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This would suggest that purchasing directly from author or publisher is a risky business, but I’m not going to go that far. I will go so far as to say that I would only be confident if a click on ‘Buy Me’ button led to a Clickbank (or similar) secure purchase facility with an ‘enforceable’ guarantee of satisfaction.
As I’ve said, there are all kinds of ebooks about all kinds of topics. Some are nothing more than a promotional catalogue for a given product or website. Others are simply a means to get others to sign up for myriad of lists and/or facilities, which are available. Some affiliates attempt to extend their downlines by supplying free ebooks with links to their many programs. Needless to say, these types of ebooks shouldn’t be charged for at all.
Apart from actually reviewing an ebook, there is no way to ascertain whether actual content is of value or worth what is being asked. In fact, as we all have different needs and different expectations, opinions would vary somewhat anyway. But of course, ‘money back’ guarantee would seem to negate this particular concern - if you’re not satisfied, get your money back.
There is one final consideration, which I think is important in determining value and quality of an ebook and also seriousness of author (or publisher). The way in which ebook is presented and program used to enable it to be viewed by those who access it. A number of ‘ebook compilers’ are nothing more than ‘offline browsers’. They are simply a series of web pages linked together and packaged as an ebook. Some can’t even be viewed without a browser like Internet Explorer®.
My feeling is that an author who ‘loves’ his/her book (and every author should consider their creation as a child) should only be satisfied with presenting it in best possible way. ‘3D Page Turning’ technology has been available for a few years but has come into it’s own in last twelve months. The programs needed to publish in this format are more expensive than your ‘offline browsers’ but finished product is in every respect a ‘virtual book’.
You open book at cover and you turn pages (and see them turning) as in a real book. The pages and text look every bit like a real book. In every sense (other than reality itself) you get a ‘virtual’ or ‘e’ book’. It is just my opinion and it doesn’t have any ‘real’ bearing on quality of content but to me, it represents an attempt to give reader look and feel of a real book-reading experience.
These things, to me, represent difference between a worthwhile ebook and a means to an end, which unfortunately, some are.
Stephen Brennan runs the 'Home Based Business and Affiliate Center' - http://www.online-plus.biz, is publisher of 'Home Based Biz' newsletter and is the author of 'The Affiliate Guide Book' - The Definitive guide to becoming a successful Internet Affiliate (at little or no cost) - available at http://www.ebooks.online-plus.biz