Free on Your Website, Charge on Amazon-An eBook Publishing Strategy for Businesses

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Free on Your Website, Charge on Amazon-An eBook Publishing Strategy for Businesses

Free on Your Website, Charge on Amazon-An eBook Publishing Strategy for Businesses, a contradiction?
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One thing that the eBook publishing revolution has brought us is the ability for any rights holder—businesses, universities, associations, museums, teams, etc—to offer eBook formatted information to the public. At the same time it doesn’t mean that you need to charge for it. As I’ve talked about before some businesses provide their information in these formats strictly for customer convenience.

But simultaneously charging and giving away is different because the goals of revenue and promotion are in direct conflict with each other. Can you have it both ways? Do publishers actually do this?

This was a key topic in my Tuesday presentation Why Barry Diller, NBC and Google are Investing in eBooks. It turns out that this practice is not uncommon and I’ll explain why.

McKinsey & Company Insights and Publications-Investing in Growth, Europe's Next Challenge

McKinsey & Company Insights and Publications-Investing in Growth, Europe's Next Challenge

As you see in these screen clips from Amazon.com and McKinsey's own website, McKinsey & Company offers the same Insights and Publications information on Amazon as they do for “free” on their website. It’s a practice they have been employing for almost two years now.

I think this makes sense for organizations for three reasons.

  1. 30% of all product searches begin with Amazon. Synonymous with books, I call Amazon the Google of information products. Chances are that the audience for your information will likely find it on Amazon well before they’d ever find it on your website. That makes Amazon a marketing tool for your information product.
  2. Most organizations that produce content to give away do so with the explicit goal of generating a lead. Give me your email address and I’ll give you my valuable information is the quid pro quo. Of course some people don’t like sharing their email and/or prefer to remain anonymous (competitors?). Buying from Amazon protects their anonymity.
  3. For many people it is just plain more convenient. For a few dollars I can put your information in my Amazon Kindle account where I can push it to any device I own. It is permanently archived as are all my notes and highlights. If I download the same file from your site I need to manually transfer the file to my Kindle reading device. Most people find this confusing and time consuming.

Helping organizations plan and develop eBook publishing strategies is my specialty. I work with you to identify high-value information and then our team prepares and distributes your eBook information products in way that satisfies your business objectives. We also partner with organizations as co-publisher.

Contact us for more information.

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