily (one click?).
I have been on the fence about ebook publishing, for books I want to sell (not give away), for years.
Here’s why: document sharing websites, like scribd, make it super easy for people with questionable ethics, to share your document at no cost. Here’s an example: you can get my entire book, free, illegally, from scribd (URL here, but I’m not linking to it: scribd.com/doc/90301388/On-Linkedin).
Scribd is not a bad-guy site. It’s not some offshore, shady torrent site where you can get anything, pirated, for free.
It’s more of a legitimate, trustworthy site, with real stuff. Like docstoc and many other document sharing sites.
But it was so easy for someone with poor judgement, or no ethics, or who perhaps feels that everything should be free, to post my book in its entirety, to scribd. And I don’t see an easy way for me (or anyone) to say HEY, THIS IS PIRATED! TAKE IT DOWN! No flag button or link.
A couple of years ago, a FENG (The Financial Executives Network Group) member took my ebook and illegally emailed it to the entire FENG email list.
Nice. Thousands of financial executives just got my book for free. Did sales increase? Nope. You’d think financial execs would have more ethics than to let that happen. When I asked the FENG leadership I got an apology, but the damage was done.
I only knew about that because one of my JibberJobber users was on that list, and they forwarded it to me.
As an author, and someone who is trying to earn money, I find the lack of integrity when it comes to stuff like this unsettling.
And that’s why I’m not enthusiastically planning on making 101 Alternatives to a Real Job an ebook.
But then, am I missing out on gobs of sales?
The decision hasn’t been made, but it’s hard to get excited about making a move that could completely wipe out any legitimate sales.
I’d love to know what you think.