My husband and I are chess coaches, specializing in teaching children. We recently started a new business (Your Chess Coach) and are building a website where we plan to sell lessons designed to help parents teach a very young child.
This is one in Minutecoach’s LinkedIn Q&A Best Answers series, widened out and rewritten for those not on LinkedIn. If you’d like to read the original, you can use the link at the end of the article.
People see your e-book before they print it
Constructing an e-book from poor fonts with poor typography and layout, ‘Hi there!’ language, and liberal up-selling of other products practically guarantees your e-book will be printed on economy, stapled together and stuffed in a drawer.
You could go for something with creative, high quality typography and layout, a conversation rather than pushy conversion, something to print on nicer paper and clip into a folder, or clip to the fridge with a magnet.
Still, why bother? I hear you say. Unless you are viewing exposure as your goal, and you have other stuff to sell, you want people to pay for and download their own copy. The point is that many e-books will do the rounds passed person to person, whereas the thing you want passing person to person is the recommendation and a link.
Our original answer suggested ignoring copy protection issues other than at the download site, where one could use e-junkie and serial numbers. You have to be realistic and realise that your e-book will be printed and photocopied, scanned and emailed by ‘liberators’ if you overprice, or if you underprice… all part of perceived value. You may be far better to make the copy highly personalised, so there is disincentive to pass the e-book rather than pass the link, because of an enhanced sense of ownership. Then quality of design matters, because nobody wants their monogram on poor looking product.
You could do this personalisation by having a ‘club’ application form that collects data such as first name, male or female, age, favorite color, etc. and then processes that data through an XSLT stylesheet to generate a personalised Microsoft Word or pdf document download, all styled up. One program to help you do this is EZxslt, it can be used without great technical prowess.
So, personalisation done. When a friend’s daughter gets her copy, with tips and asides “Laura, if you are finding it hard to remember how the knight moves, remember, it always ends up on the opposite color it starts from…” and with “Laura, Guess What?!” “Judit Polgar won the ____ when she was only eight years older than you!”… rather than a generic, cheery, patronising “Did you know?…” Well, guess what? Having seen that copy on the fridge, just give me the address, I’ll go get my own. My son also wants to learn chess, play guitar, make paper aeroplanes etc. too — but with his own copy, thank you very much.
For the original question it was suggested that pricing above certain levels might need family justification, consequently requiring more effort in persuasion. Whatever your e-book proposition, perceived value is the area to concentrate on because that’s where the risk of non purchase is. Personalisation could help with improving this, and could set your range of products apart from others’ similar offerings.