Thursday, December 08, 2011

Book Marketing Makeover: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Ebooks, and Should You Go Digital Only?

You remember the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang starring Dick Van Dyke and Sally Ann Howes? You know, the one with the magical car that could also float and fly? Still one of my all-time favorite movies.

In that movie there was a creepy character called the Child Catcher, whose job it was to capture kids because they were banned in the mythical land of Vulgaria. In one particular scene he is attempting to lure out two children who are hiding by bribing them with treats and in the course of his efforts he utters the line “All free today.” So naturally, the children are captured and hauled off to be imprisoned in the castle.

“All free today.” That’s kind of like the promise made by those who urge authors to do only ebooks and deliver all of their information products digitally. No production costs, no graphics design costs, no shipping costs. All free today, right?

Well maybe, maybe not.

If you’re a book marketer, there will be some segment of your potential market that definitely wants the immediate gratification of digital delivery. And the lower prices that go along with it. And since you’ve avoided those printing, graphics and shipping costs, you may feel like you’re getting something for free.

But what portion of your potential market prefers the tangible? How many want to hold in their hands your actual printed book? Who want to curl up on the couch and read an actual book, not a Kindle or other e-reader?

Remember, it’s about maximum total profit. If you have a number of people who will not buy your book because they don’t want digital only delivery then your profit per unit sold may be less but your total overall profits may be greater.

Don’t assume that digital only is the way to go. Make sure you know your market and test to see which gets you get greater overall profit.

“All free today.” Those words keep coming back to me. Be careful to not get blindly lured into the digital only world without doing your homework first.

About the Author

Bret Ridgway is co-founder of Speaker Fulfillment Services, a company that provides product duplication and fulfillment for authors, speakers and information marketers. For more info visit

Note from John Kremer: SFS is the company than handles by book fulfillment. Good people to work with. Fast and responsive.


Special Book Marketing Makeover offer: 40% off book marketing and ebook promotion consulting with John Kremer, author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. Order here:
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