... greatly affects how people perceive value. Call ... a ... and no one will want to pay for it. Call it a ... and it sounds small and ... perhaps worth up to fo
Terminology greatly affects how people perceive value. Call something a "brochure" and no one will want to pay for it. Call it a "booklet" and it sounds small and insignificant, perhaps worth up to four or five dollars. Call your digital document an "e-book" and people instinctively compare it to tangible books and will pay no more than what they'd pay for something they can pick up at the bookstore. Indeed, according to Angela Adair-Hoy, co-owner of Booklocker.com, the magical price point for e-books is just $8.95.
Consider these alternatives.
"Special report." In the business world, people will spend much more money for timely business information or instruction when it's called a "special report" than for an "e-book." A dollar per page is not unusual -- $4.00 or $5.00 for four pages, $97 for 90 to 100 pages. My research turned up many even higher priced special reports, where the author already had impressive credentials, such as $195 for a 114-page report from usability guru Jakob Nielsen's firm and $945 for a 245-page report on Russia's aerospace industry from Jane's, a well-known U.K. security and international affairs information company.
"Manual." Contrary to what you might expect, packaging material in an old-fashioned three-ring binder or a copy- shop coil binding, sent through the mail can also increase the perceived value of information, compared with "e-books." This can go for as much as several hundred dollars when it's up-to-date, advanced professional knowledge not available in bookstores, libraries or on the Web. Fancy packaging may even lower a manual's perceived value because it counteracts the implicit exclusivity of such a purchase.
"Course." Instead of calling the sections "chapters," try calling them "lessons." Presenting information as instructional material also raises its perceived value, because people are accustomed to paying much more for seminars and classes than for books. A writer I know sells 120 pages of printed material, divided into eight lessons, as a $295 course. The price includes feedback from the instructor on assignments, which most purchasers do not get around to submitting. Likewise, copywriter Joe Vitale has charged as much as $1,500 for a limited-enrollment seminar consisting mainly of five e-mailed lessons.
So before jumping on the "e-book" bandwagon, ponder the alternatives!