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Old 11-20-2009, 06:02 PM   #16
neilmarr
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Thanks, Richard. I hope your move works well. Yup, 'absolutely love' is a bit wild. I do think it would be good thought to allow folks to kind of 'vote with their wallets'.

All our other retailers would charge whatever they see fit, of course, but the income on ebooks bought through out own wee site would be a bit like a free market survey for us ... we'd be able to see from payment on sales what folks really think is good value for the money and precious reading time they've spent.

We can't expect a written review from every reader, so this might be a way of testing the water.

It's just a thought right now, but I know from my experience in restaurants and bars (maybe too much of it) that -- forget the bill -- the measure of my appreciation is shown in the size of my tip: the voluntary payment in return for satisfaction.

On your last point, our main sales are in paperback and the huge majority of out ebooks move through other, bigger, high profile retailers, so the impact on author royalty would be insignificant, using our own site's offers. For the past eight years, for instance, we've pegged ebooks at our site at the equivalent of a single GP£ because we saw them as largely promotional. Income to authors has come from paperback and ebook sales through the big players that account for about 95% of our total sales.

I mean ... who the heck has ever heard of www.bewrite.net? Hoots. Neil
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:55 PM   #17
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I think it might be abused, so suggest you limit it to one or two times. Not across the board.

I know that when I inadvertently downloaded a PDF instead of a EPUB at BooksOnBoard they gave me credit for the purchase.
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:18 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by neilmarr View Post
Good luck with *Treason*, Erwin. Meredith's in Melbourne, Australia, but she spent years researching the book in England. She has a fascinating and entirely new take on the Shakespeare-maligned Richard II. Best wishes. Neil
Hi Neil,

Still owed you a review on Treason.
I see in my post above that the book took me a month to read. Mind you, that wasn't because the book was a bore, but because I spent more time looking up facts with Google than I spent reading the book. For me that's the strength and the weakness of the book. It's so close to history that I kept on wanting to look up persons, dates and places from the book. I don't have to tell you that such a thing ruins the story.....
I truly believe Meredith was much to positive about the role woman played in that time. For instance I really don't believe both Richard and his brother George were that much in love with the Warwick daughters. It was too much a coincidence they both fought over the Warwick estate (which was the richest in England) over the backs of both his daughters.
But all in all I really am glad I read the book. It gives an good insight in an interesting period.
If you like history and medieval stories, this is a recommendable book about the 20 years in history York ruled England.
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Old 12-23-2009, 04:08 PM   #19
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You are 100% oppening yourself up to abuse. Although, the idea is interesting and worth exploring you would need to make sure that your return policy was a bit heafty so as to make abusing the system a bit of work. Generaly people who want to abuse these kinds of things don't want to put any work into it and this would help to atleast syphon some of them out. You may also think about talking to the publishers and making people who wanted a return do a survey as to why they felt the book was bad and work out some sort of deal with the publishers to buy those surveys......just an idea



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Old 12-24-2009, 05:59 AM   #20
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Thanks for the advice folks. We're chewing this over for when we re-jig our own site in January. Will report back.

And thanks, Erwin, for taking the trouble to comment on *Treason*. What I liked about it was the completely new take on Richard II to that we've been spoonfed since Shakespeare. There is, of course, some top-spin ... but that's fiction for ya. Glad you enjoyed it. Want to take a look at *The Playmakers*? That's another 'new take' historical novel, this time about the hapless Shakespeare himself. If anyone would like the PDF version, just drop a line to ntmarrATbewrite.net (use the @ sign).

Have a great holiday folks. Your company this year has been much appreciated. Cheers. Neil
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Old 12-24-2009, 06:16 AM   #21
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Now, what about this...in brick & mortar stores, such as my own computer store, if a person returns an opened piece of hardware, (not defective, just incorrect part) we charge a 20% restocking fee, as now we can only sell the item as 'used', and not get full price for it. Perhaps you could do likewise, helping to defer your costs somewhat? I dunno...just thought I'd bring up another alternative for you to ponder.
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Old 12-24-2009, 06:38 AM   #22
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Hmm ... that's a point, Penny. With ebooks, though, the only loss would be in a little accountancy time. The actual product isn't de-valued by its return or refusal and it doesn't have to be physically re-packed and re-shelved. Cheers. Neil
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Old 12-24-2009, 06:38 AM   #23
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Neil,

This reminds me of a program by the US retailer Kmart. Some of the books they offered had a sticker on the front which said "Kmart Money Back Guaranteed Read on this title. See bookmark for details." On the included bookmark, it said: "Kmart Money Back Guaranteed Read. Kmart guarantees you will love these new books. Choose from our specially marked selection by Future Famous Authors. If you're not completely satisfied with these titles, we will refund your money. If not satisfied, return the book to any Kmart within 60 days, with the original receipt."

