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Old 03-01-2013, 01:57 PM   #16
CWatkinsNash
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
The sample chapters may not be "freebies" in the fullest sense but they are downloads and most sites generally count trial games and samples as downloads for the purpose of calculating conversion ratios.
Anyone know if Amazon counts the "Look Inside" feature the same way as sample downloads? I often do that instead, if I sample at all, because it's faster. I'm just curious if it gets calculated the same way.

Even if I could see how many books I've sampled, it wouldn't be an accurate picture because I often sample reasons that have nothing to do with book shopping - comparing or verifying edition info, morbid curiosity, etc.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:57 PM   #17
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100 to 1 sounds ridiculously high to me as well. I don't browse or download sample chapters, so my ratio is very close to 1, with exceptions made for public domain works.

An informal poll of the people I know who do a lot of e-reading shows that they act fairly similarly. Almost no freebies.
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:47 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
The sample chapters may not be "freebies" in the fullest sense but they are downloads and most sites generally count trial games and samples as downloads for the purpose of calculating conversion ratios.
Oh, I don't doubt that samples are counted in this regard. I just don't like it.

But like I said, I still factored them into my response. I only download samples if the price seems exorbitantly high for something I'm just not sure of. But most of the time, I'm pretty sure of the stuff I purchase. So I stand by my 5 purchases for every freebie downloaded.

I'm not much for downloading/purchasing something I'm not ready to begin reading immediately. I don't really have a TBR pile. I like to "wing it." It seems that most of the works that catch my attention have a price tag.

(not that I think I represent the average, by any means)
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:07 PM   #19
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I, too, downloaded quite a few free ebooks from Amazon back when they first started appearing. I trashed most of them, and now it's extremely rare for me to download a freebie.
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:21 PM   #20
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:31 PM   #21
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I confused myself reading the comments. Do you want us to count online read samples but not downloaded? Public domain titles as free? Library ebooks?

And what of those titles I abandoned?
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:01 PM   #22
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I'm a terrible ebook hoarder. I have bought a ton of free ebooks, and have probably read less than one percent of them.

I occasionally read some of the sample before deciding if I want to buy a free book, but most of the time I'm in a hurry and just download it and figure that if I ever get around to reading it, I can just delete it if I don't like it.

I do try to put it into an appropriate category though so I can find the promising ones later.

Often I buy a questionable freebie just so that I don't have to waste my time again in the future reading the description and trying to figure out if it's worth buying.

If the reviews were dependable, I probably wouldn't do this as much, but they are mostly worthless at this point.

I do try to make more of an effort to add an unbiased review when I do finally get around to reading something. (Especially if a book seems to have a lot of fake reviews.)

Quote:
Odds are it is equally valid. At the very least. Once you factor hoaders (and the fact that the ratio includes samples) I wouldn't be shocked if Amazon came out and said it is 200-300 to 1. (Might be one of the reasons for the pressure on the pure free ebook sites.)

The thing is, there are many authors and publishers from the traditionalist world who don't get the difference beween hoarding and reading and see every unpaid download (whether from an ebookstore or... elsewhere) as a guaranteed lost sale. And similarly assume that every ibrary checkout is displacing a guaranteed sale.

Having a rational discussion on those subject requires credible, commonly accepted metrics. So far it looks like 1% might be a good starting point as long as its understood that it is an average.
That is so true. Pretty much none of the books I've bought for free or borrowed from the library were lost sales. I was never going to buy it if I didn't have free access.

I used to buy a lot of books when I was younger, but I mainly either read all or part of a book and was disappointed or otherwise never got around to reading them at all. There were only a small number that I read cover to cover and felt good about the purchase. I think it is largely because of this that I don't buy many paid books any more.

I recently moved and donated about twenty large bags and boxes of books to the library store. I also sent a number away to be scanned in hopes that I will find that more convenient and actually read a small percentage of the books I bought over the years now that they're in ebook form.

When I first got my Kindle I did buy some non-free books... but then I put myself on restriction - I can't buy another paid ebook until I read all the non-free ebooks I already bought, and I'm not even close to that point.
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:06 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fbone View Post
I confused myself reading the comments. Do you want us to count online read samples but not downloaded? Public domain titles as free? Library ebooks?

