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Erastes [userpic]

Promo in ebooks—a rantette

August 13th, 2012 (03:00 pm)

Firstly, I think publishers underuse the promotional capability of ebooks, but that’s up to them. It seems an ideal place to link to books and videos and goodness knows what, it surprises me how many don’t.

Secondly, I get sick and tired of chapters not being put at the beginning of an ebook, and if they are – they aren’t LINKED – what’s with that?  Who wants to hit “page forward” sixty times, looking for the last place you were at, or if you want to read a particular chapter again?

Thirdly, PUBLISHERS. PLEASE PUT YOUR PROMO NEWSLETTERS and letters of thanks and letters regarding piracy and gawd knows what fucking else AT THE END OF THE BOOK. The amount of persiflage I have to get through to find the start of books sometimes reminds me of this wonderful Danny Kaye moment.


Posted by: Storm Moon (moons_storm)
Posted at: August 13th, 2012 04:38 pm (UTC)
Black - Ink and Quill

Where I have seen publishers advertising in ebooks, I've also seen authors complaining about it. It seems they don't like the idea of their book being a vehicle for selling another person's book. (Though, quite frankly, that's how it's been in print books since I began reading them 30 years ago.) SMP keeps the advertisements out because we just don't think readers want a bloated ebook with advertisements at the end or whatnot.

Also, publishers are putting their newsletters at the front of their books? That's just... strange. XD

Posted by: Erastes (erastes)
Posted at: August 13th, 2012 05:04 pm (UTC)

How can an ebook be bloated? And yes, i've always been used to books being used to sell books. Puffins (Penguins for kids) used to have order forms at the back which you could rip out and post off for new books! In this digital age, it's bonkers not to take advantage of the technology. It should be in the author's contract, if they don't like it, and start to complain about it at proof level.

Posted by: m_barnette (m_barnette)
Posted at: August 13th, 2012 09:17 pm (UTC)

Putting those blurbs for books by the same author, or books from authors writing in the same genre, DOES sell copies. If it didn't print publishers wouldn't have been doing it for decades.

Like Erastes I don't understand what you mean by a 'bloated ebook' since it isn't going to take up a significantly larger space on any device.

Posted by: Storm Moon (moons_storm)
Posted at: August 13th, 2012 09:21 pm (UTC)

By adding in advertising, it can artificially inflate a word or page count. As many readers base their buying on the posted word or page counts, giving a false idea of either can tick some readers off. And not every retailer allows me to state the true word or page count, their software does that itself from the files I upload.

I'm not saying the ads don't sell other books. I know they do. Growing up, that's how I wound up buying a lot of the young adult novels I did, and it's how my mum wound up buying a lot of her Harlequins. I'm merely saying that some authors are affronted when their books are used to sell other books not by them. I've seen the ticked off blog posts where they feel they should get some sort of kickback for the ads in their books. I disagree, though. :)

Posted by: m_barnette (m_barnette)
Posted at: August 13th, 2012 09:05 pm (UTC)

I've never had an author complain about blurbs or excerpts being included for other authors at the end of their books.

Some readers seem to think that they're 'paying for the ads' when a publisher does this. I don't know how other publishers do added promotional pages, but when I add them to Shadowfire Press titles the only thing the reader is paying for is the story, not the total page count of the book. Otherwise I'd be charging them for the cover, copyright and other informational pages like the author bio. Of course book readers have been paying for ads for decades in print format--where the cost of a book is based on total pages printed, including ads--but readers don't seem to understand that fact.

Statements about not pirating typically should be nothing more than a paragraph or so on the copyright page.

Newsletters in books? Really?

Posted by: Storm Moon (moons_storm)
Posted at: August 13th, 2012 09:22 pm (UTC)
I Sold My Soul

I've seen whole pages devoted to the 'Don't pirate this book'. Insane. :)

Posted by: lee_rowan (lee_rowan)
Posted at: August 14th, 2012 08:00 pm (UTC)

I'm reading some books for the Rainbow Awards, and the one I'm on now actually started on PAGE 17... after a bunch of notices, a blurb that really didn't make me want to read on, several blank pages,(what is the point, in an e-book, of BLANKS? There is no back-of-facing-page issue) and a whole page of acknowledgements from the author. You'd think the person was receiving a Pulitzer, which, believe me, is not going to happen.

What this does is make me note the publisher and decide I'm not going to buy from them unless the book is by an author I know is good. Which may mean I miss some good books (not likely, I check the reviewers whose taste I share) but it will certainly mean loss of sales for the publisher.

Ads are FINE... especially for an author's other work. But let me decide if I want to read this book first, please. If it weren't for the promise to read this critter, I'd have stopped after the awards ceremony speech.

Posted by: Erastes (erastes)
Posted at: August 14th, 2012 08:22 pm (UTC)

Exactly. I can put up with a couple of pages of legal stuff (even though some of that is getting stupid, e.g. listing every actual product in the book like KY Jelly and Babe Ruths - but not 20 or so pages of newsletters, disclaimers, coming soons and god knows what else.

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