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Old 02-03-2010, 04:53 PM   #76
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I don't mind ads at the back of a book for other books, I just won't see them. It annoys me when there are excerpts of the next book in the series at the end of a book, because it messes with my perception of how far through the current book I am.

However, both of those I could live with as they are easy to remove. Anything more than that and I will get it for free - either because that is the offer price, or through other means. In the other means category, I don't expect I would feel any moral issues, as the advert had better be paying the author for lost sales. The ads will still be stripped, obviously.

This presupposes a format that can be edited. If the book is only available in a format that can't be opened and edited then ads are pretty much a no go, unfortunately. (Probably would live with the book ad at the end in this scenario, without too much worry).
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:53 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
I strongly suspect you'd find that, for the benefit of a free or very inexpensive e-book, the number of people who will simply roll with the ads--just as they roll with TV commercials and previews at the beginning of a movie--will far outnumber those who go through the trouble of applying scripts and stripping out ads (despite the opinions of many folk on this site).

It's part of the equation of ad placement: There are always a percentage of people who ignore them, or leave the room when they are on; but the majority of people just stay and watch, ignore the ads they are not interested in, and pay attention to the ads they are interested in, depending on the quality of the ad. It's not rocket science... it's ad science. And judging by how long this particular science has been successfully practiced, I think it's safe to say that they'd figure out how to make it work.
This is pretty much what I was thinking but, harking back to your earlier post about the fears of 'horrible' ads, I'd say that'll likely be somewhat like TV ads, too. That is, some shows seem to have such horrible ads that I never watch them (that particularly included shows with 'Billy Mays' ads). That doesn't really seem to have changed over time, so I suspect it'll be the same with ebooks. Some will have such horrible ads that you'll avoid them (hopefully they'll be like TV shows, i.e. an entire line will have the same ads-otherwise it'll be like sports where you need to watch the show to tell whether or not you want to watch the show) and others will be non-objectionable.

Considering that spammers still find their trade profitable, I think there are really so many gullible fools out there that even the most outrageous ads will be somewhat effective. My hope, though, is that they'll be less effective than 'responsible' advertising. Not sure how that'll go though-so far it seems pretty much undecided on TV.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:47 AM   #78
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Billy Mays... heh... we always laughed at and made fun of his ads. They were part of the entertainment...

TV is significantly different from e-books in that it gets more "eyeballs," so they go all-out and spend the big bucks for ads that attract viewers. E-books should be spared such attention and lavish effort (and also won't see similar revenues, except possibly with big name bestsellers).

Spam ads are a danger, just as they are with websites. Most of them only pop up on less-reputable sites now, whereas most reputable sites make an effort to screen them out. Hopefully author/publishers, concerned about their own reps, would take the same precautions (I know I wouldn't just accept anyone's ad, or money, without vetting it first).

Less rep-concerned authors/publishers (porn, etc) might be less discerning, as they are usually in it just for the money, and not too concerned about other issues like credibility... and their customers are too interested in the content to care... but even they could end up losing if too many people fall to viruses spread by their books/sites, and word gets out.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:54 AM   #79
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Maybe the question should be asked

Okay, here's a supposition: Suppose your favorite author was releasing an e-book, totally free, that contained:
  • ads that were fairly unobtrusive (definition: easily ignored), at the back of the book, maybe after an occasional few chapters, a half-dozen or so total
  • unobtrusive product placement (product names, no slogans)

Would you download that e-book?

Same question, if the book cost up to one dollar.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:56 AM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
Okay, here's a supposition: Suppose your favorite author was releasing an e-book, totally free, that contained:
  • ads that were fairly unobtrusive (definition: easily ignored), at the back of the book, maybe after an occasional few chapters, a half-dozen or so total
  • unobtrusive product placement (product names, no slogans)

Would you download that e-book?

Same question, if the book cost up to one dollar.
Ads, sure. Product placement, no-although in a modern-day set novel, I guess we wouldn't know for sure? (to both free and a dollar)
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:04 AM   #81
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Wowio tried ad supported ebooks and had to go to a pay model. I honestly don't see how an ebook could be free with ads but if it were 75% less and the ads weren't too obtrusive I would probably buy an ad supported ebook.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:54 AM   #82
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Product placements vary in how they're done. When someone in a movie picks up a can of Coke, that's one thing, when everyone at the table picks it making sure that their fingers don't actually wrap around the can so that the primary logo, facing right at the screen, is clearly legible, EVERY TIME, it's intrusive.

In a book, I find it equally frustrating when authors go out of their way to avoid mention of something that would otherwise add detail and realism to the writing. Constantly referring to "cola" is one thing, but saying, "...ordered a Coke" might add insight to the character (remember the Laverne Pepsi/Coke stuff )...but also sounds more natural. If the author goes crazy with it though, "...ordered a cool, relaxing, and refreshing Coke, and felt the urge to teach the world to sing..." it's going a bit far.