And what of those titles I abandoned?
The question is ebookstore downloaded files: free vs paid and of those downloaded how many read.
Abandoned? Well, partial reads are reads, no?

Last edited by fjtorres; 03-01-2013 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:08 PM   #24
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ebookstore free downloads 296 (read 6)
ebookstore paid 11 (read 8)
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:10 PM   #25
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Hmm... Lets see, I have here a $12 ebook of unknown value to me, on the one hand and
a $0 ebook of unknown value to me, on the other hand - Which should I download?

"This looks like it might be interesting but I don't know - Ah what the heck, it's only $2.99" or "What the heck it's free."

"I don't usually read this kind of book but I could give it a try, since it won't cost me
anything."

Luck;
Ken
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:17 AM   #26
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I'm not sure how to answer this. I download any freebie that looks interesting to me (I do read a few sample pages to make sure that it isn't in the the worst-book-ever-written category, particularly in terms of spelling, word choice, and grammar) and add it to my TBR pile. The problem is that books get added to that pile faster than I can read them. I average three to four 400-page novels a week, but find I frequently add several times that number to the TBR pile.

The other complication is that if I download and read Joe Blow's 800-page masterpiece and like it, I immediately go buy Joe Blow's other volumes and read them, before I return to my TBR pile.

I have every intention of reading every book I have downloaded. Whether I will reamins to be seen.

I suspect that for every 100 books I download, I actually read 50, a 2:1, download-to-read ratio, and I am aiming for 1:1.
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Old 03-02-2013, 05:16 AM   #27
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My conversion rate for paid books is probably still only about 1 in 5 a the moment. I guess no one cares about that if they've already got my money, though. (It is the reason I prefer the prices to be low, though.)

Of the hundreds of freebies I've downloaded, I've read almost none, so my conversion rate is likely less than 1%, which doesn't sound like a terrible ratio to me anyway. These are mostly just speculative downloads, and since I still have 80% of my paid downloads to read, when am I going to get to them?

I used samples a fair bit when I first got my kindle, but nowadays I'm really not short of reading material, so I don't often bother. The main reason I get a sample now is to take a look at the table of contents and see what's actually in it.

I am kind of saturated with freebies. About half of the ones I now download are later books in series I was already collecting (if not actually reading), and I'm much more choosy about the rest.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:52 AM   #28
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According to calibre since 1-mar-2012, I've acquired 176 new books. I've read 48. (3.7:1)
There were 28 free books and I've read 5 of those (5.6:1).

I was trying to get my buy:read ratio closer to 1:1 but I guess I'm still struggling with that. I'm surprised the free count is as high as it is.

FWIW I don't do samples. If a book looks interesting I'll get it. Reading a chapter or two to then give up seems like a waste to me.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:20 AM   #29
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Considering that I pick up new freebies almost every day my ratio of free vs bought is pretty low according to Calibre. Looks like somewhere between 8:1 and 9:1.

Of course, most of my purchases are in the 0.99 to 2.99 range, but still - I expected something a bit higher.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:07 AM   #30
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Until I got my Kindle I very rarely bought books and borrowed from the library regularly instead. So while my freebie/buy ratio is probably quite low (or high depending which way you look at it), it's a lot more than it used to be.

I agree that 100 to 1 is a crazy figure though, but then I guess that takes into account the fact that a lot of people download tons of free books just because they are free? I don't, I only download the ones I am likely to read as I plan to read them all eventually. I try and read a couple of free books for every paid book I read, often more if I get a run of good freebies. The only difference is I'm much more likely to give up on a freebie book if I'm not enjoying it.

Anyway, to cut a long story short! I bought a load of books to start with, and didn't really know about the amount of freebies available, but I've ignored that initial period, so my figures are roughly.

Freebie/bought ratio is probably 20:1.
While for freebies my download/read ratio is probably 8:1.

Last edited by soulfuldog; 03-04-2013 at 08:11 AM.
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