Placing Ads in eBooks

Some experts predict that ebooks will someday be free to consumers because ads will be placed within the content to support publication. The ads will generate the revenue, while readers reap the benefit of free books.

Interestingly, most modern publishing contracts state that publishers may not sell advertising with their books. This restriction appeared in the early 1970s, when cigarette companies started buying insert ads in paperbacks. Authors objected. In time, advertising restrictions became standard clauses in publishing contracts.

Advertising in ebooks may indeed be a new way for publishers to increase their profits from ebooks, if authors begin to agree to ad placement. If you are interested in placing ads in your ebooks, watch this video showing seven ways you can feature ads in an ebook.

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Ad Supported eBooks

Everyone would rather have a free ebook than pay for one. But, would you rather have a free ebook that comes with ads over paying for an ebook that has no ads?

eBookPlus recently conducted a study among 5,000 people in the United States and the United Kingdom. It looked at this question. Here is what the survey showed for U.S. readers:

  • 45.7% of readers would prefer free ebooks with advertising (in the form of a 15-second pre-roll at the beginning of chapters)
  • 20.8% prefer to pay $0.99 for an e-book without advertising
  • 9.1% would pay up to $2.99 for a version without advertising
  • 10.3% would pay up to $19.90 for a version without advertising
  • 14.1% prefer to download a pirate version

Interestingly, the company that conducted the survey is in the business of providing free ebooks to readers. However, to make the ebooks free, these ebooks contain advertisements. The CEO, Leo Mark, of eBookPlus believes that people are used to free content on the Internet, much of which is accompanied by ads. In addition, people don’t want to pay for something that does not belong to them. Since ebooks cannot be resold or given away, the reader is only paying for the right to read them, not own them.

What do you think? Would you offer your ebooks with advertisements so that readers could download them for free?

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National Day of the Bible

Today is National Day of the Bible.

The Bible has often been called “The Best-Selling Book of All Time.” It has undoubtedly sold more copies over the many years it has been in print than any other book. It is believed to have sold well over 6 billion copies.

In honor of National Day of the Bible, the National Bible Association is asking that people gather at noon today in a public square or public building and read out loud a section of scripture, no more than about 15 verses in length.

Since my blog is a public place on the Internet, I have chosen to post 15 verses in honor of National Day of the Bible today. These verses come from the 1984 edition of the New International Version of the Bible.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.                                                                                   ~I John 4:7-21

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The Bell Curve and Books

I believe most things in life can easily fit into the classic bell shaped curve. For those of you unfamiliar with the bell curve, it is the graph used to depict a normal distribution in statistics. The top of the curve represents the most probable event. All possible occurrences are equally distributed around the most probable event, creating a downward sloping line on each side of the peak.

I think of the bell curve as representing excellent, mediocre, and awful with mediocre being the peak of the curve. Take foods for instance. Most fall into the “good” range, a few are “awful”, and a few are really “excellent.” The same can be said about cars. The majority of cars are nice, a few are awful (also called lemons), and a few are exceptional vehicles (generally priced above the average person’s ability to own).

I believe that books also fall into the bell curve distribution. Whether published by a large publishing house, a small publisher, or an independently published author, most published books fall under the “good” category. These books are good, but for the purposes of today’s rant, I will call them mediocre. There is nothing exceptional about them that stands out and really grabs my attention. Yes, they make a good read, but they don’t necessarily grab me and create an emotional response. A few fall into the “awful” category. These are books that really should never have been published. Then there are the few that fall into the “exceptional” category.

Since I read a lot of books, I read a lot of good, but mediocre books. Every so often, I come across an exceptional book. I love it when this happens.

I just finished reading one of those “exceptional” books. I think what makes this book exceptional is both the subject matter and some of the incredibly profound prose. The book I am speaking of is God’s Healing for Life’s Losses by Robert W. Kellemen, Ph.D. Here are a few phrases from the book that really caught my attention.

“Our world is fallen, and it often falls on us.”

“Hurt is normal, and grieving is necessary.”

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick. Hope hoped for, received, then lost again, makes the heart deathly ill.”

I believe the bell curve is a result of our fallen world. God’s economy should host an exponential curve where things just keep getting better and better. I can’t wait for that.

In the meantime, in this fallen world, I urge you to strive to produce exceptional books that reflect God’s glory. Remember, the books in my bell shaped curve may be distributed differently from those in my neighbor’s. A well-written book, with good editing, a pleasing layout, and a message from the heart of God may not always be exceptional to the masses, but will be for those few who really need to hear the book’s particular message.

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