Originally Posted by Freeshadow
Not that I'm wishing to deny Joe & Jane Average the comfort and simplification of a lot of everyday tasks computers (esp. the net - connected ones) provide; but - don't you too wish back the days when only people willing to learn how to use them posessed PCs?
I admit I noticed a raising ahm (how to name it?) dumbification of the average user... but what you report is simply hair raising and let's face it - sad.
Well, obviously....the poser is that my company literally wouldn't exist without these same people. If the entire world were made up of MR'ers, I'd have no ebook-making biz, would I? But, that being said....my house had the 18th Internet connection in my city (a large city of over 2million people at the time, in the early 90's, I think it was?). Literally, we had a customer number of 000018, LOL!, back in the day. I do remember the more academic days with some fondness, when you had to know the command line and at least Archie, Gopher, etc. And I admit, I get a little gobsmacked when we get clients that can't log in, or download files and the like. Especially when I walk them through it on the phone for (not making this up, in the case of one very nice man) the 10th time.
As I said, it's my single biggest cost item (unrelated directly to the making of the books themselves)--the tech support of the clientele, which isn't even really included in my services (pricing), because clients think we're
giving them s**te instructions, or my videos are bad
, my Prod. Mgr's emails aren't clear, or the goblins come and take files in the night...I wish I had a place I could post some of the things that get said without risking offending my clients, but...man. It's incredibly time-consuming and can be remarkably frustrating. For any author who is still a relative unknown, and cannot afford to hire someone full-time to provide CSR, I'd strongly recommend biting the bullet, using the available retailers, pay the piper and let them deal with the tech-support and customer service. When you're King or Brown or Hamilton or whomever floats your boat, you can let some other person deal with downloads, LOL!
Honestly, I cannot stress this enough
. I think one
author working here one
day-just one, any
one--would change their mind about selling books from their own website (other than links TO the retailers, which I heartily endorse) before the day was out
. Think about numbers when you think about Amazon's measly percentage. How many books would you have to sell to pay for a near full-time (or even half-time) person to answer the phone, emails, tweets, etc., about how to download books?
On the other hand, I'm all for self-experimentation. When we get emails from prospective clients complaining about pricing, I strongly encourage them to "give conversion a go" themselves, and if it works out, great. If not, they know where to find us. We get a shockingly high number of return clients from this approach. But who knows? Maybe the OP loves to talk to people, and would actually enjoy providing this level of service. I don't mind providing it, itself, in that I get to talk to a lot of lovely people, but....it absolutely makes a very real dent in my annual profit statements. A LARGE dent.