As I remember, this program ran for several years during the 1990's (so Kmart must have seen is as at least somewhat successful). For all I know it may still be continuing today (our local Kmart closed several years ago, a victim of Walmart, so I haven't been to a Kmart in perhaps 10 years).

The particular book I got the above quotes from was Douglas Clegg's short story collection "The Nightmare Chronicles", a paperback published in September 1999 by Dorchester. It later picked up a Bram Stoker award.

I bought several titles under Kmart's program; never returned any of them. Found some good authors I may not have discovered otherwise.

This sticker on the book was a positive factor in my purchasing decision at the time. Since I drove past this Kmart on the way to work each day, returning a book would have been trivial for me, much like returning an ebook over the internet. Had the purchase been a print book from, say, Amazon, where I'd have had to repackage the book and send it back, I doubt if it would have had as much of an effect on me.

Of course this is pbooks I'm talking about. It was only offered for certain books, and it was done by a retailer, not a publisher, so it's probably not particularly applicable to your situation.

Oh, and another thing. Judging from a lot of the posts I've seen here on MR, most of the books you sell will go into someone's "To Be Read" pile and never be seen again.
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Old 12-24-2009, 06:44 AM   #24
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The actual product isn't de-valued by its return or refusal and it doesn't have to be physically re-packed and re-shelved.
Of course not, Neil. But it DOES reduce the $ amount you've lost for the return of your book.
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Old 12-24-2009, 07:47 AM   #25
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Points well taken, Penny. All forms of promotion are risky, of course, either in time or money, or both. Interesting to hear of the Kmart scheme, MrSquash. As you say, though, it's much simpler to return an ebook (well, not return, but just ask for money back).

I'm still leaning toward giving the money-back idea a whirl -- I know the value of the books and feel my bets would be well placed. And, remember, the offer could only work at our own wee website (outside retailers wouldn't play), which accounts for only about 10% of our ebook and paperback sales, so it's maybe worth a spin of the wheel if only in market research value. Cheers. Neil
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Old 12-24-2009, 08:56 AM   #26
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I like your idea Neil, it shows a lot of confidence in your books.

I know I would feel better about spontaneous purchases with an offer like this, and I also know that I would never ask for my money back either - not unless the book was absolutely unreadable or full of errors.

There might be people who would abuse this of course, but surely someone who dismisses three books in a row for example could be cut off from the system.

"Absolutely love" is a bit strong, but no one will take it literally I believe, and it sounds nice. And having people who return the book explain why (more eloquently than writing "it sucks" I would hope) then 1)you make sure they don't automatically return the book without giving it a thought and 2)you get some useful feedback you might not get otherwise.

A very nice and bold idea I would love to see succeed.
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Old 12-26-2009, 12:09 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by neilmarr View Post
Thanks for the advice folks. We're chewing this over for when we re-jig our own site in January. Will report back.

And thanks, Erwin, for taking the trouble to comment on *Treason*. What I liked about it was the completely new take on Richard II to that we've been spoonfed since Shakespeare. There is, of course, some top-spin ... but that's fiction for ya. Glad you enjoyed it. Want to take a look at *The Playmakers*? That's another 'new take' historical novel, this time about the hapless Shakespeare himself. If anyone would like the PDF version, just drop a line to ntmarrATbewrite.net (use the @ sign).

Have a great holiday folks. Your company this year has been much appreciated. Cheers. Neil
Neil,

Thanks for the offer. I'll drop in and choose/buy a new book in the near future, probalby from a complete other genre. I'm a diverse reader

p.s One thing I learned from treason, It's Richard III, not Richard II
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Old 12-26-2009, 12:36 PM   #28
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I think this will only be abused by a small set of people. Likely those that would abuse any type of policy. Personally, I've returned plenty of things, but only due to problems with them, not because I disliked them. I'd have to _really_ dislike a book or feel like I was misled by the blurbs to return a book.

I think that you'd likely see more people trying books by new authors or ones they usually wouldn't because of the return policy.

I also do agree that *absolutely love* is a wee bit strong

It's also easy enough to discontinue of it doesn't work.

My $0.02.
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Old 12-26-2009, 02:10 PM   #29
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I have purchased over 200 books for my reader and out of those 200 I'd say there were about 5 I would have returned or traded for another book. Just like anything else, if the opportunity is there to abuse the system, it will happen. All of the books I have bought and hated were bought b/c of misleading blurbs. I would have that as a policy; the whole trade in/exchange idea is good (providing it has limitations). I would also make the first 10 pages available to read as an excerpt. That way, you might get fewer exchanges or returns if the return excuse isn't. "I couldn't even read the first couple of pages, how did I know I wasn't going to like it..."
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:55 AM   #30
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I think it's a naive business proposition. What's wrong with letting people download a few chapters before they buy? If they like the book they will want to know how it ends and can buy the rest. It's honest to your customers and honest to you. In Holland we would call your business model: binding the kat to the bacon. Can't blame the cat for eating it!
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