(Perhaps this pop/cola/Coke thing is an regional issue though... http://popvssoda.com:2998/ )
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:59 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
Okay, here's a supposition: Suppose your favorite author was releasing an e-book, totally free, that contained:
  • ads that were fairly unobtrusive (definition: easily ignored), at the back of the book, maybe after an occasional few chapters, a half-dozen or so total
  • unobtrusive product placement (product names, no slogans)

Would you download that e-book?

Same question, if the book cost up to one dollar.
Definitely in both situations. I support the author and his body of work. A little inconvenience and a little cost will not deter me from enjoying his endeavors.

That is the thing I see about advertising. Right now Free means exactly that, Free. Unfortunately, that means that there is no incentive for authors to do the work. They should be paid for their endeavors. I think an advertised entry market would be a great vehicle for new and obscure authors to get their material read while still putting food on the table. With sales and feedback from the use of the advertising, those authors would have a tool to leverage for better non-advertised supported releases in the future.

As long as I see the value in someone's work, I do not have a problem with paying retail prices for eBooks. An advertisement supported model would increase the number of authors I could afford to enjoy.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:11 AM   #84
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J.A. Konrath summed up a model that would work well for him in his blog...

http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2010/01/booty-call.html
http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2009/1...ublishing.html

What I appreciate is that he's working for a realistic solid middle-class living to support himself - not a bloated infrastructure above him. He's also basing his decisions on reality (the situation that actually exists) as opposed to some idealized state that doesn't actually exist.

He also bases things on real-world numbers.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:39 AM   #85
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Also worth noting: His disclaimer (Your mileage may vary). Konrath comes from the perspective of an established author with publisher-promoted books out in the wild. His already-established renown has an impact on how well those strategies work, including the ad-based strategy.

IOW, where he may get fifteen ads in a book, paying out at 2 cents per view, and potentially netting him thousands, a relative unknown should not expect similar numbers.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:48 AM   #86
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Of course not - not everyone can start off at the top

BUT...if people are showing downloads of their short stories, first book, etc., in large enough numbers, the advertisers will come. Look at google's word-based advertising model, or any other of the many sites out there with ads. They start small, show good numbers, and increase their advertising sales (and, usually, the usage of adblocker ).
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Old 02-05-2010, 11:19 PM   #87
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Old 02-06-2010, 06:17 AM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
Okay, here's a supposition: Suppose your favorite author was releasing an e-book, totally free, that contained:
  • ads that were fairly unobtrusive (definition: easily ignored), at the back of the book, maybe after an occasional few chapters, a half-dozen or so total
  • unobtrusive product placement (product names, no slogans)

Would you download that e-book?
Of course, and it wouldn't matter anything about ads, because my list of favourite authors has hundreds names on it, and books I download wait years on my hard drive before I get around to read them.

It's just one click when it's free.

Quote:
Same question, if the book cost up to one dollar.
No way, and no matter if it costs a dollar or 10 dollars. It's at least 10 clicks and probably inputting some passwords as well. I have no time for this.
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:40 AM   #89
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I probably wouldn't recognize product placement anyways

I'd buy cheaper books with ads. But, I think this will cause geographic problems. What use are american adverts when I read the book in Austria?
There'd be a whole new "regionizing" thing going on which would be even more a pain in the neck than the georestrictions currently are.
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Old 02-06-2010, 09:26 AM   #90
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I have no issue with ads in principal - it works for all other forms of media.

There are a number of ways that publishers and authors can use advertising to cover some (or even all) of the cost of a book.

Certain non-fiction books would even be enhanced by ads, such as hyperlinks, recommendations, etc. Most websites and blogs work that way already.

Publishers can place ads on their website and point of sale - 'This ebook is brought to you by...', etc. The ads for other books by the same (or similar) author that have been in paper books forever would work.

Mobile phone apps often have a free version with ads and an ad-free version that costs money. I don't see any reason that ebooks can't use a similar scheme.

If you combine all the different types of ads I think the publishers can recoup a lot of their costs without actually intruding on the text of a book.

I'd like to see very cheap ebooks ($5?) subsidised by advertisements (within reason) with the alternative to pay more ($10-$15) for the ad-free edition.

Technology, especially always-connected reading devices can make advertisements targeted and up-to-date. Online I see ads that are localised to me (well, actually they think I'm on the other side of the country due to the way my ISP channels my data...).

I think there are 2 opinions on this:
(1) Ads are 100% bad and I won't buy books with ads
(2) Ads are OK (depending on how intrusive they are if the books are priced accordingly)

I think opinion 1 is unrealistic and/or unreasonable.

The publishers and their customers will reach a balance eventually. I can't see authors or readers accepting intrusive ads during the narrative of a novel. Are ads between chapters OK? I think I wouldn't mind too much if there was a short note after every 2nd chapter or something. I have no problem with ads at the point of sale or at the front or back of a book.
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